After winter hibernation, spring calls everyone out to greet the sun. The trees grow leaves, the flowers bloom, and life peeks its head out the door. It's finally warm enough to open windows, go outside and play (without some major clothing prep), and visit the people you haven't been able to see because it was too cold. Of course, that means people will be coming over, and you and your house need to be ready! Whatever happens during the winter, spring gives you the chance to start again. Spring cleaning is what we do to air out the house and clear things away to make way for the new.
Spring cleaning can feel a little overwhelming. It is a more intense house cleaning than usual, and there is the tendency to want to do everything all at once. Luckily, you have resources! Marshall your family members and assign them their missions (I mean, chores). Recruit a friend to help you out, then return the favor. Cleaning is always more fun together. So, grab some help, blast that music, and go for it!
Sometimes different chores can pull us in different directions. That's part of what makes us feel scattered and inefficient. Instead, take your spring cleaning room by room. This will help you see the progress you are making, and it gives built-in stopping points for breaks. Choose a room, do what needs to be done, finish with that room, then move on.
Most people clean the general stuff regularly: floors, counters, and general tidying, like putting things back where they belong. Dishes and laundry are also chores done frequently because they have to be.
Don't just vacuum the middle of the rug where you have the most foot traffic; instead, clean all the way to the corners that don't get as much attention during a more cursory once-over. Make sure you use the vacuum hose to reach the edges of the room you are working on. Break out that carpet shampoo cleaner or rent one and give your carpets, rugs, and bath mats some deep cleaning. Wash your bed sheets but also give the pillows a spin (safely, read the care instructions) and use some vinegar and baking soda on your mattress. As you put things away, get organized! That leads to the next point: decluttering!
Decluttering is a wonderful part of spring cleaning. Spring is a season that is full of the new. New growth, new life, new goals, and a new you. To make room for the new, some of the old must be passed along. Go through your things, and have a pile for trash and a pile for giveaways. Throw anything broken away, and give away what you don't need to someone who does. Then organize and put away the rest. If you're going through your closet, you can put your winter gear in storage bins and make sure warmer-weather clothing is easily accessible. Think spring dresses and summer shirts.
This is the definition of spring cleaning! Now is the time to do the things you think about but maybe don't do very often. For many people, dusting is a major one. When was the last time you dusted your baseboards? Or the wings of your ceiling fans? Or the chandelier over your dining table? There are also places you don't see as much that build up dust, like on bookshelves. Then one day, you pull out a certain book you haven't touched in a while and get a face full of dust. The tops of bookshelves can get like this too. Even plants need to be dusted once in a while.
Sanitizing is another important part of cleaning. When was the last time you sanitized your sinks, either in the kitchen or the bathroom? How about cleaning the inside of your microwave? It still has the bits of sauce from that lasagna that you tried to reheat, and the sauce exploded. What about your oven? We can even do a cleaning cycle on your washing machine in the laundry room and really clear out the lint trap from the dryer.
Now that the winter weather is behind us, the windows can be cleaned and stay clean. No more rain spots or frost. Washing both the insides and the outsides of your windows lets that new spring light in. You can even throw them open and let the spring breezes sail into your house. This is the air people are talking about when they say, "Air out your house."
Spring is here! Make your house and your life spring-ready by cleaning everything up and giving yourself a fresh start for the new season.