According to the calendar, spring is upon us. For many, it’s time to air out the house, get organized and give the house a thorough deep cleaning. Companies that sell cleaning products even ramp up advertising directed at this seasonal tradition.
March 21 may be the official start of spring, but that’s still a little too early to open the house and air everything out. Especially in this unseasonably cold year! But the time is just around the corner to perform the spring cleaning ritual.
There are a few common mistakes that people make when spring cleaning. Avoid these and this spring, your cleaning will be more efficient and more effective.
Not planning your attack
When you’ve got a big project with many things to do, it can seem overwhelming. Create a game plan and write it down to help you prioritize and help everyone stick to the task at hand. Keeping your supplies in a bucket and moving them with you to each different room saves yourself time and energy going back and forth to where you keep cleaning supplies. Keep your checklist in a central location so everyone involved can cross off tasks when completed.
Doing it alone
Spring cleaning is a big undertaking. Doing the work by yourself can mean a long day and sore, aching muscles by the end of the weekend. If you have kids, assign them simple tasks, such as dusting, shaking out rugs, and clearing clutter. Older kids can do the heavy lifting, like moving furniture and boxes. If you live alone and have a friend that also lives alone, arrange to help each other. It’s always good to have an objective point-of-view to help guide your efforts.
Using the same cloth too long
This is a simple mistake almost everyone makes. If you continue to use the same dirty cloth, you’re just taking the dirt and grime and putting it in another room. Streaks come from dirty cloths. Switch cloths out frequently. Microfiber cloths can be cleaned; rinse them in clean water and wring them out. While dusting, use a dry microfiber cloth, then hold it inside a garbage bag and shake it to remove the dust.
Using the wrong tools
Before starting, make sure you have what you need. Stock up on the staples, namely cleaning products and microfiber cloths. Have a step-stool or stepladder handy, or an extension wand, to help reach up into corners. And make sure you have all the attachments and accessories ready for your vacuum. Nothing stops progress and wastes time like looking for that one thingamajig you need to use to clean the upholstery.
Working harder, not smarter
Let your equipment and cleaning products do some of the work for you. That’s their purpose. Rather than using cleaning solution, dust with a microfiber cloth; it holds the dust so there’s no need to use chemicals in sprays. Apply cleaning solution to tubs and sinks, allowing it to sit for 10 minutes or so before wiping the surface. When cleaning your microwave, you can fill a bowl with water and heat the liquid on high for one minute, creating steam that will loosen stains, and remove baked on splatters.
Waiting too long to clean is a mistake nearly everyone makes. There are some simple tricks you can use to make spring cleaning easier. Put a squeegee in the shower and run it over the walls to minimize build-up. Reuse plastic shopping bags in bathroom and bedroom trashcans to reduce sticky residue. Keep clutter to a minimum by getting everyone in the house to spend a few minutes each night putting things away.