In Iowa, it often seems like Spring will never come. The first day of the season technically started March 21st, but we’re in April and still expecting snowfall. Even with flurries on the weather report, I have my fingers crossed that Spring is right around the corner.
With an increase in temperatures comes a variety of newly accessible activities including family cookouts, picnics, morning jogs and evening walks with the dog. Spring brings new the energy and light we longed for all Winter. It’s about time to bring that light and energy into your home!
Follow these 10 best Spring cleaning tips to finally put an end to those winter blues (and flurries).
Let the light shine in
Before you do any polishing or packing, start out by opening up your home to the changes happening outside. Go around to every common space in the house and raise the curtains and blinds.
The living room, kitchen, dining room, and basement should all be flooded with light. Illuminating your common spaces is a great way to Spring your mind forward, and prepare you for the cleansing to come.
Create a schedule
Whether you live in an apartment, condo, townhouse or detached home, there’s a lot of clearing out to do. Before you dive into the dish soap, take a scan of residence and note anything that needs undirtied or decluttered.
Next, turn that list into an action plan. Add each area to a different day of the week or weekend on your calendar. Adding your action-items to a schedule not only are you staying organized, but studies show that by writing it down you’re more likely to complete each task. I have to-do lists for everything. It’s kind of my secret weapon.
Make it a family affair
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a burden. In fact, sprucing up can be fun! When I’m not doing Des Moines Real Estate open houses, I like to take my downtime on the weekends to have fun with my family. One thing we do is turn on the stereo and get to scrubbing. Everyone over the age of 3 gets a job and enjoys doing it.
Including all household members in the process takes some of the pressure off of you, and shows everyone that tidying up is something to look forward to.
Opt for natural alternatives
Whenever possible, opt for the all-natural substitute. Bleach isn’t the only product that sterilizes and shines surfaces. Open up your pantry and look around because many of the non-toxic alternatives are already in your cupboard. Common chemical-free recipes including:
White wine vinegar
Essential oils - tea tree, rosemary, lavender (my personal favorite), lemon
Especially consider making the swap if the little ones decide to join in on the festivities.
Stock up on cleaning accessories
Don’t go into C-Day (cleaning day) without the proper equipment. It’s like going into battle without any armor. The idea here is to stock up on anything you’ll need BEFORE you begin the schedule created in tip #2.
There are so many gadgets and gizmos out there to help you clean faster, deeper and more efficiently. If you’re not into robots roaming around sucking up dirt from your floor then keep the following essentials that have withstood the test of time in your pantry:
Microfiber cleaning cloths
Magic eraser or sponge
Keeping these 5 basics around will eliminate any excuse not to Spring clean.
Ditch the decor
Cleaning isn’t all wiping down surfaces and fluffing pillows. A HUGE part of doing your best spring cleaning includes decluttering. Before moving into a new season, let go of last season’s style and decor.
At the end of each season, I go through my closet and remove all items I haven't’ worn or used in 6-8 months. This includes shoes, clothes, and jewelry. It’s out with the old, and in with the new!
Decluttering expands past the closet into every nook of your home. By the end of the holiday season you probably several half-used tape dispensers and stained snowflake tablecloths. Rid of it all.
Along with decor, go deeper, and organize your junk drawer(s) and pantry. Toss half-eaten boxes of gingerbread cookies, and donate the rest to your local Goodwill.
Clean from top to bottom
Once you’ve disposed of all unnecessary and outdated items, it’s time for the serious spring cleaning. Take out your all-natural products and accessories, and get to scrubbing!
Plan to shine starting from the top, and ending at the bottom.
Not sure what I mean? If you’re at home right now, look up. That’s where you want to begin the cleansing process. If you’re a homeowner, start with the chimney and gutters, and work your way inside. Once inside, clean in the following order:
Dust ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, and shelves
Wipe down walls, baseboards, and storage cabinets
Scrub appliances - oven, dishwasher, refrigerator
Vacuum & steam clean carpets and upholstery
Shine floors, windows, and stainless steel appliances
This is the most logical and efficient way to clean. Think about it. If you vacuumed before you dusted, you’d end up going for round 2 with the Hoover.
Add air to the list
After every surface of the house is shiny and new, clean what may be the most important part of your home. It’s in every room, impossible to find, and used every day.
Air. Homeowners regularly forget to change their air filters. Some don’t even know they should do it. Either way, don’t overlook the important step of cleansing the air you breathe.
If spring pollen is an issue for your allergies, I also suggest purchasing an air purifier.
Organize the madness
This is my personal favorite step of Spring cleaning. If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen countless facebook videos showing organizing hacks. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve tried one or two of those myself. There’s just something about opening up your refrigerator and seeing all your groceries stored perfectly.
There are so many simple ways to organize every drawer, closet, and cupboard. Staying organized allows you to become aware of everything you own, and gain access to it easily. It also looks nice, which is an added bonus!
Set a new mood
I know I said organizing was the best spring cleaning tip, but setting a new mood is my second favorite. As I mentioned before, the Spring brings so much new into the world. New flowers, food, and activities become available, creating an entirely different vibe than Winter.
As the mood changes outdoors, update the vibe inside. Get fresh candles, decor or bedding to reflect and embrace the new season.
Spring is a time for growth and energy. It’s the perfect moment to start fresh and embrace change, including changes within your house. Spring cleaning is especially important for those looking to buy or sell a home, as a clean home shows better. Use the best spring cleaning tips to take full advantage of what the season has to offer, and to bring some of that growth and energy into your home.