Simply Spotless: Stress-Free Spring Cleaning
The cooler weather is warming up and many are eagerly anticipating beautiful blooms, backyard barbeques and all things spring. Except for the advent of the turn-your-house-upside-down seasonal scrubbing. A clean house feels amazing. But eating up every spare moment of leisure to achieve it? Not so much.
The good news is, you can have both tidiness and time to yourself. Tom McNulty, author of humorous housekeeping primer Clean Like a Man offers a few simple tips to clear clutter, ditch dirt and help take the sting out of a good spring cleaning.
“If you want to get to the dirt and dust bunnies, you’ve got to clear the decks,” says Tom. Make a clockwise sweep of the room and toss everything from stray shoes and socks to scattered newspapers and books into a big storage box, closet or other temporary holding area. This not only prepares you to do some serious cleaning, the impromptu game of pickup instantly makes a vast improvement in the look of your home.
Divide and Conquer
Focusing on the enormity of the job ahead is a recipe for discouragement. “Break each chore into room-by-room quadrants,” advises Tom. “Or chop it into even smaller pieces, like one swath of carpet to vacuum or one piece of furniture to dust.” Narrowing your focus makes the entire mission seem more manageable, and you’ll work more efficiently and feel more accomplished with each task you complete.
Tote Your Tools
“Constantly stopping in mid-scour to grab supplies you left in another part of the house will stall your cleaning progress,” says Tom. Tote your basic cleaning necessities (all-purpose sprays, spot treatments, sponges, etc.) in a carryall such as a bucket or tool belt. If you’ve got a bigger arsenal of gear, a small serving cart on wheels will do the trick.
If you’re looking for a do-all product that’s also cheap and eco-friendly, baking soda is worth having on hand,” advises Tom. This gently abrasive powder can be used to clean scratchable surfaces, remove grease stains from upholstery and even eliminate blocked drains. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed with ½ cup white vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes, then finish by pouring a kettle or saucepan of boiling water into the drain to clear the clog.
The Cost of Clutter
Getting rid of things you don’t need not only frees up precious space in your home, it can actually save you money in the long run. “If your place is so disorganized you can never find something you need, you’ll just run out and buy another one,” says Tom. “But after you declutter, everything will have its place. And you won’t need to purchase the same pair of sunglasses sixteen times.”