April's topic is appropriately about spring cleaning! Why does this topic get me excited? One would think that after years and years of cleaning our home, my grandmother's home, and my parent's business every.single.day. (practically), that I'd hate cleaning. But, truth be told I actually enjoy the satisfaction I feel and sense of accomplishment once it's completed.
I am a pretty avid cleaner I would say, but I tend to clean as I go almost daily. I like to keep my place organized and tidy so I do things like make my bed every morning and wipe down the kitchen counters and bathroom sink every day. It is rare that I will leave a mess behind when I leave, but it's not impossible. There's just something that triggers in me that says, turn around and hang up your nightgown or put this or that away - it only takes a second.
I tend to just clean things as I notice them too, like the restroom or vacuuming so there's no true schedule there. This is how the build up can happen though...
For those of you who pay to have your house cleaned, I realize this doesn't really apply to you. For the rest of us, it is actually a good idea to set aside time to do a more thorough cleaning a few times a year.
My top spring cleaning rituals are:
1) Clean out your closets - ALL OF THEM. Get to it. Pull all of the junk out of there and make a donation pile. It is time to part ways with things you haven't used in years, have forgotten you even owned, and give up the mantra that you don't want to have to buy it again one day so you'll just store it. This goes for clothes, accessories, shoes, and any other household item. All of it! Having clutter, even unseen clutter tucked away in the closet, can feel burdensome. I personally feel this way every time I open my utility closet to stare at sentimental items on the shelf that I do nothing with, yet store. Why? Why am I holding on to old dolls that are ragged and beat up, likely never to be used by any children that I may or may not have one day? Am I hoarding in that closet? Heaven forbid...
2) Clean out your garage. I don't have one, but oh, the memories of what ends up in garages. Temporary storage turns into a graveyard of unused items. Lighten the load of clutter by donating what is in good condition and tossing the rest.
3) Clean out every drawer in your house. I mean it. Toss the extra, mismatched socks and dingy undergarments with holes in them that you hope no one sees. Snagged or frayed clothes? Get them fixed or donate them. Clothes that don't fit well anymore? Donate them. I understand some items may be expensive and you aim for a day that you have the opportunity to wear it again. A few of those items are fine. Half of the closet, not so much.
We all have a designated junk drawer and even that gets loaded down with things you don't need. Business cards? Enter them into your email contacts and toss them. Batteries? Store them in a zip lock bag. Old books you won't read again? Sell them. Loose papers? File them or toss them. Old files? Scan them into an electronic file. Most documents are accepted as an electronic version now anyway so review what you actually need to keep original paper versions of and scan the rest. If you don't have a scanner at home, there are free phone apps that will do the job just fine.
You'll feel a million times better being clutter free. Now that you're more organized you can start the real cleaning! I like to start from the top down...
4) Dust off the fan blades and blinds. Dust/vacuum/wash your curtains. Once the dust settles, dust the rest of the furniture but make sure to dust underneath and behind items like your entertainment center, DVD player, etc. where you normally don't look. You'll be surprised how much dust is underneath and behind it. After that wipe down the baseboards.
5) Change out the air conditioner filters.
6) Next I would suggest taking things out of the cabinets to wipe down the inside of the cabinets...especially the kitchen and pantry. While the items are pulled out of the cabinets and pantry, toss any expired food items as well as any unmatched Tupperware. While you're in the kitchen, give your refrigerator a good wipe down too!
7) Now you can move on to the easier parts like cleaning all of the windows and mirrors in your home.
8) Wash all of the sheets and towels.
9) Fill a bag full of vinegar and tie it around your shower nozzle to soak overnight to remove the calcium build up from clogging shower head nozzles. When you remove it the next day, scrub down your shower tiles and tub, plus sink. I'd suggest using gloves (always) and getting out an old toothbrush to really clean out the grout.
10) Last (on my list, but maybe not yours) and certainly not least, vacuum thoroughly. This means, move the smaller furniture that you can and use the long vacuum nozzle to reach underneath and behind heavier furniture. We've stirred up a lot of dust by this point and you want to get it all!
I hope this is helpful to generate some ideas for your spring cleaning. It's nothing new but sometimes seeing it listed out helps us be reminded of things that just slip our minds. What are your spring cleaning rituals? Are there things that you target around the house that would be helpful for the rest of us to work on? Comment below! I am sure to be missing some essentials, especially because I live in an apartment, so would love to hear ideas.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Wednesday! We're halfway to Friday!