Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Disturbing the Dust Bunnies

March or April starts to roll around and I start to think of the dust, disorganization, and dirt that has been hanging around my house all winter. I am not a SUPER germ freak, but I LOVE organization and order - so Spring Cleaning really appeals to me.

I think Spring Cleaning is different for everyone. My family cleans our house from top to bottom every weekend. This usually includes cleaning all floors (mop or vacuum), dusting, and of course scrubbing the bathroom. We also do daily chores like dishes and toy pick up... you get the idea. But this to me isn't enough for a good Spring Clean.

So each year I make a "big deal" out of spring cleaning... below are some steps I've followed that have given me success.

#1 - Make a List: I think this is SO important. How do I make my list? I go into a specific room and think of EVERY thing I possibly can that needs to be cleaned. I scan the entire room and move around the space until I think I've thought of all that needs to be cleaned. I divide the list up for each room. I am sure to include things like washing the walls, doors, and baseboards, and moving large appliances or furniture. I also take pictures down and Windex the glass on them, and we take the blinds down and wash them. In addition I try to organize and dejunk. I make my list on the computer so I can easily add to it later, but I print it off when I'm done so I can have the satisfaction of crossing off the things I've accomplished. This list will of course be different for each person, but if you are interested in seeing my 2010 Spring Cleaning list then let me know in the comments and I can e-mail you a copy.

#2 - Buy Supplies: After your list is complete, make ANOTHER list (a shopping one) of all the things you'll need to buy to finish all your tasks. Your spring cleaning list might include something like painting something, or fixing a cupboard door. So make sure to think of nails or other household supplies you need. Check all your cleaners and get something specific (if you don't have it already) to do heavy duty work. I got a cheap, but fabulous heavy duty green cleaner from Don Aslett's and it worked wonderfully on everything. We bought a new scrub brush as well and some rubber gloves. We also bought plenty of paper towels.

#3 - Organize the Crew: Involve your WHOLE family. If you are like me then cleaning by yourself isn't the most fun. I don't do Spring Cleaning alone, but wait until my husband can help. I also have my kids help as much as I can. We actually don't separate often either - we stay in the same room to keep each other company and then we move on to the next room when that one is done. We also listen to music to pass the time.

#4 - Split it Up: Don't try to do it all in one day, you'll get burnt out!! It took us at least 2 solid weeks to get all done with our cleaning this year. We did about 3-4 hours on two consecutive Saturdays and we also spent about 1-2 hours on SEVERAL weeknights before bed. It was frustrating that it took so long, but I was also not up for doing 10 hours of straight cleaning in one day. And I felt so good when it was done.

That's it for my tips... how about yours??

How have you made Spring Cleaning successful?
Do you make a list?
What supplies have you used?


Anonymous said...

I love a clean house! It's hard, but I try to do something every day, and make sure the toys are cleaned up every night. Sometimes, it's great to just get down and deep clean! Great post!

Kym, Shaun and Riley said...

I am DEFINITELY a list person, Tannie!! There is just some sort of satisfaction with crossing things off. :)

I have been helping my mom do some serious spring cleaning this year(since we haven't been in our apt very long and I scrubbed my guts out 6 months ago). We took 1 room at a time and made a list of EVERY POSSIBLE thing that needed to be done, including almost every drawer/cupboard to go through and clean. We started with the kitchen and it has taken us several days to accomplish it. Sometimes it's frustrating because we just felt like we were making a huge mess, but realized that sometimes you have to make a mess to clean a bigger mess.

I agree with you...take it in increments so you don't get burned out. I think that is KEY!! And music always helps me keep going. Great post!!

Delia said... are inspiring. I definitely am not organized when it comes to Spring cleaning. I am the type that likes to rip it off like a band aid. I find that if I clean one area then other areas start to get cluttered and messy and that drives me nuts. So doing it in one or two days is ideal for me. I go through the easiest rooms first and then move onto the harder ones until everything that can wait until the weekend ends up in the garage. Then my husband and I finish that up then. I almost can't do anything else until it is done. Plus I don't wash walls either. Good for you. We move relatively often so I do it then but I should get in the habit because I won't be renting forever. For now I just wait until it bugs me and then I do it as I go (like replacing cabinet hardware, or cleaning a certain wall or picture frame glass when it gets spit on :) ). Or I just wait until I am pregnant and nesting. The house gets picked over quite nicely then. :)