The clocks have sprung ahead, and we are just two days out from the calendar proclaiming it’s Spring! While the freezing temps and snow on the ground may say otherwise, it’s the perfect time to get your nest tidy for the sunny days ahead. While the thought of spring cleaning may have you discouraged, we hope that our tips for a healthier cleanup will have you encouraged for a sparkling spring ahead!
For some people the hardest part of spring cleaning may be finding the motivation! Especially after a year of spending more time at home, your house may look more like a crime scene than a spring clean! No worries! Take a deep breath and before you get too overwhelmed, it’s spring cleaning, not speed cleaning; don’t feel like you must get it all done at once!
Make a list. List all the major things you want to get done, such as cleaning windows, walls, cleaning out your closet, cleaning out the fridge, changing your curtains, whatever you feel you want to accomplish.
Prioritize. Take your list of all your to-do’s and put them in an order that feels right! Start with the biggest needs and put your wants towards the bottom. Maybe you really want to clean out your closet, but if your windows are so dirty you can’t even see through them, the windows should be towards the top!
Think Smarter, Not Harder: If you really want to shampoo the carpets, clean your windows, and change the curtains first. Then all the dust and debris from the windows and curtains that will land on the carpet can be part of the carpet cleaning once instead of having to do it twice. Wash down your shower walls before you scrub the tub. No one gets a prize for the most miserable spring clean. Make is easier and it will be less stressful!
Plan Your Playlist: What? Playlist? YES! Make a playlist of your favorite music. You know! The songs you just want to dance and sing along to! Add in the songs that you love no matter how many times you hear them. These will keep you hyped up and moving and grooving while you spruce and organize.
Think Green! Yes, St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday but that doesn’t mean you can’t think green! Are the products you are using to clean your space ones you feel good about? Many at home cleaners and supplies are costly and you’d be surprised at how many items already in your cupboards that are affordable and less toxic! Do you have items at home that you can recycle like old shirts, or towels for rags? This is great for the environment and your wallet too!
http://eartheasy.com has a great list of everyday items and what they can actually do:
- Baking Soda – cleans and deodorizes.
- Soap – unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders, or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
- Lemon – effective against most household bacteria.
- Borax – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
- White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains, and wax build-up.
- Cornstarch – can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs. Use this to scrub your tub and it will NEVER be more sparkling!
For a multi-purpose at home cleaner try mixing 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2-gallon (2 liters) water. This is great for cleaning counters, floors, bathroom fixtures, etc. Don’t be nervous about the vinegar; yes, you will smell it at first, but it leaves behind no odor. (You can also use a little water and vinegar to clean the salt stains off your boots!
Be Safe! Cleaning may seem like a safe activity, but it can be one of the easiest ways to get injured in the home. Dress appropriately, wear one of your masks and protective glasses to keep from breathing in harmful substances or getting different things in your eyes. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear as mopping and cleaning floors can be slick and bumping your toe while moving furniture can hurt a lot less with a shoe on. Speaking of moving furniture, don’t try to be a hero, and ask for help. Practice safe lifting techniques by lifting with your legs and always asking for help when the task needs assistance. Be mindful or cords, mops, vacuums, and other accessories that can make it easy to trip on while getting your cleaning done. Lastly, use a ladder or step stool. Too many people try to get creative when trying to reach tall items and end up taking nasty falls…don’t end up in the E.R. over something silly!
As we round out one year of staying home, it’s a perfect time to give your space the time, attention and tidying it deserves! Studies show that being in a messy, cluttered, or disorganized space can contribute to feelings of anxiety. We want you feeling well and feeling content in your freshly prepared space! If cleaning isn’t for you, well, here’s a little tip we found online. “Keep lots of get-well cards on your mantle, that way if your house is a mess you can just say you have been too sick.” Otherwise make the most of it, have some fun, be safe and start spring off right with a clean sweep.
Director of The Wellness Center