Spring is just around the corner, and I for one cannot wait. Even though our winter has been extremely mild here in Michigan this year, it still feels like we’re finally starting to come out of a long hibernation. We had a few days last month when February decided to give us a little taste of spring. My husband and I spent most of it outside getting things done around the house. He was able to take his bike out for a ride and I went on a long walk with my mom. We even started getting some quotes for the new deck we’re building this spring 🙂
While I love cozying up on the couch with some Netflix and fuzzy blankets, it was so refreshing to not be cooped up inside for once. It’s amazing how much the weather changes us. Nice weather can make us much more productive and give us a fresh new perspective on life.
One of the things I’m itching to get started on is some spring cleaning. We decided to open the windows and let some light in while it was nice outside. It felt like it had been ages since we had sunlight coming into our house, and the amount of dust that had been hiding was just a little frightening. I swear I’ve been cleaning my house all winter, but I must have missed a few spots. Oops! 🙂
As I get our house reading for spring, I thought I would start a little spring cleaning series and share a few of my tips with you. I know cleaning is probably not anyone’s favorite job, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. Follow these easy tips, and you’ll have your house sparkling clean in no time at all. You may even have fun doing it!
1. Do a Little Each Day
It helps tremendously if you can stay on top of a few small tasks each day. I still recommend setting aside one designated cleaning day every week for larger tasks (vacuuming, dusting, etc.), but staying on top of a few simple things each night can make a world of difference. I’m talking about things like doing the dishes, wiping down the counters, etc. This is my list of daily chores that must be completed each night:
-Wash all dirty dishes
-One load of laundry
-Wipe down table and kitchen counters
-Organize all incoming mail/paperwork from that day
-Put away any objects that are out of place
-Clean Sammie’s litter box
These seven simple tasks take me around 20 to 30 minutes each night to complete. I usually throw the laundry in first, finish all the other chores, then sit down and relax while I wait for the laundry to finish up. The stress it saves me in the long run is so worth the extra 30 minutes out of my day.
2. Store Cleaning Supplies in Convenient Spots
Instead of hauling your cleaning supplies around the whole house, create little cleaning baskets for each area of the house. Fill each one with all of the cleaning products you need for that area. This especially helps if you have a larger home. It also makes it super easy to clean something as soon as you notice it’s dirty. For example, if you’re standing in the bathroom and you notice that the toilet looks dirty, you’re much more likely the reach under the sink really quick for the toilet bowl cleaner than you are to walk across the whole house to get it.
I keep a cleaning basket on each level of the house – one on the main floor and one upstairs. The upstairs basket contains everything I need to clean the upstairs bathroom and bedrooms, while the downstairs one contains everything for the kitchen, bathrooms, and all other rooms on the main floor. Tools like the vacuum cleaner, duster, mop, and broom I share between both floors. If I had more stairs, I might consider investing in a vacuum cleaner for the second floor, but for now I don’t mind taking it up and down the stairs when I need to. You may even choose to have a cleaning basket for each room if that’s easier for you. Check out this post on One Thousand Oaks for some great tips on how to create color-coded cleaning kits for each room in your house.
3. Break Down Larger Tasks
Tackling a whole house at once can be a daunting task. Try to make it a little easier on yourself by breaking down larger tasks if possible. For example, we hardly ever use our upstairs right now. We have two bedrooms and a bathroom up there, but we don’t have kids yet so those rooms only get used when we have guests stay the night. Because of that, the upstairs doesn’t really get dirty, so I don’t go through the trouble of cleaning it every time I clean the house. I usually do a light dusting, vacuum, and wipe down of the bathroom once a month or whenever someone is going to be staying with us. This saves me a whole lot of time and energy to focus on the parts of the house that actually need regular cleaning.
Some other tasks I like to break up are cleaning the oven and cleaning the inside of the refrigerator. These tasks usually take me a while, so I like to be able to focus only on that. I do most of my cleaning on Wednesdays, but I might occasionally set aside a Saturday afternoon to work on bigger tasks like this. Breaking things down into smaller projects makes things a little less overwhelming and much more manageable.
4. Stick to a Schedule
Having a cleaning schedule to follow also helps to make things a little more manageable. Write one out or type it up and hang it on the fridge. Then you can just glance at your schedule and know exactly what needs to be cleaned and when. It’s less for you to remember, and you’ll rest assured knowing that no part of your home is being forgotten.
If you don’t know where to start, take a look at this cleaning schedule from Good Housekeeping. Keep in mind though that your cleaning schedule will probably look a little different from anyone else’s depending on your home/lifestyle. Organizing the schedule by daily, weekly, and monthly tasks is what works best for me, but you may want yours to be broken down day by day. Find a routine that works for you and try to stick to it.
5. Make It Fun
Believe it or not, I have come to enjoy my cleaning days. I may not necessarily enjoy the task of cleaning, but I know that on my cleaning days I get to stay home in my comfy clothes and get stuff done. It also gives me a chance to focus only on the task at hand and sort of shut my brain off to the world for a little while. I usually start by making a pot of coffee and turning on some music or Netflix. I love listening to reruns of my favorite shows while I’m cleaning. You could also listen to your favorite podcast or a book on tape to help pass the time. Find ways like this that will help to make your cleaning time a little more enjoyable. You may even start to look forward to it!
What else do you do to make cleaning a little easier? Stay tuned next week for some tips on how to tackle the clutter this year!
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