The essentials of spring cleaning

When it comes to spring cleaning, the task tends to take up both spring and summer seasons with the amount of backlog that accumulates over the year. Here are a few essentials to invest in and keep in mind when starting your spring clean. This will make it last longer, go quicker, and be more time efficient.

Tools

Don’t walk into a spring clean unequipped, that’s the quickest way you’ll just give up and leave it for next year. Stock up on resealable plastic bags, kitchen cleaners, floor polish, organising containers or boxes (yes, you will need them), sponges, microfiber cloths and lint rollers.

Then you need to make sure you have your vacuum, tile brush, duster, broom, mop, clothes-folding skills and don’t forget about your rubber gloves. You’re going to need them.

Where to start

You’re not going to get through the whole house in one day, so you can get that idea out of your head right now. Create a checklist and tackle the house day by day and you’ll ensure that you do a consistently great job with every room.

Start out one room at a time, choose a small room if you’re needing to warm up to the whole process ahead of you. Regardless of where you start, clean from the top down (to save yourself from cleaning the floors two to three times) and don’t overlook the daunting gunky spot under the bathroom cabinet. Out of sight does not mean out of mind when it comes to spring cleaning, some things you can’t unsee and how horrific would it be if a guest were to come across it? Pretty horrific.  

Sort out the “insides” first, get rid of the clutter. This includes expired products, clothes that haven’t seen the light of day for the past year, random cords that you’ve held onto but had no use for in the last five years, your pairs of talking shoes (there’s not enough superglue in the world), and anything else that you can afford to give away, throw out or return to the original owner. Once this is done, you’ll be freeing up space for the rest of your things that have been place-less and hovering around the house and you’ll be living in a seemingly organised environment.

From here, all you need to do is clean.

How far to go

You can’t go far enough when it comes to spring cleaning. The more you get done this year, the less of a chance you’ll have to do it again (or take as much time doing it) next year. Walls, floors, tiles, cabinets, all surfaces, windows, mirrors, all hard-to-reach places, underneath everything, and basically anything that sits between the ceiling and the floor. But also including the ceiling and floor, obviously.

Move furniture around to clean the places you’re too lazy to normally get to. Empty out your fridge and freezer and wipe down everything. Sort out your spice rack, clean inside your oven and get a workout on scrubbing your stove tops. Clean the sauce bottles before you put them back in the cupboard, organise your bathroom toiletries, clean your shower drain, dust all the cables surrounding your TV unit and clean and steam all the mattresses.

Oh, and don’t forget about the garage, that needs to be cleaned and organised too.

When you’re done, make a point of cleaning your cleaning tools because dust and dirt are easily stored between the bristles of your brooms and brushes. That won’t make every day or weekly cleaning throughout the year any easier.

Make it last

It sounds like a lot. Because it is. But if you do it right you can make it last and make it easier for yourself next year.

Don’t tire yourself out and try and do more in one day than you budgeted for. You need to keep yourself motivated and on schedule, otherwise, you’ll do the bathroom, two bedrooms and half a kitchen in one day – be super proud of yourself – but not want to get up and go on the next day. Your quality of cleaning will also decrease if you push yourself too much because let’s face it, all the heavy lifting, scrubbing and sweeping is basically a workout.

If you want to prolong the feeling of a spring cleaned home, buy some Airoma products to literally make it smell like spring in the air, get a welcoming doormat for guests to dust their shoes before just trailing dirt through your house (but also keep that clean), wax and seal your wooden floors and use your organising systems as they were meant to be used.