It’s that time of year again. For some people, springtime is the best. The days are a bit warmer. The golden rays of sun replenish you as well as the delicate buds on the barren trees. The birds chirping in early morning seem to be at a tad bit higher decibel than winter. It’s time to start anew. Many like to take advantage of this season to spring clean their entire home. Does this idea seem daunting?
I’m going to tell you how you can do the seemingly impossible in one day. But first, what’s the history behind spring cleaning? And why is spring cleaning important?
What’s the History Behind Spring Cleaning?
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition with deep cultural, religious, and historical roots. Some researchers trace the origins of spring cleaning to the Persian new year. Everything in the home was thoroughly cleaned, from drapes to the furniture.
Others suggest that spring cleaning comes from the ancient Jews celebrating the Passover. It was forbidden to have leavened bread in their homes during this sacred occasion. Therefore, observant Jews conducted a thorough “spring cleaning” of the house, followed by a traditional hunt for crumbs that contains leaven on the evening before the Passover begins.
Spring cleaning also ties back to the history of keeping winter houses warm and lit with fires and kerosene. Of course, this filled the home with soot during the winter. Spring time and warmer weather meant that the windows could now be opened to air out the house as residents scrubbed away all that grime.
Nowadays we may spring clean, not because of a religious ritual or burning coal, but because we feel the need to open our windows and remove all the long-settled dust and dirt from our homes. Just as the budding flower bask in the warm sunlight, the animals are coming out of hibernation; we want a new start, too. Spring cleaning gives it to us.
Why is Spring Cleaning Important?
Spring cleaning is a chance to reset everything in your home. It’s a chance to catch up on all the cleaning tasks you’ve been meaning to get to and have put off. In addition, deep cleaning once a year staves off bigger problems, like mold and unwanted visitors. No, I’m not referring to that relative that stopped by for a “few days” last fall but is still there in your guest bedroom at the start of spring. Although, come to think of it, this may be a good time to get rid of them, too. But I digress.
Some years ago, one family had a problem with moths in one boy’s closet. They solved the problem when a bag of nuts was removed from the closet and opened. Out came a cloud of moths! Ever since then that family has had a regular spring-cleaning day each year.
Spring cleaning is also an excellent opportunity to make sure that certain maintenance chores that only need to be done once a year get checked off the list. Some of these tasks make a big difference in the longevity, usefulness, and appearance of your home. Others, such as cleaning the built-up dust in and around your dryer, are a fire safety issue.
By the time spring cleaning is finished, your home will feel refreshed and clean and so will you. So, pick a day that works best for you and your family. Many prefer to spring clean on a Saturday or a Sunday.
Whatever day you choose, let me show how this daunting, but necessary task can be accomplished in one day.
Sample Plan for Spring Cleaning in a Day
8:00 am to 8:45 am: Wake up and get some breakfast and coffee.
8:45 am to 9:00 am: Get four containers (boxes, bins, baskets) and a place to put trash. Label your containers accordingly:
- Donate: This is for items in good condition; items that you can imagine another person wanting or needing.
- Fix: This for items that need further tinkering or repair, such as a pair of shoes you love but need to be cleaned.
- Put Away: This container is for items that have gradually crept out of their assigned storage space. Now you know that sweatshirt does not belong in the kitchen. These things will need to go back in their designated spots.
- Recycle: This bin is for items such as paper, plastic, or glass.
No need to label the trash container. You know what it is for.
9:00 am to 12:00 pm:
- Strip the bedding from all the beds, including duvet covers, and sort like with like. Launder the sheets, blankets, pillows, and comforters.
- Vacuum the mattresses while the bedding is away from the beds. This is also a good time to vacuum under the beds and rotate the mattresses.
- Empty every garbage can and recycling bin and bring them outside. Hose them down, scrub scuffs with a Magic Eraser, and get muck out of crevices. Leave them to dry in the sun.
- Put bags of vinegar around shower heads.
- Clean the interior of the oven.
- Scrub your oven interior.
- Remove vinegar bags and scrub showers and tubs and clean the bathroom.
- Empty out drawers and cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen. Clean empty shelves and drawers. Put wanted items back in drawers and cabinets. Place all other items in the four containers or trash.
12:00 pm-1:00 pm: Lunch time! Take a well-deserved break and regroup your mind for the rest of the day’s tasks.
1:00 pm-4:00 pm:
- Spot clean upholstery and rugs.
- Dust every area you’ve tackled today and start at the top. This could include bookshelves, the tops of cabinets, light fixtures, light bulbs, furniture, door frames, picture frames, etc. You’re taking your duster and using it on every inch of dust from the ceiling down to the baseboards.
- Polish wooden furniture. Just like you focused on using one tool while you dusted, focus on one product here: wood polish. Hit every wooden item in your home.
- Wipe down cabinet doors. Murphy’s Oil Soap is great for wooden cabinets and an all-purpose cleaner and rag is fine for other materials.
- Clean doors. You’ve already dusted the frames. Now take a damp microfiber cloth (and maybe a Magic Eraser for stubborn spots) to the doors themselves, including knobs.
- Take down your curtains and begin washing those.
- Clean your windows. Take down screens or use a lint roller on them and clean window tracks.
- Clean the rest of the glass in your home. You’ve already dusted picture frames. Now clean the glass with a lint-free cloth and glass cleaner.
4:00 pm-6:00 pm:
- Replace bedding.
- Rehang the curtains.
- Return garbage cans to their rooms.
- Vacuum under furniture and under rugs.
- Vacuum the floors throughout the house now that the dust you stirred up from dusting has had time to settle.
- Clean your phone.
- Choose one area to declutter (closet, garage, pantry, etc.). You don’t need the sunshine to help you see what to declutter. See https://hortonhaulsjunk.com/decluttering-your-home for more suggestions.
- Make a list of tasks you wish you’d been able to do and make a plan for finishing them up during your regular cleaning routine.
- This is also a good time to get rid of unwanted items such as furniture, electronics, clothing.
6:00 pm: Order some pizza from Hungry Howie or Home Slice.
But wait a minute! You still have those four containers and possibly a mountain of trash bags. While you wait for the pizza to arrive, put away all the items in the Put Away container. Tomorrow, set aside time to repair or clean everything in the Fix container. What about the Donate, Recycle containers, trash bags, and other unwanted items such as furniture? You can take the time to sort and donate all the items yourself, perhaps even selling some items online. Be sure to follow the recycling laws in your area for paper, plastics, glass, etc.
Or why not contact Horton Hauls Junk out of Toledo, Ohio? They will come and remove all that stuff for you. All you have to do is point and a professional team will promptly remove it all. The company will donate many items to their various partners and recycle the recyclables. Everything else will be disposed of responsibly. The best part about it, the courteous workers will clean up after they finished.
Don’t let this long list prevent you from taking the steps to do your spring cleaning. You can do it!
“Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a dreaded list of chores. It can be a rewarding experience that helps provide some structure and organization in your life.”Peter Walsh
By: Derik Hicks