Has spring arrived where you live? It feels like it has here in Wisconsin, despite the small snowfall last weekend. The crocus and tulips bulbs are peeking out. The tradition of spring-cleaning beckons. The time has arrived to air out the house and rid yourself of the dust that has collected over the winter. Of course, officially Spring is here, the equinox was a few days ago, and the days will just get longer and theoretically the weather will just get warmer.
I recommend taking one room at a time. It does not matter which room you choose to start with, but stay focused on that one room. It is easy to get distracted and lose focus. If you happen to stray from that room, stop what you are doing, and return to the room you chose. Then just pick up where you had left off.
Since dust just falls to the ground, work with the gravity and begin with the top of the room. Clean the light fixture and ceiling fan, if you have one. Knock down the pesky cobwebs from the ceiling and corners.
Take down the curtains and any other else in the room you can get laundered. Decide whether you can throw them in your washer or if you need to take them to the dry cleaner. This is also a great time to take out any rugs and shake them out if possible. Even just hanging them outside while you are working in the room can freshen them.
Continuing with the clearing the dust, wipe down whatever is on your walls. Any shelves and décor items need to be wiped down. This can be a great time to consider whether you love the items in the room. Is it time to move some things around, or for items to leave?
As you examine the things living in the room, grab a container or three and pick up whatever does not belong. The container can gather things for another room. I will use one container, even a plastic bag, for getting items together that belong in another room. Depending on the amount of things, I might even use one container for another level in the house, like upstairs, instead of a specific room. The key to this is to stay in the room in which you are working. The container is there so that later it is easy to transfer the items. Leave the container to the side of the room or just outside the doorway while you are working. You might find more items as you continue as well as keep yourself focused on the room you’re working on.
Remove the cushions and vacuum them, and don’t forget to do both sides. Find what might have fallen under the cushions and then vacuum up what remains. It is always surprising to me how much dirt and debris collects under our cushions, even when there are no “treasures” discovered. If you are able, this is a good time to move the furniture out and vacuum under and behind it.
Wash any windows in the room, inside and outside if possible. Don’t forget to wipe down the light switch plates, they gather fingerprints surprisingly noticeable if you stop to look!
The rest of the floor comes last, sweeping and mopping or vacuuming, as required. Be sure to check your canister in the vacuum and change the water for your mop periodically as you go.
Depending on the room you are working on, you’ll need to apply the principles to that room. I might be forgetting some things, but here are a few additional details to remember:
- Flip and/or rotate the mattress – check your manufacturer’s instructions for their recommendations, as some newer mattresses are not made to be flipped
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezer
- Go through all medications, disposing of anything that is expired or that you don’t anticipate using
- Wipe down washer, dryer, refrigerator, microwave, and cabinet fronts
- Empty trashcans and clean out, don’t forget any lids, too
- Clean any litter boxes after empty
- Clean stairwells – vacuum or sweep
Unless you have time and energy to spare, pace yourself and do not try to do it all in one day. Having a nice day where you can hang out the rugs or even the linens, where having the windows open is a possibility, can bring home the change of seasons.
Are you ready to jump into a room and get it ready for spring? It is a good time for the blossoming of life and clearing the dust and clutter is just one aspect.