It's finally spring, which means it's time to give your home that yearly deep clean to welcome the warm weather and remove clutter that has accumulated throughout the winter. The idea of spring cleaning during the chaos COVID-19 has likely brought into your home may seem like an impossibility, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, with everyone home more often than ever, and the clutter of work and learning taking place indoors, spring cleaning 2020 is likely more important than ever before. Forget the excuses, embrace the chaos, and use these tips to make your adventure in spring cleaning not only effective but easy and fun too.
Organization is Key
To clean your home efficiently, you need a plan in place, supplies that are easily available, and a reasonable schedule to keep things from getting off track. A complete checklist, the right supplies, and a few ways to add some family fun into the mix will ensure your spring cleaning day runs smoothly.
Checklists for Each Room
For the deep cleaning effect you want during spring cleaning, it's important to create a thorough checklist for each room. Design each checklist to streamline the process and avoid cleaning anything twice. A procedure that allows you to start an inside corner and work your way out (like left to right, top to bottom) can be helpful.
Luckily, finding the supplies you need won't mean taking a trip to the store, or using up your dwindling supply of disinfectants. Many people make the mistake of lumping cleaning and disinfecting into the same category. Cleaning is the act of removing dirt, dust, and grime from surfaces. Disinfecting is the use of a chemical to destroy bacteria and germs. Cleaning actually makes your disinfectant more effective. To learn more about cleaning with household products, take a look at the "Using Cleaners You Already Have in Your Home" section below.
The Fun Factor
Spring cleaning should be fun. Make it a point to involve the whole family and take suggestions to make the day enjoyable. Try these tips to add fun to your cleaning schedule.
- Create a cleaning playlist. No matter what type of music you enjoy, cleaning will be more fun with the right tunes blaring from your speakers. Add requests from everyone in the family to your playlist to add spontaneity and, more than likely, a few laughs.
- Use a timer to speed up the process. Create quick-cleaning goals that make everyone speed through each process. Additionally, a timer can be used to remind you to quickly finish a room.
- Invent cleaning games that everyone will enjoy. Scavenger hunts, speed games, and even games that highlight the grossest elements of the day can provide the incentive to get things moving. Write down the winners, and provide prizes at the end of the day.
Using Cleaners You Already Have in Your Home
The idea of spring cleaning may have you nervously conjuring images of the empty shelves in the cleaning aisle in your grocery store. Don't worry, there's no need to exhaust your supply of disinfectant cleaners while you're taking care of spring cleaning. In fact, your home is likely full of items that will clean each room in your home and make the disinfection process more effective.
Items from Your Pantry
- Use lemons to remove hard water stains and clean your microwave. Cut the lemon in half. Use one half to rub hard water stains from your faucets. Squeeze the juice from the second half into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. Microwave for three minutes then let it stand for five minutes before wiping grime away.
- Use baking soda to clean stainless steel sinks. Simply wet the sink basin and sprinkle the wet surface with baking soda. Scrub with a clean sponge then rinse.
- Use Cream of Tartar to clean toasters and other stainless steel appliances. Make a milky paste with Cream of Tartar and water. Rub the solution onto your appliances and wipe it away to reveal a like-new shine.
- Use cornstarch to clean windows. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a gallon of water until cornstarch is dissolved. Wipe the mixture onto windows with a clean cloth. Dry with a separate cloth for crystal-clear results.
- Use coffee filters to clean screens. Rub smudges and dust from delicate TV screens and computer monitors with coffee filters instead of scratchy paper towels.
Items from Your Medicine Cabinet
- Use cotton swabs to dislodge grime from computer keyboards.
- Use alcohol (at least 70%) as a disinfectant.
Items Around the House
- Wrap a rag around a butter knife to remove dust and grime from air vents.
- Recycle old socks to use as dusting mitts.
- Wrap a towel around broom bristles to clean hard to reach areas.
- Use a window squeegee to scrape stubborn pet hair from your rug.
The Fun Factor
- Begin with a scavenger hunt to compile supplies on a clean surface.
- If products are to be mixed, assign each helper a potion to create. If smaller children are involved, pair them up with a helper and only allow them to touch non-toxic items.
Making Trash It or Keep It Decisions That Permanently Cut Down Clutter
Clutter is the one thing between you and a permanently clean home. Learning why you hold onto items you likely don't use will help you kick clutter to the curb forever. Try these tips to understand your inner pack-rat and eliminate the excess items in every room of your home.
- Begin by learning exactly what makes you hold onto things. Your thoughts surrounding clutter likely fit into one of three categories: 1. You buy things you already own creating more clutter. 2. You keep things for years because you might need them someday. 3. You're afraid the job of tackling the clutter is insurmountable, so you never get started.
- Follow through by taking two trash bags into each room of your home. The first is for trash and the second for a yard sale or charity. Everything you haven't used within a year goes into one of the bags. For other items, ask yourself two questions to decide what to keep and what to toss. Do I need it? Do I love it? If you can answer no to these questions, you're better off without those items.
The Fun Factor
- Make clutter removal a family project. Kids of all ages will be quick to tell you which items are "lame" or "useless." Afterward, help them purge their bedrooms in the same manner.
- Have a bedroom competition. The one who gets rid of most items wins.
- Create scavenger hunts (like the item that's not been used for the longest amount of time or oldest toy).
- Make plans for a future yard sale. Put prices on those yard sale items for incentive.
- Work together to find attractive ways to corral the items that everyone decided to keep.
Spring cleaning can seem like a loathsome chore. Instead, make it a fun break from your new normal routine. Create a dance party atmosphere that will have everyone on their feet and a reward after the work is done. In the following days, the whole family will feel more productive in a cleaner environment and your home will be easier to keep germ-free.