Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tips to make Spring Cleaning Easier

Or, if you are easily distracted - how to stay focused.  Or, what I learned yesterday.  Pick your favorite title!

1.  Arm yourself with supplies.  Before. you. start.  Think about what you want to do, and what you will need. Not just the cleaners.  If you clean with natural products, go ahead and buy an extra gallon of vinegar and a few extra boxes of baking soda.  You'll need them.  I can't tell you how many times yesterday I lamented being out of Q-tips: cleaning slats, cleaning shower door guide, cleaning vents....  Want to go green this Spring?  Check out these recipes for homemade cleaners:

2.  Throw dinner in the crockpot before you start.  You will NOT feel like cooking dinner when you are done!  Thanks to Kelly from Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking for this tip.  Wish I had listened yesterday, but I did today!  I linked to her list, which is very thorough, amazing, and quite possibly exhausting!!!!

3. Gather everything you will need.  Take extra rags/cloths. Think outside the box - q-tips, toothbrushes, scrapers, screwdrivers, etc. If you have a scraper from Pampered Chef for stoneware, it is AMAZING at those little crevices, and the Unidentified Sticky Substances in the fridge!   Fill a bucket with your supplies.

4. FIll a large water bottle with lots of icy water and add it to your bucket!  And then, have caffeine on hand for the mid day slump.  A PowerBar or granola bar comes in handy, too!

5. Make sure your laundry is already done.  Guarantee you will have more soon, and won't want to have to reload so you can start a new load!  Same goes for dishwasher and sink. And oh yeah, vacuum cleaner dust bins. 

6.  Take a basket with you to put items in that belong in other rooms.  How many times did I leave a room to put something away, see something else that needed to be done before I realized this?  Too. stinking. many!

7.  Put a notepad and pen in your supply basket.  You will see things you need to do or buy as you are working - light bulbs, etc.

8.  Go ahead and take a trash bag with you.  I'd recommend 2, one for real trash, one for things you want to donate/sell.

9.  If you want to feel REALLY accomplished, make a to-do list first that is very detailed.  My "clean out closets" left me with no sense of accomplishment.  Writing "clean out my closet, clean out big princess closet, clean out linen closet, clean out little princess closet" revamp was better.  I was able to mark stuff off immediately, which is big for me!

10.  If your kiddos are home, go in with the understanding that they will not be in it for the long haul.  Have things they can do that don't create a lot more messes while you are working.  If they are old enough, I do recommend having them there.  They will learn a lot!

11.  Top down is recommended by everyone for a reason.  DO NOT do a thing in a room until you have tackled the ceiling, ceiling fans, etc.  Dust. will. fall.

12.  Start with the room you most want cleaned.  ESPECIALLY if it is the one you most dread.  You will feel sooo much better about yourself for having that done, and it will be done if you run out of steam after day 1.

13.  If a thorough fridge clean is on your list, don't go grocery shopping, especially for produce, until AFTER you clean it.  Trust me, it will make your life simpler.

Some other links you might find useful that I accessed yesterday:

RosyBluHandmade has a great recipe for Goo/Adhesive residue remover.  You know, in case you find some tape on the walls.... Urgh.

Ask Anna has great tips on how to clean EVERYTHING!  Ask Anna Moseley cleaning tips

Here is a method of spring cleaning your mattresses:

A recipe for carpet stain removal

Have fun, and don't give up.  And don't write a blog post halfway through cleaning the fridge...

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