How to Tackle Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is an annual event in many households across the U.S. – and one that has taken on added intensity in some residences amid stay at home and shelter in place orders issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefits of spring cleaning are many. It allows homeowners to purge themselves of unnecessary clutter and adopt a more streamlined lifestyle. It helps eliminate allergens, including the dust, mildew, and pet dander that can accumulate during the closed-window winter months. And numerous experts report a cleaner home sparks improved mental and physical health benefits ranging from reduced stress and enhanced productivity to greater energy and happiness.
Not bad for a few hours of work, hey?
Here are five tips to guide your spring-cleaning efforts:
#1: Craft a Room-by-Room Plan of Attack
Creating a plan – what needs to be done and where – will keep you on task and drive more focused work. A number of websites offer handy room-by-room checklists to guide your efforts. But rather than looking at the entire to-do list, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed, take baby steps and address one room at a time. Breaking a single room into smaller chunks, such as dusting ceiling fans or wiping down baseboards, will also help spring clean seem more manageable – and give children a way to contribute as well.
#2: Start with “Neglected” Spaces
Consider how your home is used on a regular basis and begin with the most neglected spaces while your motivation and energy for spring cleaning are highest. A mudroom, for instance, might have become a catch-all for all sorts of items during the fall and winter months, while a children’s play area might feature dozens of outdated toys that can be donated, sold, or tossed. Other spaces, like a basement or den, might be glossed over during routine cleaning when kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas tend to capture more attention.
#3: Declutter First
Before you can disinfect counters, clean bookshelves or wipe down coffee tables, you must first rid those spaces of clutter – old magazines, winter gloves, kids’ artwork, and the like. This will allow you to see what you’re dealing with and help streamline the cleaning process. As a bonus: decluttering spaces will help you feel more organized, which can curtail stress.
#4: Work Top to Bottom
If there’s a golden rule to cleaning, it’s this: work from the top down. By starting high, you force debris and dust downward, so you’re not forced to re-clean a space. In the bedroom, for example, clean the ceiling fan and wipe off furniture before shaking out the area rug. Or dust from the top stair down to the bottom one before cleaning the front foyer.
#5: Mind Your Investments
Couches, stone counters, and outdoor grills aren’t cheap items and those high-ticket items need some TLC to function at peak performance and reach their maximum life expectancy. Protect your investments by folding the regular maintenance these items require into spring cleaning. This will help your home look better and run more efficiently.
Capture the Benefits of Spring Cleaning
With a thorough spring cleaning, your home sheds its past and charges into the future – or at least the summer. It becomes a healthier environment thanks to the removal of allergens; a more organized home that boosts productivity; and a tidier home that enhances mood and mental health.