There are two types of people out there, the ones who hate to clean but (hopefully) do it out of necessity, and the ones who cannot wait to snap on those marigold gloves and get down to business. If you are one of the latter, spring must be your season. Get out your Lysol (if you can find it), your dusters, your scrubbing bubbles, your storage totes, your label makers, and your sponges and scourers – it’s time for some spring cleaning!
I can almost hear the groans from those of you who hate to tidy up and organize. But spring cleaning is more important than you think. Here’s a factoid for you – the tradition of spring cleaning started back in the day when homes were heated by fire and doors were kept shut tight in the winter to keep out the cold air. When spring would finally roll around homes would be filled with soot and other muck that was hazardous to breathe in, so thoroughly cleaning out the home was considered absolutely essential.
If you find this to be irrelevant today, think again. Throughout the winter months you keep your home insulated to stay cozy, do you not? During that time dust accumulates and air becomes stagnant, a combination that can potentially lead to poor respiratory health.
Listen, I know spring cleaning can be a lot, but it does still take a little bit more than opening a few windows to freshen up your living space come springtime; you’ve got to put in some elbow grease.
For those of you who are avoiding that dreaded housework, read on! Camargo has provided you with six fabulous spring-cleaning tips that will make your chores more manageable, and dare I say it, maybe even a little bit fun.
Take It One Room At A Time
Before you jump into tackling your spring cleaning, make sure to layout a plan. It’s easy to start off all gung-ho and then suddenly you are elbows deep in old paperwork and piles of clothes feeling completely overwhelmed.
We recommend facing one room at a time. Start with your bedroom, the most sacred space in your house. Take your time going through all of your things, wipe down all surfaces, and mop the floor/vacuum the carpet. Put on some tunes so you can whistle (or groove) while you work. And use cleaning products that have a delicious scent. My personal favorite is freshly peeled oranges – so yummy! The time will zoom by and when you are finished with your first room, you will feel energized, accomplished, and ready to conquer more of the house.
And hey, you do not have to get all of this work done by yourself. If you have children, a spouse, or a roommate, put them to work! You are nobody’s maid. Plus, when you work as a team, you’ll cover more space in less time.
Follow the Six-Month Rule
If you haven’t touched an item in your home for over six months, it is probably time to either pitch it or donate it. Resist your inner hoarding tendencies and channel your inner Marie Kondo.
As you are sorting through your things, make a pile on one side of the room of things that you use regularly and are going to keep, and a pile on the other side of the room of things you haven’t touched in six months and are unsure about. Organize everything in that first pile and put it away. The less chaos you surround yourself with, the more clearly you will be able to think. Then, go through that second pile item by item. ‘Does this t-shirt bring me joy?’ No? Donate it. ‘Does this tangled pile of ratty, probably broken earbuds bring me joy?’ No? Throw it away. I was not joking around when I said to channel your inner Marie Kondo.
Getting rid of unnecessary clutter is so freeing. I’m not saying that you need to go hardcore and become a minimalist; simply try to live by the old saying “out with the old and in with the new”…or maybe just “out with the old”, that works too.
Don’t Forget the Kitchen
It should go without saying that you need to be frequently cleaning your kitchen. Nobody wants a house full of scavenging critters. But do include your kitchen in your spring cleaning shenanigans as well. How often do you get the chance to meticulously organize all of your cabinets, your pantry, your fridge, and your freezer?
I think you would be surprised at what you can find buried in your pantry. You might discover a jar of peanut butter with a ‘use by’ date dating back to the year you went to prom. And YES, peanut butter does expire you guys – as does a lot of other items you probably wouldn’t expect. It would be wise to peek at those jars, cans, boxes, and bags stashed in your cupboards because even if they aren’t expired, the food could be stale. You may even come across an empty cereal box or two.
Do a sweep of your fridge and freezer and throw out anything that’s moldy or that straight up smells weird. A plethora of bacteria can thrive in your refrigerator so wipe down the shelves in there while you’re at it.
You might even want to go through all of your cups, your plates, and your mugs. Kitchenware can randomly accumulate over time so there’s a chance you’ll be able to free up some space and donate what you no longer want or need.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Papers have a way of piling up and to say that sorting through old paperwork is tedious is an understatement. To set yourself up for success, place a few recycling bins around your house so you can responsibly pitch magazines, old greeting cards, junk mail, and any other papers that no longer serve a purpose.
Be careful when it comes to paperwork that contains personal information such as bank or investment statements. In this day and age, most of us opt for e-statements when the option is available, but if you do happen across any papers with sensitive info, we recommend shredding it to pieces before you dispose of it. Side note, if all this document sifting has you wondering where you placed your homeowners insurance policy – we’ve got you covered, check out our client center and request a copy!
Make Some Money!
Yard sales are a fantastic way to make a little bit of extra money. The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true-people will spend some serious bananas on items that you find to be antiquated. Plus, you get to spend the day outside and get some fresh air.
Pro tip: Lure people in with a lemonade or a popcorn stand-you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who can resist a good snack. Food sells, and it’s always nice to have something to nibble on while your shopping and keeping a safe distance!
Be mindful of the risks involved when you are reaching for those high spaces with your dust rag or operating heavy machinery. It sounds silly, but deep cleaning can be dangerous. If you can, always have a partner to spot you while you are standing on counter tops or climbing a ladder. If you are alone, keep your phone nearby in case of an accident.
And please for the love of the universe, pay attention when you are using sharp tools or machinery. The last thing you need is a trip to the E.R. because you buzzed your toe off while you were mowing the lawn. Focus on the task at hand, be intentional with your movements, and don’t get sloppy.
Yay for you if you have made it this far! Now you are ready to take on your spring-cleaning chores with vim and vigor. Stick to your plan, pace yourself, and remember to have some fun along the way.