21 Jan Don’t Wait For Spring To Clean! Here’s Why You Should Get Started Early.
Spring cleaning means a major overhaul of the house – cleaning it thoroughly from top to bottom, usually taking an entire day to get it done completely.
The great thing about spring cleaning is that it’s warm enough outside to do the scrubbing and polishing with the windows wide open. Fresh air allows chemical smells to dissipate quickly, and all that’s left behind are clean, polished surfaces and that irresistible odor of pure freshness.
It’s a marvelous smell, no doubt about it.
But you shouldn’t wait for March or April to get started on a complete overhaul of your home. In this post, we suggest why starting sooner makes sense, and offer tips for all-natural cleansers that don’t leave behind any trace of harsh chemicals.
1. Clean the basement, shed or garage before you put away holiday decor.
Now that the festive season is over and the decorations are down, before packing them away, seize the opportunity to sweep and clean their storage spot. Let’s say you keep your tree stowed in the basement. Before packing it away, make sure the area is swept and dusted. The same goes for any area in which you stack boxes of tree decorations and lights. Another benefit of cleaning these areas before spring is that you can check for signs of field mice or other rodents that may have crawled in to nest over the winter.
2. Use eco-friendly mixtures to ensure the only smell is freshness.
If you are concerned about odors lingering that are unpleasant, like bleach or other smells from (for example) bathroom cleansers, go green. Use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar to scrub the tub, shower and bathroom sinks. To polish wood furniture, mix a few drops of olive oil with the juice of a fresh lemon – this mixture leaves behind a gleaming surface and actually nourishes the wood. Many websites offer specific recipes for handling virtually all cleaning chores in an environmentally-friendly way, so do a little research before you begin and you’ll find a safe cleaning solution you need for every task.
3. After having guests during the holidays, cleaning is even more vital.
Wiping down flat surfaces like light switches and computer keyboards, as well as door knobs and telephone receivers is an excellent way to keep germs from spreading. Winter is, after all, cold and flu season, so doing this regularly helps keep the family healthy, particularly when you’ve had lots of people in for visits during the festive season.
4. Start at the outside and work your way in.
By that we mean, start by wiping down baseboards, ceiling fans, and window frames before getting to the floors and carpets. Give the kitchen cupboards a good wipe with disinfectant. Although you may not want to have carpet cleaners in until late March or early April, you can do a thorough cleaning yourself. Sprinkle baking soda on all the rugs and let it sit for about 10 minutes. (You can do this on upholstery too, but just to be safe, test a little on a spot you can’t see, like the underside of a sofa cushion). Then vacuum it up; the baking soda lifts easily and reduces all kinds of odors from pets and cooking.
5. Clean out the fridge.
The new year is the perfect time to discard leftovers from holiday meals that you’ve had sitting around for days or even weeks. If you’re starting a new dietary regime this year, or doing a natural cleanse, now is the perfect time to stock the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. (Check out our post on natural detoxes for ideas!)
6. Go through the children’s closets and remove the clothes that don’t fit.
It’s remarkable how quickly children grow, isn’t it? A sweater or jacket they wore in September might be too small by February. Go through all their winter clothes and ready a box for donation. Now is the perfect time to discover what will fit them this coming spring, too, so make a list of what needs replacing in a new size. While you’re in their room, ask your child to get at the pile of toys scattered on the floor of the closet or under their bed, and any that aren’t used or that they no longer want can go for donation, too.
7. Clean your other appliances too.
That means the dishwasher, stove and washer and dryer, too. Again, the mixture of vinegar, baking soda and a squirt of lemon will remove any dust and grime, and leave your appliances smelling fresh without leaving behind any residue. No doubt all these essential appliances worked overtime during the holidays, so cleaning them thoroughly ensures they operate at peak efficiency.
Getting to your spring cleaning now, before spring arrives, has plenty of benefits. There is no better feeling than having a home that is tidy, clean and well organized. Parents (and nannies!) feel calmer and more productive when their surroundings are neat. And after the busyness and occasional chaos of the holiday season, you’re likely anxious to have your home streamlined and super clean once again!