Spring cleaning can be an immense task requiring a lot of energy and effort. Luckily, you can cut off a chunk of your time with these simple yet effective tips (and use that extra time for your family, or perhaps, a nice glass of wine while you lounge on your couch).
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1. Let the Soaking Do the Cleaning.
This method allows the removal of stains that have built up over a period of time. Just mix one-part cleaning agent with one part warm water and soak the items you want to clean. Alternatively, if you like going the DIY route, vinegar with water will also do the trick. This mixture will soften and remove dirt and grime off your stuff when left soaked over a period of time.
Use this method to clean curtains, pots and pans, plastic toys, ceramic figurines, and items made of metal. Soaking will save you time and energy from scrubbing - let the soaking do that dirty work for you.
A good tip is to soak your items overnight. In the morning, give them a good rinse, air dry, and you're done!
2. Purge Your Home of Clutter and Show No Pity.
Admit it, you've tried getting rid of your stuff, but ended up with the same sentimental clutter every time. Well ladies, it's time to change that habit. The purging process is easy. Get three boxes and label them as garage sale, charity, and garbage. Ask the whole family to fill these boxes up and more importantly, be ruthless about it. If the item hasn't been used for six months and there's no need for it in the next six months, toss it in one of the boxes.
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Here are more tips:
- Use brightly colored stickers to easily identify what to do with items in your home.
- Make sure you label boxes properly. You wouldn't want to see items you still use up for sale or in the garbage.
- Hit two birds with one stone by cleaning your garage and setting up a yard sale.
- Remember that you're selling to dispose. Consider donating whatever is left to charity. Use the money you got from the garage sale to treat the family to a dinner as a reward for all their help.
3. Give the Family Good Food to Set Them in the Right Mood
Spring cleaning is like proclaiming war against the past year's accumulated clutter, and it is a family affair. Fuel up the family by preparing a power breakfast. Include wheat and fruits for their natural energy-boosting properties.
Don't forget to hydrate. While cleaning, remind everyone to drink lots of fluid to replenish lost electrolytes. Mix lemon, honey, and a pinch of salt in cold water for a power-punched cleaning spree. Lemon water also boosts mood and energy level.
4. All Hands on Deck
Map out the cleaning plan. Choose which areas should be cleaned first. Ideally, the first on the list should be the biggest room in the house. Before you start cleaning, delegate tasks to your helpers. Have someone wash the linens, one deal with the window, another one can sweep the floor, and someone can take charge of the vacuum cleaner. This will cut a huge chunk of cleaning time.
To make cleaning fun, turn it into a friendly race. Set a timer, and the first person to finish his or her tasks (and pass your meticulous judgement) wins. Give that someone a little reward. Do this for all the rooms, and you'll be finished in no time.
5. Be a Multitasking Junkie
This is a perfect example of "more is better." While waiting for your laundry to finish, load the dishwasher, and clean the windows.
Even while you're vacuuming the carpet, you can pick up dirty laundry or toys and throw them in your catch-all bin. Wear an apron with multiple pockets to store tiny bits and pieces you encounter along the way. By the time you're finished with one chore, you're also done with the other. Win-win!
6. Use a Catch-all Bin
When cleaning, carry with you a bin to put items you pick up as you go. Instead of going back and forth whenever you see these items, you can simply put them in the bin for sorting later on. It is also helpful for keeping items you haven't decided where to store. You can put those in a catch-all bin while you make room for them.
7. Pump Up the Music
Play your family's favorite dance music to put some spring in everyone's step. Dancing and singing along while cleaning can encourage positive attitude and can help boost mood. You can create a playlist with the family the night before and have everyone pitch in their favorite songs. Don't go easy on the volume. Pump it up! This will create a fun ambiance for the cleaning team.
8. Get a Good Night's Sleep
Lack of sleep can easily drain your energy. Plan the Spring cleaning and schedule it on a day everyone agrees on. A good night's sleep is a jumpstart to a long day of cleaning, especially for kids and teens.
9. Sprinkle Smaller Tasks Over a Week
Spring cleaning can be too much for one day. Instead of doing everything in one day, break the cleaning into tiny tasks for a whole week. Start with the big rooms on the first day, then smaller areas like closet and pantry on the next day, then change all linens on the third day, and so on.
10. Smart Maintenance
Prevention is always better than cure. Schedule a monthly mini-maintenance so that any dirt that might accumulate during this time can be cleaned immediately. In effect, this will significantly lessen the clutter in the next general cleaning.
It is important to round up the kids after finishing all the work to explain the importance of cleaning and maintenance. Create a habit of cleaning by giving them a small list of tasks to do in their room. And when cleaning becomes a habit, it won't feel like a chore anymore.