Do you actually DO spring cleaning? I’m not sure that’s a “thing” anymore . . . or is it, and I just haven’t heard as much about it as I used to. Back in the day when I was a young wife and mom, keeping our home tidy and clean was a pretty high priority for this country girl. But with four little kiddos, that was easier said than done. But in those days, it was just expected that mamas who stayed at home to raise their children would also do all the other domestic chores that we traditionally associate with women in their homes. But that was then, and this is now. Still, there are some great spring cleaning tips that might inspire you to tackle some spring household tasks. #SpringCleaningTips #NationalCleaningWeek #HomeMattersParty
For many years I would always clean the house regularly: fresh sheets weekly, scrub the bathrooms, sweep and wash the floors, vacuum, dust, and in general invest every day of my life cleaning up after the other members of the family. And I loved it! I always thought that it was truly a good thing for a family to live in an orderly, peaceful home. But I realize that not everyone feels that way. All I have to do is look up “house cleaning” on the ever-so-honest internet to find memes like, “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life,” or the one that is even more impressive is “A clean house is a sign of a sick mind.” Really? I don’t think that’s actually how this works at all!
More recently there has been a resurgence in homemaking and an emphasis on minimalism. That definitely makes house cleaning a lot easier! When there isn’t quite so much stuff to work around, over, and under, then you can whip right through your weekly household chores. But perhaps there is somewhere in the middle, between the notion that cleaning house is only for weird people, and making our homes so “minimal” that they feel almost sterile and empty. That’s where I’ve tried to live and even now after most of my kiddos are all grown up (well, there are still our two girls and you know how teenagers are!), and it really is a whole lot easier when you don’t have little people trailing all kinds of stuff around the house with them. And dropping it wherever it happens to land, while they walk away (or toddle or crawl) on to the next adventure . . . er . . . mess.
Since I’ve been doing this whole Spring Cleaning thing for a pretty long time, here are a few suggestions that have worked for me over the years. I’m a bit of a minimalist, but I haven’t always been that way. Years ago I loved to have all of my favorite stuff sitting around my house, on shelves and tables, dressers and night stands, book shelves and fireplace mantles. I had lots of pictures and mirrors hanging on every wall, and my favorite curtains were the pretty ruffled kind. Not so much anymore!
Now that we have had the opportunity to paint and update several rooms in our house, I am finding that a simpler, less cluttered look suits me just fine. A few family photos on the walls, or some pretty sayings and mirrors and enough. The same goes for all of the little odds and ends that I used to love to have sitting around. Books on the book shelves, a few of our favorite photos on the mantle, with a mirror and a couple of candles, and we’re good.
Sure makes it easier when it’s time to get down to business and do some deep-down cleaning! Here are the things that I always do when it is time for spring cleaning . . . .
This really is one of my most favorite things to do on a beautiful spring day! I love to get outside and clean off all the dirt and grime that has splashed on the outside of the windows over the winter. Then, once the outside windows are done for one room, I can work on the spring cleaning tasks inside for that room. That way I don’t feel so overwhelmed by trying to wash ALL of the windows on the whole house on one day. One room at a time, outside and then inside, and then I’m ready for the next part of this task . . . .
One of the reasons that I have always preferred lightweight curtains instead of drapes is because I like to wash my curtains at least twice a year. I do that in the spring and again in the fall, when we are getting things ready for winter. I love the fresh, clean feel of a room when the windows have been washed I fresh, clean curtains have been put back up. While the curtains are washing, I also wash down the woodwork around the windows, and if I have time on that day, I will also wash the walls. Sometimes I have to do that on another day, but washing the walls is another step in my spring cleaning routine. Since we just painted the walls in several rooms, I probably won’t need to wash those walls until my autumn cleaning, but in the other rooms – well, I’m hoping to get those rooms painted, too, but I still wash the walls before we paint them to remove any dust or cobwebs that might be hiding in the corners.
This is actually another one of my favorite tasks when it comes to spring cleaning. But here’s a warning! If you try to do everything all at once, you will probably HATE it! So I try to do just one or two cupboards a day, because after all spring cleaning isn’t the ONLY thing I have to accomplish in a day. We have beautiful oak cupboards in our kitchen, and even though the latest trend is to paint everything in your house white (that feels kind of like a hospital to me, but I will admit it looks quite lovely in some of the pictures I’ve seen), with pull out shelves in some of the cupboards and a floor-to-ceiling pantry with pull-out shelves. Plus we have a pantry closet where the hot water heater and water softener are stored, but there is still room for a couple of shelves above and a water cooler on one side. So I’ve got tons of storage space, but it doesn’t take long for things to get all jumbled up in there. Especially when I get “help” putting the groceries away after our weekly shopping.
I always like to replace the shelf paper once or twice a year when I clean out the cupboards, and now I’m looking at other ideas to help keep things a bit more organized, like the image above from House Beautiful. Maybe if I get some of those bins then all the stuff that just gets tossed into the pantry will actually look all neat and tidy even if it just gets tossed into a bin. We’ll see, but I do like these ideas.
So I don’t wait for spring cleaning to wash the bedding, towels, and other linens, and I don’t hang the freshly laundered bedding and linens outside only during spring cleaning, but when we are doing spring cleaning, I definitely wash everything. Everything that can be washed, gets tossed into the washing machine – blankets, comforters, pillow cases, sheets, shams, rugs, towels – everything that can be washed, gets the spring cleaning treatment. And I love to hang things outside on the clothes line . . . but we don’t have one at this house yet. I think that’s going to be on the To Do list this spring! In any event, EVERYTHING gets washed.
When the kitchen or bathroom is thoroughly scrubbed, that’s when it’s time to wash the floors. If you have throw rugs, then this is the perfect time to shake them out and toss them in the washing machine (see suggestion above!). I love to sweep my kitchen floor, and then wash it with Mr. Clean or other detergent that makes the whole house smell so fresh! When the floor is dry, and the throw rugs are out of the dryer, you know you’ve got a CLEAN house!
Of course, all of the rooms with carpeting also get dusted and vacuumed, but we can talk about that another day. For now, if you set aside some time every few days to tackle just one or two tasks on your spring cleaning list, you’ve have a sparkling home and you’ll be ready for summer, working in the garden, where you will get muddy and covered with dirt from head to toe, and then you can go inside your clean house and take a shower in your clean bathroom. You’ll feel much better about life, I promise!
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