How often have you vowed to start on your annual spring cleaning “as soon as the winter holidays are over,” only to realize that not only have Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day passed, Easter is just a few days away and the house is not ready for your gig hosting the big family dinner and Easter egg hunt? Despite the best intentions, no one is immune to this situation. Why not make this year the one in which you really do follow through on your goal? Do it by following some simple tips so that the task isn’t overwhelming to you — or the other family members who get cajoled into helping.
Implement these five tips for a successful spring cleaning:
Make a plan
It’s often said that failing to plan is planning to fail, and that holds true for most things in life, especially tackling a task like spring cleaning. By outlining exactly what you want to accomplish, and on which days, you can make the job manageable. A New York Times article explains that making a plan will save hours of wasted time since you can group related tasks together. Spend one week uncluttering all the rooms and on the weekend make one trip to drop items off at the donation center. Vacuum, wax floors and wash windows on the same day so that you only have to get out materials once. As noted in a column from Martha Stewart, don’t attempt to get everything done in one weekend. A good rule of thumb is to devote one week per level of your home.
Put away holiday items
If you’ve still got your pre-lit Christmas tree up, now’s the time to let it get some rest in preparation for the coming December. Using a Christmas tree storage bag is a convenient way to store your tree and ornaments. Not only will it stay safe in storage, it will also stay clean and dust-free. Be sure to take down Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day decorations, too.
Unclutter room by room
Before you get to the deep cleaning, go through each room, one at a time, and get rid of the things your family no longer needs, uses or loves. If Jimmy’s in the third grade, you probably don’t need his tricycle anymore, nor does Susie need her remote controlled doll car since she herself is taking driver’s education courses this year! Place these items in boxes to give to others who would enjoy them or donate them to a thrift store.
Make everything sparkle and shine
Now that your home is a bit lighter, it’s time to make it pretty. Break out the window cleaner, floor polish, wax, carpet cleaner, vacuum or other tools needed to get it done. As suggested before, focus on one task per day to save time and effort.
Maintain your clean home effortlessly
Now that the hard work’s done, you can sit back and enjoy the crystal clear windows, the freshly polished or vacuumed rugs and the dust-free family photos. But don’t forget to make a simple household routine that allows you to do a quick clean of the house each and every week. By spending 15-45 minutes a day, focusing on one room—maybe two depending on the size of your home — you’ll be able to maintain your home’s condition with hardly any effort. Turn on some tunes, grab your duster and get to it during commercial breaks or while dinner’s in the oven.
What are you waiting for? Take out your yellow pad and pencil and start planning today. With diligent effort, your home will look great in time for spring — and you won’t be too tired to enjoy all the fun that comes with the season!