Spring has sprung! Well, okay, not technically; the official first day of spring isn’t until March 20th. But Daylight Savings Time has started (yes, I will be whining about the lost hour incessantly until I get it back later this year), and, at least where I live, blooming things are starting to bloom.
Kind of makes you feel like cleaning, right? (crickets….)
Well, maybe not all of us love to clean, but I’m guessing most of us love the results – the lack of grime, grease, dust and clutter which results from a little daily/weekly/monthly effort. But the more sporadic the effort, the more intimidating the task can become. Many of us put off little cleaning projects for later (“oh, I’ll wipe down the baseboards during spring cleaning!”) and then put off the larger effort altogether because it seems so overwhelming (“oh, I’ll take care of spring cleaning after the zombie apocalypse; the breakdown of society will leave me with lots of free time on my hands and a strong desire to avoid public spaces”). The end result is that stuff never gets done.
I don’t pretend to be a cleaning guru, but one thing that works for me is to try to break down big cleaning projects into small ones. I try (though I don’t always succeed) to spend 15 minutes “straightening up” a day – this might mean throwing things out from the refrigerator that have morphed from “food” to “horrific science experiment” or wiping down the stove (a seemingly never-ending project; I never get it entirely clean and it gets dirty almost as soon as I finish cleaning it), or going through a stack of mail/papers and throwing away the detritus. Ideally, this means that when weekly cleaning rolls around things are just a little bit cleaner, neater and better organized.
I also try to attach a slightly larger project (say, 30-60 minutes) to my weekly cleaning. This may involve cleaning out the junk drawer, going through old CDs and listing them on Music Magpie, ( deep cleaning the living room rug (so much cat hair!), or cleaning the windows in one of the rooms (I use a mixture of vinegar and water – nothing smells like “clean” to me like the sharp smell of white vinegar!). Or I tackle the baseboards in a room or two (vinegar and warm water is good here too, along with a good sponge or even a Magic Eraser for scuff marks).
Now, there are potentially an endless number of these medium-sized cleaning projects; I’m never quite “done” and I could (and sometimes do) plan an extra super-sized “spring cleaning”, whatever the time of year, to really get decluttered, clean and organized. But these mini-spring-cleanings keep my home cleaner and more organized throughout the year, and ensure that the larger cleaning project is never *too* overwhelming.
So don’t delay! It may be spring cleaning time now, but you can spring clean throughout the year and keep your house in better order from January through December.
Jennie has contributed to Imperfect Women since its inception in 2009. She writes about politics, celebrity news, and anything else that catches her interest.