Let’s face it – no one really enjoys cleaning. Despite how good that feeling is when it’s all been done, the motivation (or lack of!) beforehand can be really discouraging. Spring usually comes with a strange desire to clean and organise your home, a ritual that encourages you to declutter from top to bottom in those first warm days. The art of spring cleaning has been around for centuries providing the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start in your home, so why not get started now?
For those that still need a little cleaning motivation, the health benefits of spring cleaning stem further than just a clean and tidy home. Creating a healthier living environment reduces allergies, relives stress and renews your calm. Plus, it adds an extra boost of exercise to your day! The psychology benefits are there too. There’s something very therapeutic about letting go of old junk, clearing your mind and putting a sense of organisation into your life. Here’s a few essential spring cleaning tips to get you started.
There’s no use planning a huge spring clean if you’re not prepared. Make sure you have the right (fun!) tools for the job. There’s nothing more distracting than being part way through the clean only to find you don’t have all the cleaning products. Take stock of what you have and replace things straight away when they’ve run out or worn tired. Have everything ready to go before you start and always have the cleaning staples in your house for weekly or fortnightly top ups. For example: rubber gloves, bucket, paper towels, mop, tough scrubbing brushes, window cleaner, all purposes cleaner and a plastic tub to store everything.
Good preparation includes planning how you’ll remove your rubbish too – all those bags of clutter and rubbish you’ll be cleansing your house of! Chances are you’re going to generate too much waste to fit in your bins for weekly collection, and whilst verge collections can be handy, they rarely come around soon enough and leave your neighbourhood looking pretty chaotic. If you’re planning a big spring clean – opt for hiring a skip bin for the weekend. This way you can dispose of all your rubbish easily, keep the street looking clean and leave the professionals to get rid of the waste safely. And if you want to keep your carbon footprint down make sure to choose a skip provider that has a waste recovery facility where they will recycle what they can from your rubbish and only take what’s really necessary to the landfill.
I hear ya “cleaning isn’t fun!” but what if it could be? Whilst it may sound like an impossible task, making spring cleaning fun can actually work. Find what works for you – everyone is different. Perhaps it’s having the most attractive cleaning tools possible in bright neon colours or with all the ‘fun’ features. Sounds silly? Who cares if it works! By splurging a little extra on cleaning tools and supplies that make you happy, like yummy smelling cleaners and cheerful dust cloths, you’ll set a more positive tone for the job. Just don’t let cuteness overrule durability and performance.
Crank your favourite album and sing at the top of your lungs whilst you clean the house, you’ll be surprised how much quicker (and fun) the process can be. Cleaning can be great cardio too so learn to multitask the job with some exercise. Wear a Fitbit and be motivated to take more steps and have a few favourite energy-building snacks on hand to keep you energised.
Incentives are a great way to get the cleaning spree going. Sure, when you’re done – your house will be spotless but some of us need something more. Everyone works better with an incentive dangling like a carrot in front of them so find out what makes you and your family or flatmates tick. Reward the kids with a special treat like ice cream or a stay up late movie night and offer treats to everyone who helps get the job done. Think of small but rewarding incentives that can keep everyone motived. Figure out what works best for your household.
There’s absolutely no reason why a huge spring clean has to be a one person task. By creating incentives too, you’ll be able to get the whole family or household on board to help. Start by creating a list of what needs to be done and either assign tasks or have everyone draw out of a hat to keep it fair.
If you have young ones, get them to help with the easy jobs, like picking up toys, wiping down the benches, matching socks and straightening books on the bookshelf. It can be a great way for your children to earn pocket money too, if they’re at that age and teaches them the value of saving and working towards special things. Whilst your kids may not be too excited about helping around the house, it offers a lot of benefits for them and teaches them responsibility. It allows them to feel a sense of competent in the work they’ve completed.
There’s your fortnightly jobs you always tackle, then there’s those ones that get left for much longer! Use spring cleaning as the perfect excuse to conquer everything… yes, even those dreaded jobs you’ve been putting off. Some of these can tend to include washing all the windows in the house, the walls (yes, top to bottom), ceiling and light fixtures, sliding door tracks and skirting boards. Be sure to add those dreaded jobs to your spring cleaning checklist so you don’t forget anything.
Instead of just wiping down the sink, sanitise it for a really good clean. It’s hard to believe but your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria in it that the toilet! Use a strong disinfectant or make your own with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (spray after each other, not together). Whilst spring cleaning, make sure you move your furniture where possible rather than just cleaning around it – your home will love you for it!
There’s those spots that stay fairly clean in the house and then there’s the hot spots. You know what I’m talking about, the dining table where one piece of paper multiples like rabbits or the build-up of toys in the lounge room. Keep these areas clean and for future tidiness, it’s a good idea to identify the hot spots and find a storage solution to save them getting messy.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Instant Waste Management – an industry leading rubbish removal solutions to assist you with your spring clean. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.