Béatrice Bernard-Poulin | Béatrice
Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for our annual spring cleaning tradition!
Let’s be honest: It’s not the most enjoyable activity in the world, but it feels great to welcome spring by freshening up our environment.
At Cascades’ invitation, I’d like to share with you my tips for getting through this annual feat.
You’ll see, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and it will leave you feeling invigorated!
Clean the house from top to bottom without getting discouraged
It’s easy to get overwhelmed even before starting this task, especially if you live in a large home. For this reason, I recommend concentrating on one room at a time. Each day or week, choose one room you want to deep-clean.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a sprint that you must complete within two days—you can spread it out over several weeks. After all, summer doesn’t officially start until June 21!
You can go from the back of the house to the front, or from the most-used to the least-used spaces... whatever you find motivating. You can also start with a room you hate to clean (for me, it’s the bathroom!), so the rest seems easier.
If you’re someone who likes lists, draw one up of each room in the house and take satisfaction in checking off each room as you complete it.
Get the whole family involved
The activity will be all the more pleasant if the whole family—even the littlest ones—take part.
Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done for every room, and ask each family member to pick one or two. Among the to-dos will be sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, a thorough dusting (even the baseboards!), disinfecting, organizing, tidying... in short, there’s something to keep everyone busy!
Remember to clean those things that we use all the time but never think about: garbage bins, light switches, remote controls, the coffee machine, and so on.
However, consider a cleaning order that makes sense—I wouldn’t start with cleaning the floors, for example!
And don’t underestimate the power of music and comfortable clothing to get you through your chores with ease.
The dreaded dusting
No matter how often you clean your house, it seems to start getting dusty all over again just minutes later!
When you do a spring cleaning, however, it’s time to move your furniture and knick-knacks around, and climb the ladder to those hard-to-reach places (like light fixtures) to give everything a thorough dusting. You’ll discover that dust accumulates in places you’d never imagined, especially if you have pets.
If you or a member of your family is allergic to dust mites, it may be a good idea use a damp cloth to prevent the dust from getting into the air.
Remember to vacuum all the rugs and carpets and to clean the sofas and cushions—a lot of dust and debris gets hidden in these places!
By dusting every nook and cranny, chances are you’ll reduce the total amount of dust in the air and will see less of it accumulate on your possessions.
Sort through your belongings
While you’re taking everything down from the shelves, why not use the opportunity to declutter? If you find a book that your child hasn’t opened in a year, you could give it to a family in need rather than put it back on the shelf, where it will only collect dust.
If you’re a somewhat of a pack-rat, you can put the items you want to give away aside for a while before donating or selling them. That way, they’ll be out of sight and you’ll know whether you would regret getting rid of them.
Do not systematically throw things out: recycle, give to organizations or people in need, or plan a garage sale at the beginning of summer for those items that are still in good condition.
Telling your children that you’ll use the proceeds from your garage sale to buy new toys is a sure-fire way to motivate them to part with toys they no longer play with.
Washing the windows
Spring is the ideal time to wash the windows. If you can’t access the outside of your windows, wash the insides thoroughly with a window cleaner and a cloth or paper towels, and finish off by wiping the glass with recycled newspaper. It’s environmentally friendly, and your windows will be sparkling clean!
If you can access the outsides of your windows, you may need a more powerful cleaner to remove the built-up grime. Remember, it’s not a race. Take the time you need to wash your windows properly and safely.
I can’t say that spring cleaning is my favourite activity, but it’s so much nicer to live in a clean environment! And once it’s done, you’ll be all set to invite your friends over to take advantage of the warm weather, which will be upon us before we know it.
Happy spring cleaning!