The idea of spring cleaning seems overwhelming at first. I like to scare myself by making epic, and ridiculously detailed, lists. Yet, without fail, the spring cleaning bug bites me every year, I embrace the enormity of the task, and my family ducks for cover. I don’t know how your family approaches spring cleaning, but my approach is chaotic and all consuming. I commence multiple projects at once, almost every room is in some sort of disrepair, but by the end of the experience our house is immensely better organized.
I like to tackle the biggest disaster first. Generally that is the large storage closet in the basement. I haul everything out and take a good hard look at what has been squirrelled in there over the past 12 months. I hate sending anything to the dump, so we try and find creative solutions to culling our possessions. Craigslist is brilliant. I price things for a quick sale. I’m more interested in getting the items out of our home than making big bucks. Friday nights seem to be an ideal time to post on Craigslist.
If the item doesn’t move on Craigslist (or isn’t appropriate for the online sale forum), share the news on your Facebook page. It is amazing how your friends can help find new homes for your unwanted possessions. If that doesn’t work, contact you local community service organization. Non-profits are generally very happy to receive items (e.g. clothes, toys, small – working – appliances) that they can pass along to their in-need clients.
After you have culled the clutter, it is time to apply the elbow grease. Even with our wonderful cleaning lady coming every two weeks, there are parts of our house that just don’t get cleaned. The slat blinds on all our windows are a bane of my existence. You can take them down and immerse them in the bathtub; I’ve always found that to be too much work. A trick I discovered last year – baby wipes! Yes it is time consuming, but doing one room a day makes the blind-cleaning project tolerable. Another part of our house that gets neglected, the insides of cupboards. Once a year I like to pull everything out and give the cupboards a good wipe down. I’m always amazed by the amount of crumbs I find…seriously, the dishes come straight out of the dishwasher!
A few other spring cleaning projects worth tackling: a good clean up of the garden (if you weed in the early Spring life will be so much easier through the summer months); clean the oven (even if it is just the automatic oven cleaner – it is warm enough you can open the doors so your house doesn’t smell like burnt food); clean your washing machine (run an empty cycle with bleach) and dishwasher (a container of vinegar works super well); vacuum out the lint tray in your dryer.
I wish you great success for this year’s spring cleaning. I’m still waiting for motivation to strike…here’s to a clean house by the end of the weekend.