Doesn’t everyone love the feel of a clean house? Crystal clear windows, dust-free countertops, freshly mopped floors. It puts you in a relaxed mood the moment you step through the front door.
Well, if your windows are currently a bit smudged, your countertops a little grimy, and your floors a tad sticky, then it might be time for Spring Cleaning 2021!
We’re coming off a year where we seemingly sanitized and wiped down every crevice of every surface in hopes of staying healthy. So, it’s not surprising that we’ve let ourselves go a little bit when it comes to cleaning the house so far in 2021. Here are some tips and tricks to get you back in the sweep of things.
1. Make a Schedule
The thought of cleaning your house from top to bottom and reorganizing your life can sound like an overwhelming task, which is why it’s so important to make a schedule and keep a list of everything you want to get accomplished. Scope out your home: What areas need the most work? Where do you skip during routine cleaning? Those are the best places to start. Regardless of where you start, having a plan will keep you focused on the task at hand. Just go room by room.
2. Purge the Junk
Studies have shown that a messy home adds to your stress level. It signals to your brain that work isn’t done. The health implications of inhaling dust, combined with the stress of coming back to a cluttered workspace, can take a toll. Since we’re all spending more time at home and in our home offices specifically, keeping a neat workspace is more important than ever.
Make it a point to:
- Dust and organize your office
- Clear out that dreaded junk drawer (and desk drawers!)
- Organize your closets
You’ll be surprised how much lighter you’ll feel after you eliminate unnecessary stress from your life.
3. Always Work from Top to Bottom
When you think about where to begin your spring clean, it’s important to start from the ceiling and work your way down. This will force debris downward and keep you from having to re-dust or re-clean your space. Use a vacuum with an extension hose to get cobwebs and dust from your ceilings and fans first. Then dust your furniture and other items before vacuuming all the dust and debris off your floors. This will save you tons of time and hassle!
4. Choose Natural Products
You want to start your spring off on a clean note, so don’t expose yourself to unnecessary chemicals and toxins. Nowadays it seems like every product promotes themselves as being “natural” and “green”, but not all cleaning products are created equal. Here are a few of our favorite options for safe and effective cleaning.
A steam cleaner is one of the best green products for spring cleaning. It can be used to clean your microwave, tile, hard floors, kitchen appliances, bathrooms and even outdoor areas. Since steam cleaners only use hot water vapor, they’re a 100% natural and chemical-free cleaning solution.
If you don’t have a steam cleaner, one of the best natural combinations for cleaning is white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water. These ingredients are affordable, non-toxic, and have worked for ages when it comes to cleaning. Below is an easy recipe for a great general cleaner you can use on almost anything. You will mix this directly into a standard 32-oz. spray bottle found at any home supply store.
- 1 teaspoon borax
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- Hot water (enough to dissolve the borax) – swirl until dissolved
- Drop or 2 of essential oil (lemon, eucalyptus, mint, etc.)
- 2 drops of dish detergent (optional)
- Fill with cold water
5. Don’t Be Scared of the Kitchen & Bathrooms
They can be scary, but don’t fear cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms! Here are a few common trouble areas people forget about:
- Wipe down your cabinets
- Go through your pantry and refrigerator. Wipe down the shelves and throw away any old items – you know the ones that expired 12 months ago (we all have ‘em!)
- If you have stainless steel appliances, be sure to use a gentle cleaner or steam cleaner to avoid scratching or other issues.
- Change your shower curtain (they can get moldy!)
- Go through your makeup and medicine cabinet and throw away expired items. This is also a good time to clean your makeup brushes.
- Remove water stains with lemon for a natural faucet fix
6. Windows and Walls Need Attention too
People always clean their floors, but typically forget about the walls and windows. Not all dust settles on the floor and other surfaces. Just use a damp towel to wipe down walls and blinds (starting from the top). Remove and wipe down the window screens outside.
When it comes to the actual window, we don’t suggest using chemical cleaners. A steam cleaner with a squeegee is a great way to clean windows.
7. Kids’ Toys
Don’t overlook the convenience of your dishwasher, especially if you have a box full of plastic children’s toys that need a quick clean. Just choose the crystal or quick cycle and skip the heated dry. For stuffed animals, check the care tag first and then stick them in a mesh bag or pillowcase before throwing in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. A quick once-over with a lint roller can help too.
Go through toys with your kids and decide what they don’t need anymore, what can be trashed, and what can be donated. Small lidless bins and baskets are a great way to group similar toys and art supplies together.
8. Organize Your Bookshelves
After all of those cozy winter reading sessions, your library may be in need of a cleanup. Take a few minutes to organize your coffee table books, bedside novels, or favorite magazines. You can alphabetize, coordinate by color, or sort by size. Make sure you dust the shelves before putting anything back in its place.
9. Clear Your Closet
Go through clothes and shoes from the season that’s just ended — and remove anything stained, in need of repair, or worn out. Make a second pass through spring and summer clothes as you take them out of storage. Try on anything you’re unsure about before giving it closet space. Remember, if you haven’t worn it in over a year, it’s probably time to get rid of it.
If you’ve closet needs a complete overhaul, it might be time to invest in a custom closet system, which come in a range of price points and will surely add value to your home should you ever decide to sell.
10. Use a HEPA Vacuum
You can remove more than just dust build-up when you vacuum. A high-quality HEPA vacuum is one of the best cleaning supplies money can buy to arm yourself against tiny particles you can’t see, but can stir up allergy symptoms. HEPA vacuums trap things like pet dander, allergens, and other household particles.
If you don’t own a HEPA vacuum, look for vacuum with attachments like dusting brushes, crevice tools and hoses that can be used to clean more than just your floors. These tools make it simple to clean ceiling fans, cobwebs in corners, pillows, and tight spaces like behind furniture. Don’t forget to move your furniture too (or at least vacuum under it).
11. Don’t Forget About the Air
Replacing furnace and HVAC filters is one of the most important and overlooked parts of spring cleaning. In fact, replacing a standard filter with a more robust one with a high MERV rating will help keep you healthier as you enter spring.
12. A New Tone For a New Season
Once your home is sparkling clean, if your space still feels dark and heavy, you can make small changes to help make it light and fresh for spring. Adding new colorful throw pillows or wall art are great ways to change up your space. Replacing items like bedding, towels, table linens, and even window treatments are other ways to transform your rooms for spring and the warm weather ahead.