By Brenda Marty-Jimenez, UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Extension Agent IV
Chris Kilbride, UF/IFAS Extension, Emeritus, Martin County, Extension Agent IV
Spring is in the air, time to clean and refresh your surroundings! Do people even do spring cleaning anymore? Seems like an old-fashioned idea, but it has stood the test of time because it truly has merit. Let’s help you get motivated to build cleaning into your day!
Being regularly active is an important part of staying healthy for individuals and families. By incorporating cleaning as part of your exercise routine, all this activity can get your heart rate up, burn calories, increase your flexibility, and strengthen your muscles and bones, as well as cleaning up your environment. Getting the family involved lightens the household load and everyone benefits from engaging in healthy self-care behaviors like decluttering, so you have less things to deal with, even reducing the chances of tripping over clutter on the floor.
Keeping your home environment clean and free from dust and allergens will help your lungs breathe easier too. So, let’s get you started in the right direction:
- Write up a plan, highlight any priorities, perhaps take before and after photos for motivation
- Make your list with check boxes to see your accomplishments and steady progress
- Cut the job into smaller tasks
- If it is just you, don’t overwhelm yourself – get help if needed
- If the job is too big and you have the funds, hire someone to help
- In a family situation, engage your children and make it fun
- Rotate the jobs so everyone in the family does something different each time, or pair them up as a team effort
- Celebrate your success!
Examples of spring-cleaning ideas:
- Vacuum rugs and carpets, move furniture away from the wall to clean behind them
- Vacuum between couch and chair cushions
- Dust around picture frames and loose items
- Clean and dust off tops of cabinets, shelving, books, magazines, and any other area that may have accumulated dust
- Go through drawers and cabinets to get rid of expired items, including old make up, and things never used
- Pull your refrigerator out from the wall, clean the floor underneath and behind the refrigerator, dust the top
- Rotate your mattress. Wash blankets, clean pillows and wash bedroom windows and windowsills.
- Take your bedspread to the dry cleaner once per quarter.
- Dust walls with a long-handled type of duster/dust mop
- Clean and dust around air vents
- Clean base boards
- Clean your attic, garage and/or spare bedroom. Downsize and declutter.
- Restock your hurricane kit
- Clean grout
- Donate items that you have doubles of or no longer need. You’ll feel good about donating to a worthy organization near you.
- Clean around the outside of your home and/or your apartment balcony.
Note: To avoid any injuries, do some gentle stretching before you begin cleaning. Take deep breaths. Take a break when needed.
Exercise, even in the form of cleaning, provides great benefits:
- Boosts your mood
- Boosts overall fitness
- Manages weight by burning up calories
- Decreases dust and allergens in your home
- Decreases clutter
- Removes slip and fall hazards
- Helps those in need by donating items to a worthy cause
- Improves overall well-being.
Tips to keep you motivated and engaged in cleaning:
- Move more. Sit less. It’s up to you, and you’ll never get bored.
- Stick with your spring-cleaning plan and include some new tasks into your daily plan.
- Keep up the momentum, you’ll get more fit each day.
- Listen to your favorite music while doing your tasks. With a good beat, it will help you keep up a positive pace.
- Reward yourself with a relaxing walk or social time with friends.
- Have fun and enjoy the self-satisfaction about getting the job done!
By making cleaning a priority, even with a little bit each day, yours will remain a healthy and safe home. In fact, it doesn’t have to be springtime to clean — by doing it all year long, you’ll get more activity into your life and reap all the healthy benefits. So, start the music…you can do this!
Opportunity to learn more
UF/IFAS Extension, Dangerous Household Cleaning Combinations
UF/IFAS Extension, Closing Your Seasonal Home
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home
An equal opportunity institution.