Spring has officially started. Have you started your spring cleaning yet? If not, it is time to start thinking about cleaning up and clearing out for a healthy and refreshed home.
The tradition of spring cleaning began back in the days before electricity, when homes were heated with coal and oil and lit by gas and candlelight. These fuels were notorious for leaving behind soot and grime. Once winter was over, people threw open the doors and windows and set about cleaning, scrubbing, airing, and sweeping everything out.
Although electricity does not leave behind the same type of soot and grime as more traditional energy sources, being closed up all winter still leaves our homes feeling dingy. Spring cleaning can freshen any home and leave a clean, positive feeling.
One of the most important things to do during spring cleaning is clearing out the clutter. Take a quick inventory of every room and storage space and evaluate what is necessary and what it not. If it is not necessary, it is clutter.
Clutter not only makes a home feel crowded and uncomfortable, it also serves as additional places where dirt, dust, and allergens can hide. Clearing away the clutter will go a long way to making any house feel more like a home.
There are three ways to deal with clutter. Recycle things such as old magazines, newspapers, and junk mail. Sell items that are still usable and in excellent condition, such as small kitchen appliances, electronics, and tools. Donate items that could benefit others in need such as clothes, books, and baby items.
All good spring cleaning strategies require the right tools and supplies. According to the American Cleaning Institute, any good cleaning kit should include the following items: an all-purpose spray cleaner, an all-purpose powder cleaner, an abrasive cleaner, a nonabrasive cleanser, chlorine bleach, glass cleaner, a furniture-dusting product, and toilet bowl cleaner.
Keep in mind many of these products can be replaced with baking soda and white vinegar, which are two non-toxic household products that serve many functions within the home. Baking soda and water is a good deodorizer. Vinegar and water cleans glass like a dream. It is not always necessary to buy expensive, task-specific cleaners to get the job done.
Make a cleaning game plan. The prospect of cleaning the entire house can be daunting. By creating a game plan, this overwhelming task can be broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Instead of tackling all the tasks in one room – windows, vacuuming, dusting, polishing, mopping, etc. – before moving on to the next, maybe just focus on cleaning all the glass in the house first. Then work on the dusting or the polishing or the vacuuming next.
Enlist all members of the family to help with the cleaning. Spring cleaning is a big job – too big for one person. Besides, everyone contributed to the clutter, so everyone should help. Also, if someone expends the effort to make their space spic and span, they are more likely to make the effort to keep it that way.
Hiring professionals for big jobs such as clearing out the gutters or cleaning the carpets is a good option as well, as long as it is in the budget.
Spring is a time of renewal for the outside environment, as the flowers bloom and the vegetables grow. It should also be a time of renewal for our home environment as well. Spring cleaning is a good way to get a head start on summer.
Check out these great spring cleaning tips from Utah State University Extension.
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