If I had a signature fragrance, it would be christmas cookie candle with a spritz of Swiffer spray.
Soft, sweet and welcoming but also just a touch too intense and known to cause a mild headache from time to time. I do not have a further connection to draw, other than admittedly falling smack dab into the overly generalized gender role I have come to represent. I love to cook and I love to clean. Some twenty-two year olds like, concerts and I like, am really concerned with organizing my china cabinet, and spending an hour making my bed so it looks like the one I just saw in Anthro last week.
That said, I’ll be harnessing my inner domestic goddess and sharing some tips for spring cleaning today! Can you believe it’s nearly spring? Bust out the chocolate bunnies and pastel confetti!
*quickly sweeps that up…
This intro has been a mess. Let’s get cleaning!
Author’s Note: Surprising as it is, writing is a strong suit of mine. I am infinitely worse at this english language thing through my mouth. If you’ve come this far, you’re a champion reader.
1. Get Basic. I fill a bucket with the stuff I need to tidy things up and tote it from room to room as I clean sweep the place. Then, I leave it in the room where I left off as a reminder to pick up cleaning there next. I stock it with all-purpose and glass-cleaning sprays, a sponge, a toothbrush, a squeegee, a scrub brush, and terry-cloth towels. I only use natural organic products since I have sensitive skin. I like Method and JR Walkins products best.
2. Make Your Bed First. A well made bed immediately makes an impact. It’s important to get momentum rolling right away so you don’t get sucked down a rabbit hole organizing receipts for an hour and look up to realize the house is still a mess. While you’re at it, toss or donate old, or deflated pillows and pill-y sheets. Spring is also when I allow myself a bed linens update. For an easy and inexpensive duvet cover, use two flat sheets. Place sheets back to back, and sew around the perimeter, allowing for a 1/2-inch seam; leave an opening at the bottom. To close, sew twill-tape ties or velcro tape to the inside edges.* Extra Tip: Fold bedsheets and place them in corresponding pillowcase.
3. Starting from the bottom is a really dumb idea. Especially for a shirt. When you clean a room, start at the ceiling and move down. This took me forever to figure out, but it really makes cleaning easier and more efficient. If you think about it, you have to put things away before you can clean the surfaces and dusting essentially knocks dirt back onto the floor. I like to work in this order; (make the bed), dust, sort, de-clutter, store, clean surfaces, freshen linens (or fluff pillows and fold blankets on couches), and then get to sweeping, vacuuming and moping.
4. Restock. This should happen every six months. I use the day we switch the clocks as a reminder. Restocking the basics includes laundry essentials like soaps, stain removers and detergent, cleaning supplies for under the sink, and pantry basics like flour, sugar and salt. Ok so there’s a lot more to pantry basics and that could be it’s own post, but you get the picture. It’s also a good idea to include batteries in this process for smoke detectors and alarms.
5. Face it, you’re not sure how old that mustard is. “Wait, when’s the last time we had hot dogs? Oh yea, I remember, that one time, in college…” Cleaning out the fridge is daunting. But, obviously it’s important to do on a regular basis and helps you make better use of what you have. Working systematically, top to bottom, is a good way to get it done quickly. Check things for expiration dates and toss stuff if you can’t remember what it is or when or where you had it. Put everything left on the counter and deep clean the shelves, drawers, and doors. Consider stopping at the container store to pick up some clear bins to help organize. (Remember to replace the water filter if you have one too).
6. Switch the direction of your ceiling fans. I learned this from Martha Stewart. So, obviously it’s legit. Clockwise for cold weather, counter-clockwise in the warmer months. The direction of your ceiling fans can warm and cool your home more efficiently. Clockwise creates an upward draft, redistributing heat, and counter clockwise provides a pleasant breeze.
7. Count to 50. When it comes to closets, I (try) to limit the hangers to 50. If I go over that, I know it’s time to purge a few things I’m not wearing or store them for a different season.
8. Deep clean carpets and rugs. I’d be lying if I said I only do this twice a year. Carpets freak me the heck out. Fear factor: sleep on the un-vacuumed carpet. Nope, keep the million, I’m out. I watched a Discovery Channel series about germs as a kid and I still have the visual burned into my brain of dirty carpets just crawling. I won’t go into it, but things get way more exciting if you have pets. Yikes. Check that box. Anyways, you can toss most rugs into a high heat wash and buy a steamer to deep clean those carpets. (Or just hire a professional).
9. Wash curtains and blinds. Most curtains can be washed at home, but you may want to check the fabric or tag to be sure. If not, just drop them at a local dry cleaner. Blinds are a big task. I recommend just breaking it down room by room.
10. Devote an hour to cleaning up your technology. I’m terrible at this. However, since I’m the queen of this castle, I recommend you do it. Seems like a nice idea. I hear that cleaning up your hard drive, deleting pictures from your desktop and deleting annoying Facebook friends is a really “good thing” to do. Try it, let me know how it is. I ain’t got time for that. Switching the direction of my fans though? Yea, all over it.
*Pandora stations you might need: Van Morrison, Parade of Lights, Hall & Oats Radio, The Eagles, Dance Cardio, Eric Hutchinson Radio.