For passionate homemakers, the thought of a thorough spring clean can conjure all kinds of happiness. But for me – a work-from-home mum of three – I know that spending a week deep cleaning the house is a very unattainable goal.In light of the fact that I struggle to stay on top of the washing and the dishes these days (I don’t own a dishwasher!), I’ve opted for an efficient, quick spring clean. I want to clear the cobwebs, get organised and make a headstart on the season. And I want to do it quickly!
I consider myself a master declutterer but when it comes to keeping the house tidy, I’m definitely not a professional. But with a clear end goal and a very strict time frame, I’ve managed to make a good dent in my spring clean for 2016.
So, where to begin?
Make a list
If you’re anything like me, you may get completely overwhelmed when you consider just how much work there is to do. Toy baskets, children’s wardrobes, overflowing tupperware cupboards and the general cleaning duties can make the job seem impossible.
Ultimately you want to be inspired to clean so write a list of priorities. Mine looked a little like this:
- clean the linen and air the mattresses
- swap flannelette sheets for cotton
- sort and store outgrown children’s clothes
- declutter the entryway and the kitchen bench
- re-organise the tupperware + glass container cupboard
Alternatively you could set aside 2 hours a day for a week and work on one room a day.
Set the Scene
Once you’ve grabbed your morning coffee, turn on some music, light a few beeswax candles (they’re natural air purifiers) and open all the windows. You’ll feel better already! And then? Strip the beds, put a load of washing on and get stuck in. My best advice? Put your phone away. It’s a big, beeping distraction and when enthusiasm wanes you’ll find yourself scrolling instead of scrubbing.
Create a Clutter Basket
It can be hard to clean the floors and sort the toy baskets if there’s a lot of unused stuff lying about. Clutter really is a distraction and it can easily create a roadblock in your spring cleaning schedule. So, grab a washing basket and quickly move from room to room, filling it with the miscellany that has ended up on the floor, under the beds, on the coffee table, etc. It’s a great way of temporarily removing the excess so you can actually get to the job at hand.
When time permits, sort the contents of the basket into three piles: keep, donate, throw away. This is a really great activity to do with the kids and the discussions that naturally arise are really beneficial. However, younger children often get really attached to things at the mere mention of donating them, so be prepared. Personally I find it’s a practical way for the children (and you!) to see exactly how much “stuff” you are coveting… and it prompts such a great awareness of what we buy and what we waste.
Have Your Cleaning Essentials On Hand
The most efficient way to spring clean is to have everything on hand. Go with natural products. Vinegar + bi-carb makes a powerful cleaner, especially when combined with cooled boiled water and anti-bacterial essential oils – lemon, tea tree, orange, eucalyptus. If you’ve got mould growing on your ceiling or in your cupboards, wipe it away with vinegar and then wipe the area with tea tree and clove oil to kill the spores.
Stay on Task
Practising mindfulness works when you’re cleaning, too. How? Well, you just repeat what you’re doing while you’re doing it. “I’m sorting the children’s clothes…I’m hanging the washing out…I’m scrubbing the scribbles off the walls.” If you’re easily distracted, this is a simple way to stay on task.
More spring fresh tips:
- 3 Natural Homemade Cleaners for the Entire House
- 15 Spring Cleaning Tips for People Who HATE Cleaning
- Boost Your Mood with a Spring Cleaning
Image: Danielle D. Hughson/Getty