Are you dreading the task of spring cleaning? If so, consider this: There may be some serious benefits to tidying up.
Makes sense to me.
After spring cleaning, I love the fresh, bright look of my home. I adore all the cheerful morning sunshine that streams through clean, sparkling windows. And I enjoy the refreshing clean smells instead of that old stale winter air. Add a gentle spring breeze and some bright spring tulips on the table – and, yup, I’m feeling pretty good.
I was recently working on a magazine article on this subject, and my editor suggested taking a look at Marie Kondo’s #1 New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. To be honest, I had never heard of this now-famous Japanese cleaning consultant. However, when I began mentioning the book to others, people gushed about this mysterious guide for simplifying and organizing your life.
Some of her stuff sounds a bit kooky, like the way she talks about inanimate objects as if they had real feelings. But some of her advice, hits home. The basic premise of Kondo’s book is to ask the simple question: What sparks joy?
“Keep only the things that speak to your heart,” she writes. “Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.” Although that seems like a simple solution, when I used it in my own closet, it worked like magic. Turns out letting go can be liberating and empowering.
If you need some tips on decluttering, you can check out my blog, Clearing Clutter Makes You Happy. If you’re ready for the next step and are ready to do some spring cleaning, what are some of the things you should tackle?
Here are some suggestions:
- Once a year, wipe down overlooked surfaces like baseboards, door frames, and walls.
- Move your sofa and chairs, roll up area rugs, then vacuum and mop floors. Carpets should be cleaned professionally every 12-18 months or rent a deep cleaner to do it yourself. Wash or dry-clean rugs.
- Pick a cloudy day to wash windows to reduce streaking.
- Before the outdoor entertaining season gets underway, scrub sliding glass door tracks with an old, dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then use your vacuum hose to remove it. Finish off by wiping with a wet sponge.
- Go over curtains and drapes with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum. Sheer curtains can be put in the dryer on low with a fabric-softener sheet.
- Dust ceiling fans with a special extendable pole duster. For deep cleaning, use a step ladder and wipe the blades with a water-moistened microfiber cloth or terry towel. Repeat with a dry cloth.
- As it gets warmer outside, put away gloves, winter clothing items, and boots so you’ll have plenty of space for spring clothing.
- Store shovels, salt, scrapers, and other winter gear. Clean patio furniture.
- Rotate and flip mattresses. Wash blankets and comforters, or dry clean if necessary. Wash mattress pads and bed skirts. Have pillows professionally cleaned or freshen up in the clothes dryer on the air cycle (no heat).
- Go through your medicine cabinets and safely discard any outdated products. Wash and dry shower curtains and liners.
- Clear out your pantry, kitchen cabinets, and drawers and wipe down. Store or donate equipment you don’t use, such as small appliances or cookware. Discard stale spices and any outdated items.
- Clean the refrigerator and freezer. Vacuum the cooling coils under or behind your refrigerator.
There you go! Put on some invigorating music and get started. Conquer that clutter and give your house a good cleaning and you’ll feel healthier, refreshed, and revitalized. What are you waiting for?
Image courtesy of scottchan and khongkitwiriyachan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.