You might have noticed a change in the past few weeks. Perhaps you didn’t reach for your slippers and robe as soon as you got out of bed, or you noticed the blossoms blooming along your street. Yes, it’s spring and we’ll all soon be wearing t-shirts and sandals once more.
But spring isn’t just time to drag out the barbecue and book in for a pedicure: it’s also the ideal time to get your home looking spotless for the summer. Now that the sunlight is streaming through the windows, you might find you notice the grime and clutter that can build up during the long dreary winter.
Spring cleaning can be a big job, but if you approach it the right way it’ll be done before you know it.
Many guides to spring cleaning merely give you a list of tasks to be done. But how you approach those tasks is what makes all the difference. These principles apply to every spring cleaning job, no matter whether you’re in a one bedroom city apartment or a rural homestead. Follow them, and you’ll find that spring cleaning becomes a summer breeze.
1. Get your tools ready
Any good tradesperson readies their tools first, and spring cleaning is no exception. You’ll probably need a vacuum cleaner, mop and bucket, abrasive cloth or steel wool, microfibre clothes and a duster. You’ll also need various cleaning products that are suitable on the different surfaces in your house. And if you work better with music, get the stereo cranked up – it’ll boost your energy levels no end.
2. Get your appliances working for you
Anything that involves a machine doing part of the work should be done first. Washing machines, dishwashers and ovens often have self-cleaning cycles, so if you have appliances with this function, turn them on. They can do their thing while you do yours.
Once the washing machine’s finished its drum clean cycle, gather up any throw rugs or towels lying around and chuck them in. Strip off the cushion covers while you’re there and add them to the machine. Once that cycle is done, strip the beds for a linen wash.
3. Open the windows
Bring that soft spring air inside and refresh your interior at the same time. Open the windows and air out your rooms while you clean to get rid of built up odours and chemical smells from your cleaning. Your newly denuded mattresses will benefit from the airing as well, so leave them unmade until the evening.
4. Leave things to soak
We’re not talking about leaving crusty pans in the sink for a week, but some deep cleaning jobs are much easier if you give the chemicals time to work. This is true if you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, for example. Spray on the oven cleaner first thing and close the door – that way when you get back to the job the grease will have had a few hours to lift and be easier to remove.
The same principle goes for stains that need bleaching, like shower grout. In fact, you can use strong cleaning agents on almost every bathroom surface: shower walls, baths, sinks and floors. Leave them to work while you tackle another room, and then simply rinse on your return.
5. Work high to low
In every room, dust and wipe high surfaces below low ones. The dust falls down anyway, so if you start with the floors you’ll end up redoing the job. Start by dusting picture frames and light fittings, then clean walls and doors – try vacuuming these before wiping them down. Windows can be cleaned at the same time, although you may need a professional window cleaner for the outsides.
Next is upholstery including chairs and sofas, then hard surfaces like tables and bookshelves. Orange oil smells great and brings up the shine on wooden furniture.
Finish with the floors. If you have carpets or rugs, steam clean them. You can get a professional to do this, but most supermarket chains also hire out steam cleaners and the associated products. Steam cleaning will help keep your carpets in good condition for longer, and makes an enormous difference to the cleanliness of your floor.
Hard surfaces should be mopped. Use different cleaners for tile and floorboards.
With the deep cleaning done for another year, make sure you schedule in time to relax and enjoy your sparkling clean house. Sit back, order in a pizza and enjoy the true comfort of your castle.