If you're looking for a new project to keep you busy now that we're practicing our social distancing, consider Marie Kondo-ing the heck out of your place. If you didn't jump on the bandwagon last year by tidying up with her six basic rules, start there before following the next six rules to get your spring cleaning on.
Step 1 - Gather and Plan
Consider this a way to improve your spring cleaning workflow. We’re talking about being efficient here, folks. Gather your essential supplies: rags, broom, mop, cleaning sprays, scrub brushes, etc. Check under the sinks and in the garage for any cleaning items that you may have forgotten existed. It’s easy to get into the habit of saving and storing without rotating your stock, so use what you’ve got to get a handle on the extra stuff that may be infiltrating your house.
Time to plan. This means deciding where to focus, what your goals are, and giving yourself enough time to accomplish them. While tackling one room at a time sounds like a good approach, consider cleaning by category instead. This helps keep you focused on one thing so that by the time you’ve gotten sick of cleaning all the light fixtures, all the windowsills, or all the ceiling fans, you’ll be ready to move onto the next task.
Before you begin, be sure you’re really feeling it. Find some cleaning music to keep you motivated, pop in your earbuds or blast it from the speakers, and don’t be afraid to dance and sing. You've already made the decision to do it, might as well make it fun!
Step 2 - Move the Big Stuff
It’s amazing how big those dust bunnies can grow when left undiscovered. Tame them and your allergies by moving large furniture pieces for a thorough cleaning: the standing bookshelves, the sofa, the desk, the recliner, and underneath the coffee table. Transfer the area rugs outside for a good airing. Dust and vacuum those untended corners.
Before you bring everything back inside, take a moment to reevaluate your space. Enjoy the blank canvas and try to discover a better way to arrange the furniture. Feel free to downsize as you go, getting rid of anything that doesn’t work in your new arrangement.
Step 3 - Get into the Hard-to-Reach Places
Time for the micro-clean, paying attention to the places you don’t normally think about cleaning, like the top of the refrigerator and cabinets. Remove the screens from the windows, spray them down, and clean windows and sills both inside and out. Clean out the vacuum filters, the air filters, and anything else that is supposed to keep your air fresh.
Step 4 - Raid the Fridge
Not with your stomach, but with your trash can. Get rid of anything expired, leftovers that have gone beyond their prime, and organize a schedule to eat any of the perishables that are on the cusp of their freshness date. Do the same for the freezer and the pantry. Wipe or scrub down shelves, paying particular attention to stuck-on spills and grime that have been living there since the last year's fridge cleaning.
Step 5 - Time to Hit Refresh
After months of flannel sheets with lofty comforters, and bulky jackets and scarves, you're probably looking forward to cooler bedding and lighter clothes. Before putting them away for storage, wash or dry clean your winter items to prevent the dust and sweat from attracting insects and moths.These pests can cause serious damage to your favorite sweaters which you might not discover until you pull them out in the fall. Take some extra precautions to prevent moth infestations before storage.
Step 6 - Get into the Dirt
Nature and the outdoors provides a powerful healing connection. Feel the benefits of that connection by getting outside and caring for your houseplants. After a long dry winter, you may find they're a little worse for wear, but don't fret. A little love and some TLC in the form of trimming dead foliage, repotting in fresh soil, and transplanting to a bigger pot if the roots are potbound will do them wonders.
Fertilize according to package instructions to get them started up again with increased vigor for the growing season. Spray and wipe down the leaves to remove dust that accumulated during its winter rest.
Of course, if you're sorely lacking in houseplants because they didn't make it through the winter or else you just aren't the houseplant type, not to worry. You can still connect with nature with the perfect plant to fit your brown thumb. And check out some tips to help your plants make it through the next winter.
It's been a long winter. Get up and get cleaning to welcome the spring!