Spring is in the air! We’ve searched out 10 spring cleaning shortcuts so you can make your space spotless and spend more time outside in the sunshine!
Brought to you by method – makers of naturally derived cleaning products that put the hurt on dirt (without doing harm to people).
Learn to love lists: Don’t know where to start? Start with a list. If the thought of doing a thorough clean-and-tidy leaves you curled in the foetal position, set yourself a small number of manageable goals so you don’t get overwhelmed. Such as clearing out the junk room, cleaning windows, or tackling an overstuffed pantry full of things that expired in the late 90s. If you need a hint, there are lots of free online checklists, like this one from Martha Stewart.
Calm the clutter: There’s no use trying to tackle the nitty gritty cleaning jobs if you can’t actually see your surfaces. Get four big boxes and label them: trash, sell, donate, store … then methodically go through all the clutter in your home. As you’re sorting through your stuff, use the “touch it once” rule – don’t make piles out of piles or put things aside that you think you’ll get back to. Make a decision now.
Stock up on supplies: Before you start, make sure you have all the tools of the trade on hand. Get a big basket and fill it with cleaning supplies, boxes, packing tape, markers and stuff for minor repairs (like glue, hooks and spare batteries). Choose naturally-derived products such as method so you can breathe easy while you’re cleaning.
Delegate like a pro: Guess what? You already have an army of cleaners in your home. They may not be willing (yet) … but they are able. Get your family on board by assigning tasks and incentivising with a reward such as a movie night or outing. Even the little ones can be given simple jobs disguised as playtime: pick a warm day, put the kids in their swimsuits and give them buckets and soapy water for washing outdoor furniture.
Break it down: If life is too busy to find a whole day or even a decent block of time to get to those rainy-day tasks, then set aside just 15 minutes per day. Start simple (like clearing out one drawer per day, or cleaning the shower screen) and as you see yourself making progress, your motivation levels will rise. It doesn’t sound like much, but over the course of a month it adds up to about one work day (7.5 hours) and once you’re in the habit, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in such a small period of time.
YouTube it: Isn’t the internet a magical place? If you’re not sure how to clean your oven, or how to get streak-free windows, or how to clean your microwave, then there is someone out there who has figured it out … and videotaped themselves doing it. Get your YouTube on and discover the amazing world of online tutorials.
Demand double duty: Household appliances were invented to make our lives easier – so let’s put them to work. Not just for carpets, your vacuum cleaner can be used to clean couches, upholstery, blinds and curtains, and to dust baseboards, shelves and drawers. Use your dishwasher to clean fan grilles and vent covers (as long as they’re not painted). Plastic toys can also be given a run through the dishwasher, or put them inside a pillowcase and throw them in the washing machine.
Label (almost) everything: Once you’ve organised a little corner of your home and got a system going, you’ll need your family’s help to maintain it. But don’t expect them to read your mind: make it easier by labelling storage boxes, pantry shelves, hooks and laundry baskets (yes – men can sort colours from whites!) Buy a collection of pretty labels (like these pantry stickers from Love Mae) or make your own. If you add photos, even tiny tots will learn where things go.
Trash me, maybe? If you’re worried about getting it wrong (for example, throwing away a broken toy that your child may later decide is the most precious thing in the world, or chucking those clothes that you know you’ll wear … one day) then create a transition box. Throughout the year, whenever you come across an item that you no longer use but can’t commit to throwing away “just in case”, place it in the transition box. If you don’t go looking for it within a set amount of time … off to the charity shop it goes.
Top to bottom, room by room: So, first you’re cleaning the laundry, then you go to the baby’s room to put away some toys, and do a tidy-up while you’re there, which leads you to the bathroom and … no, STOP! Take it one room at a time, and clean top to bottom (ceiling down to the floor). This will save time and stop you going over things you’ve already cleaned.
(this post was sponsored by Method)