Photo by libraryman
Spring has officially sprung! In our house, the celebration of spring includes opening up the windows to let in fresh air, switching out the winter clothes for the summer clothes, and — the least glamorous tradition — spring-cleaning. Did I just hear you groan? Before you assume that I’m a neat freak on par with those “How Clean Is Your House?” ladies — I’m not. Starting the spring with a clean house just seems appropriate for the season of rebirth. After all, it’s easier to keep an already-clean house tidy.
But let’s face it: When the sun is shining, I would rather be doing pretty much anything else than cleaning indoors. Since I don’t like cleaning (but do like living in a clean environment), I have devised a few ways of making the whole process more manageable, and a little less tedious:
I’ve swapped my commercial cleaning products for homemade solutions . I’ve found that simple household items like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are very effective in place of their more-expensive commercial counterparts. For example, cleaning my windows with ammonia and newspaper gets them cleaner and less streaky than Windex ever has! With homemade concoctions, it is incredibly important to follow the directions carefully. After all, chemistry is not for wimps. The “chemical” smells that come with cleaning products — homemade or otherwise — are unpleasant, and occasionally dangerous, so I open all the windows to maximize ventilation.
In our house we start the spring-cleaning process by dividing up the chores based on preference. While I may not love scrubbing floors, I loathe dusting; the chores get divided up on that basis. I put this to-do list someplace where it will be visible, along with a red pen for crossing off completed tasks. Is there anything more satisfying than proof of a task completed? Pardon my wistful sighs; I love lists. And pens.
Next we schedule the chores from our lists into manageable time frames. (Doing a marathon house-cleaning session may be effective, but can also cause serious burnout. Setting reasonable expectations when approaching large tasks is key — that way you can feel good about what you have accomplished, rather than disappointed in all the tasks yet to be done. We crank up the tunes and set forth working on our ascribed tasks. Sure, spring-cleaning takes a week or so from start to finish, but over the course of that week the house gets progressively cleaner.
What are your spring-cleaning tips and tricks?
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