Spring Into a New Cleaning Routine
The first day of spring came upon us this past weekend and if you were in Arkansas you definitely were not aware of it as we had several inches of snow on the ground which made it the perfect time to stay in and get started on that Spring Cleaning check list. The annual spring cleaning can seem overwhelming and almost impossible at times but by following these helpful tips you are sure to survive with a little sanity and a sense of accomplishment intact.
For starters, try using what's called The Four Container Method. Take four boxes or containers and label each one trash, give away/sell, storage and put away. Your trash container should include items that you do not want or need and are not suitable for donation or selling. Anything that has been damaged or broken and is not repairable should be placed in the trash.
Your give away/sell items should include anything that you do not want or have not touched in months or years. I personally use the rule that if it has not been touched in 6 months or has not been worn in one year it is time to get rid of it. Think of the benefits of selling these items in a garage sale; someone who will use the item now has it. You are now one step closer to un-cluttering your home and now you have a little extra cash in your pocket.
Storage items are anything that you cannot part with but you do not use regularly. Remember when sorting, to group like items together and try to mark on each container what it holds; that way, when you finally need that item, you know exactly where to find it.
Your put away box should be your smallest, as these are items that you use reguarly. Be sure to keep in mind that if leaving these items out in your home keeps it cluttered, you have defeated the purpose and you may need to look at an alternative for storing these items while still keeping them accessible.
Once you have un-cluttered your home it is time to start cleaning. First, gather the necessary supplies; wash cloths, gloves, mop, broom and cleaning products. Remember that baking soda, vinegar and lemons are an inexpensive, all natural, multipurpose cleaner. Just mix each with a little water and you are set. For a natural furniture polish mixing olive oil with a little lemon juice works wonders.
Make a check-list for what needs to be done in each room: base boards, windows (inside and out), walls, trash cans, blinds (either clean or replace if not working properly). Organizing and cleaning out cabinets, cleaning appliances and taking down draperies and shower curtains for a thorough washing should also be on your list.
A few things that some people forget to do is change filters in all air purifiers, humidifiers, AC/heat units and vacuum cleaners. Since you have taken the time to wipe down your rooms from top to bottom, clean your air vents and ceiling fans as well to keep not only the room clean but the air you are breathing clean.
To keep a spring clean feel for months remember to pick one room a day and spend 15 minutes cleaning. Doing the small things like putting dirty laundry in the hamper instead of on the floor can make a huge difference in making your home clutter free year round. Keeping on top of the small things will make spring cleaning that much easier next year.
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