My mother’s favorite holiday is Groundhog day. She begins counting down the days until February 2nd each year – patiently waiting to find out whether or not she will be celebrating an early spring.
I remember secretly wishing each February that the Groundhog would see his shadow and scurry back into his burrow because an early spring meant an early spring-cleaning!
As soon as my mother heard the Groundhog’s springtime prediction, she would start stocking up on cleaning supplies. When the first day of spring came along, she would gather all the children up to perform a deep clean on the family home.
Years have passed since my mother had me doing a mandatory spring cleaning, but I now have a family of my own and am committed keeping the family tradition alive.
In fact, when Groundhog Day rolls around I hear my children start complaining about how they “wish it would stay winter forever,” or “maybe we could skip spring just this once”. As if! Like clockwork, as soon as the first day of spring arrives, I will round my family up and start barking the commands.
You’re in luck because I’ve learned many secrets in my quest to get my house in tip-top shape. Be prepared to give your home some serious TLC this springtime!
Spring Cleaning 101
Getting prepared to do a full-on spring-cleaning can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start. Here are a few basics to keep in mind before you start cleaning your home this spring:
- Attire: wear old, comfortable clothing while cleaning because you’re very likely to get dirty.
- Supplies: check your stockpile of cleaning supplies. Don’t wait until you are ready to clean to find that you don’t have any oven cleaner.
- Cleaning tote: assemble your supplies and put them in a bucket to take with you when you clean. Items can include cleaning rags, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, feather duster, disinfectant and furniture polish.
- Schedule: pick a time to start your spring-cleaning. Many hands make light work, so be sure to inform all your family members that they are expected to contribute. Reward the team with dinner at a pizza parlor when all the tasks are complete.
Now that you have a date set, have all your cleaning supplies organized and are dressed for the occasion, you’ll need to:
- Decide what is junk. Hold a garage sale. De-clutter your house and garage to turn trash into cash.
- Make a list of all things you would like to replace, fix or give to charity, and prepare a budget if necessary.
- Take one room at a time. It does not matter how many rooms you have in your home, you cannot perform a thorough “spring” clean if you aren’t paying attention to details or skimping on the time allotted for each cleaning task.
- Open the windows and doors to let some fresh air in and turn on the radio to get in the springtime mood!
How to Perform a Spring-Cleaning
Spring-cleaning does not have to be difficult. In fact, there are six rules that my mother taught me about spring-cleaning when I was a girl and they work so well that I’ve taught my children, too. If you follow these rules, I can guarantee you’ll be done with your spring cleaning in two shakes of a lamb’s tail!
- Start cleaning with top down approach: Chandeliers and ceiling fans are hardest to clean, so tackle them first. Then move on to the walls.
- Wash draperies: Wash the draperies after you have cleaned the room. If you have Venetian blinds, clean those with wet cloth after you have dusted the room and vacuumed the carpet.
- Sort the useful and useless: In each room, sort the items you wish to keep and take away everything you do not wish to keep. Open all the drawers and cupboards and take out all the material that you have not used for a long time and you are not likely to use, and store it separately for a garage sale or charity.
- Do not throw away all the paper in one room at a time: Collect all the papers that you have in each room and organize them in two groups. One you wish to keep and other you wish to throw away.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Do not keep useless things. Unless you take a detached look at each item, you will not be able to decide.
- Recycle it permanently: If you are a firm believer in keeping something “just in case” then you might collect many items that you will not need. Consider recycling it permanently.
Enjoy your Clean Home
In every civilization of the world, there is a time that is ordained for cleaning the house. Springtime signals the end of winter, coldness and hibernation and gets us in the mood to tidy everything up right before the lazy days of summer begin.
So, if you’re home is in desperate need for a cleaning this spring, then there is no better time than now to start.
Create a plan, involve family members and try to make spring-cleaning fun.