It’s almost SPRING! Which means… SPRING CLEANING! Do a walk-through of your home and jot down all the things that need attention – this can be a burnt out light bulb, that grease stain on the driveway or that oven that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Break these items down into “Do it Today” and “Budget for Future”, and what you’ll need to tackle each item. Here’s a list of some items, along with some tips to get you all set for the warm weather en route:
SMALL REPAIRS – Do any of the items on the list require a professional like an electrical issue or a leak? Schedule the repair and mark the date on your calendar.
DE-CLUTTER – It’s overwhelming to do the whole home, so pick ONE project, set a 30 minute timer, and get started. Some options to consider if you don’t know where to start:
- Bookshelves: To start, create a keep and a donate pile. The donate pile can include books and magazines you’ve already read, didn’t enjoy and will never finish. The keep pile can then be sorted by size and/or subject. Check photos for inspiration on how to display some vertical, some horizontal, and some showpieces that deserve their own coffee table. If you end up spending the 30 minutes reading a gem you forgot about – well that’s great too! Just re-schedule the de-clutter for another time!
- Office/Desk: Let’s talk PAPER! This can be a daunting task to do all at once – but 30 minute chunks make it manageable. Anything that’s dated, expired, and just plain not necessary goes in the recycle bin. Bills and accounting can be sorted (or scanned!) for easy access during tax time. Invitations and notices can be put into your online calendar for quick reference. Then if you have time you can go through the kid’s artwork, coupons, and keep-sakes.
- Refrigerator: Yes, that door of sticky messes with unmentionable expiry dates. Pull it all out, toss anything that’s past it’s prime, amalgamate any duplicate condiments, wipe down what’s left – and BEFORE you put it all back, give the door a clean with warm soapy water. Organize the shelves; ie sweet sauces and preserves on one shelf, and spicy/savoury ones on another.
Closet: This can seem like a black hole but it’s outrageously rewarding, and your 30 minute time investment here will actually make your everyday routine much easier and quicker. Just like the bookshelf, start with a donate pile – a simple rule to start with – if you can’t remember the last time you wore it – you won’t miss it! Once you’ve cleaned it out, separate work clothes and lifestyle clothes, or sort by colour for a visual appeal.
FLIP YOUR MATTRESS – While you’re in the bedroom, rotate your mattress. And before you put those fresh sheets on, run the vacuum over it, and into the crevices, and spot clean any stains. Spritz with a disinfectant spray, let dry, and you’re set to dress it back up.
WASHER & DRYER – Disinfect the washing machine with distilled white vinegar and baking soda to keep it fresh and high-functioning. Run the machine with hot water, then add the cleaning agents, and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterwards, restart your machine, let the water drain, and wipe it dry. While the washing machine is sitting, clean the dryer vent, check for blockages, and if you’re in a house, check the exterior vent to remove any snow or debris.
BATHROOM – Check for mold or mildew – do a thorough cleaning, especially the grout, ceiling, and fan.
LINEN CLOSET – Did you get new sheets or towels over the holidays, or buy any during the post-holiday sales? Make room by getting rid of older sets. Homeless shelters will sometimes take sheets, and animal shelters are often in need of towels. If those options don’t work, cut them up to use as rags.
ENTRY WAY – The winter slush, salt, and precipitation in general can do a number on your floors, especially the entry way. Take some of the new rags from your freshened-up linen closet, put them in a nice basket near the door along with a spray bottle to quickly wipe up foot prints and boot puddles.
WALLS – See if any walls require a hole fill or a touch up. Extra points – hang up that picture or shelf you picked up that’s been leaned up against a wall for far too long!
WINDOWS – Give them a good rub down – especially patio doors where hand-prints make frequent appearances. Once it’s warm enough – do the outsides as well. It’s best to do on an overcast day so the sun doesn’t dry the cleaner before you’ve finished wiping them down.
BONUS: You did it! It’s been a long day of spring cleaning (or at least 30 minutes) – so REWARD yourself! Pick up some fresh flowers to enhance your refreshed space, and a tasty treat for you!