I am not particularly fastidious as a housekeeper but when Spring comes even I feel a need to start chucking out the clutter and washing down the walls. I suppose its to do with the bright Spring light that shines on all the dust and makes you suddenly realise how grimey everything is! I thought I’d share a few tips for effective Spring cleaning (the lazy way).
Step 1 – Get ready
There’s no point trying to spring clean when you have laundry, books and dishes everywhere. Before you get started, aim to get your house to at least a normal ‘after your weekly tidy up and clean’ level of organisation so that you can tackle the bigger jobs. Make sure you have all the cleaning materials you need – I stock up on kitchen towel, sponges, clothes, floor wipes and bin bags.
Step 2 – Plan
Now’s definitely the time to tackle clutter and mess that has been building up over the winter months. But don’t take everything on at once – I spread projects over a few different weekends and bank holiday weekends to make sure they were manageable. Make a list of the jobs you want to tackle – here are a few to consider
- Deep clean your fridge
- Deep clean your oven
- Clean the inside of your dishwasher
- Empty out, clean and organise your kitchen cupboards (one at a time!)
- Clean and deodorise your kitchen bin
- Wash your bath/toilet mat if you have them
- Deep clean your bath
- Clean your windows, inside and out
- Mop hardwood floors
- Clean skirting boards with a damp cloth and hot soapy water
- Remove any marks on walls and floors (I’m looking at you, Marty and Milo!)
- Vacuum up cobwebs
- Clean around light switches, electric plugs, air ducts, the top of picture frames etc
- Replace your vacuums bag (if it has one) and add in a air freshner
- In the garden, remove dead plants and weeds to get ready for new growth!
Also, consider replacing household items that are difficult to clean or just past saving, such as –
- Toilet brush
- Bathroom mat
- Front and back door mats
- Toss old forgotten toiletries or expired medicines
- Organise your food cupboards, throwing out out of date food
- Clear out your coat cupboard if you have one, taking winter coats and boots to the attic or winter clothes storage area
- Recycle magazines, file bills, receipts and paperwork
- Go through your wardrobe, throwing away, giving to charity and organising
- Make piles of DVDs, books and CDs that you wouldn’t miss, then invite friends round to take their pick before you to them to the charity shop
Step 3 – Clean clean clean!
Once you have the list of the jobs you want to tackle, group them room by room and plan when to do them. I think tackling the jobs room by room is the easiest thing rather than, say, trying to do all the skirting boards in your house at once (sore knees). Enlist help from other people – especially when tallness or strength comes in handy (Lee!). Here are some final tips
- Open your windows! And let some fresh air into your house
- Scrub mould away with a mixture containing 1 part bleach, 1 part lemon juice and 4 parts water (or some bleach some lemon and some water). The citric acid helps stop the mould from coming back
- Move furniture and clean behind it. Gah I know its gross. But better 3 dust bunnies now than an army of dust bunnies in 5 years!
- Get into nooks and crannies with a dust attachment on your vacuum, or failing that, a brush + your vacuum nozzle!
- Banish stubborn bath rings with plain old vinegar
- Turn a gunky dishwasher into a sparkly clean one by running a long empty cycle with two cups of vinegar added to the bottom of the dishwasher as well as the normal detergent
Happy Spring cleaning! Let me know if you have any cleaning shortcuts you want to share!