It’s that time of year again…the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and (hopefully) the snow is starting to melt. Although it might not feel like spring just yet, it’s a good time to start thinking about spring cleaning.
If you think spring cleaning is a little overwhelming and find yourself putting it off until it’s more like fall cleaning, try taking these tips for a spin and you’ll be done and dusted in no time.
- Take it one room at a time. Have you ever made up your mind to clean the whole house from top to bottom in a single afternoon — and then found yourself giving up a couple hours later, with the contents of all of your closets in piles on the floor? To avoid getting overwhelmed and abandoning your work before it’s done, try tackling one room or task at a time. The satisfaction of seeing one room spotless and clean might just be the motivation you need to tackle the next one…next weekend.
- Multitask (within reason). If you’ve been meaning to clean your kitchen windows and wash your dusty curtains, why not do both at once? Throw the curtains in the washing machine and shine your windows while you wait — and while you’re at it, why not spray your sinks with cleaning solution and let it sit to do its work while you sweep the floors, then go back and wipe it clean? That’s four jobs off your list in the amount of time it would take you to do a single load of laundry and watch an episode of your favourite TV show. But don’t go overboard with the multitasking and lose track of where you started; only pair jobs that logically fit together so you don’t end up with unfinished business.
- Don’t just throw it in the “storage room.” Everybody has one: a room in your house that just seems to attract all of the tired things you don’t want to throw away because you “might use them again.” When cleaning your house, think carefully about what you banish to the basement or storage room. If you haven’t used an item in the past year, chances are you won’t use it in the next one either — so why create a new mess you’ll just need to clean up down the road?
- Done with it? Donate it or dispose of it safely. If you want to get rid of something and think someone else might be able to use it, consider donating it to a local charity instead of tossing it in the trash. Some organizations have donation boxes in central locations and others will make a trip to pick up gently used clothing and home goods right at your door. If you want to dispose of an old appliance or cell phone, search for your province’s directory of electronics recycling drop-off points or an electronics retailer with a recycling program.
- Give the walls a wipe-down. When it comes to cleaning, your walls probably aren’t at the top of your to-do list — but you might be amazed at how fresh a room can feel after giving the walls a good scrub (or at least a dusting). Even walls that aren’t touched on a regular basis can build up dust and grime over time, and wiping them down with a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and a non-abrasive cleaning solution once in a while can make the paint look new again. If you’ve got the stepladder out anyway, consider giving your lights and ceiling fans a wipe too.
- Perk up your plants. Healthy plants make a beautiful addition to any room in your home — but after a long winter indoors, dry furnace air and a lack of sun may leave your house plants looking a little lacklustre. Remove dead leaves, gently wipe away dust with a soft cloth and water, and don’t forget to clean the pots too. You might want to place heartier or larger plants in your bathtub or laundry basin and give them a light spray with your handheld showerhead before wiping them down.
- Take stock. If you haven’t updated your home inventory list in a while, spring cleaning season is the perfect time to do it. You’ll likely be getting rid of some things, so remove each item from your list as you toss it in the “donations” pile — and when you’ve finished tidying a room, add any new items to your list. If you find yourself wondering about your home insurance coverage or wanting to increase your limits after you’ve added some pricey items to your list, reach out to your licensed insurance broker.
Don’t forget the details
You probably have the basics (like sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming) down pat. But if you’re looking to up your spring cleaning game and make your home shine a little brighter, click here to download a handy checklist of nitty-gritty details that are easily overlooked on a cleaning spree (PDF).