4 Steps to Simplify Spring Cleaning

I’m hoping that it’s safe to say that spring has finally sprung in New England!

It felt that way finally here in eastern Massachusetts this past weekend. Besides the obvious signs of the budding trees and the greening of the grass, I must have changed my outfit about three times on Sunday.

In the morning, I still had to bundle up to walk my dog/buddy Jasmine. But by lunchtime, I had shed most of those layers. Yet, when sunset rolled around, I had put a few of those layers back on.

That’s just how it is here in New England in early spring.

But another clear sign of spring is the motivation I find to clean the house, which isn’t a favorite activity of mine. I always say I don’t really like to clean, but I hate a dirty house more. Like everything else, it’s easier and less time consuming when you have a well-ordered system and access to the right tools.

It got me thinking about a recent conversation I had with one of my friends. She told me that she decided to discard all of her outdated house cleaning tools and replace them with more modern, easy-to-use options.

Gone are the days when bulky buckets of water, detergent, and huge unwieldy mops are required to clean the kitchen floor – when a Swiffer will do.

I find cleaning on a fairly regular basis not as daunting and time consuming as it used to be because I use the tools and systems to make the job easier.  

Here are 4 steps to simplifying your spring-cleaning:

First of all, centralize all of your tools in one place. When we moved to our new home, one of my goals was to keep all of our cleaning tools together, within easy reach. I didn’t want to have to walk too far to grab the dustpan and broom when we needed to quickly sweep something up.

Centrally Organized Cleaning Tools

Second, consolidate all the supplies needed to clean the bathrooms into a single bucket. In my bucket, I keep color-coded cleaning cloths (pink for the sink, gold for the bowl) and sponges that are only used in the bathroom. Each time they are washed, I put them right back in the bucket.

Third, invest in a small vacuum to use in between your more thorough cleaning sessions. A lightweight vacuum is a lot less intimidating for me to pull out than our 30-year-old Electrolux (Yup, it was a wedding present from my parents!), and much easier to use when vacuuming the stairs.

Cleaning Supplies

Last but not least, dust. Personally, I would rather do just about anything than dust. Primarily, for this chore, I still use the old-fashioned soft cloth and spray. In between, I occasionally do a quick touch up with disposable cloths you can buy specifically for this purpose in the grocery or department store.

I find these four simple steps help make a not-so-simple task easier to complete and keep up with on a regular basis. When was the last time you evaluated how you do your spring-cleaning? Is it time to centralize your tools and supplies?

Ta-Da Tip Of The Month

In these pictures above you will see my favorite cleaning tools. I keep them all at the top of the basement stairs which happens to be right in the middle of our house. Easy access is the name of the game for me.

Here is what I use, and why:

  • Upright dustpan and broom –Gone are the days when you have squat down to sweep up small spills. As I get older, this upright design has become a much better option.
  • Swiffers – I have two different types. I have a Swiffer Sweeper for dusting hardwood floors and dry surfaces, and a Swiffer WetJet for tile surfaces. They work like a charm and best of all you get to ditch the dust and dirt right into the trash when you are done.
  • BONA for hardwood floors – We use a BONA brand hardwood floor mop to clean the floors. The spray cleaner was recommended to us when we had our floors re-sanded and the microfiber cloth is re-useable. Just throw it in the wash when you are done.
  • Bucket with bathroom supplies – As I mentioned above, I collect everything I need to clean the bathrooms in one bucket, all ready to go when I am.
  • Do you have high ceilings? There are a number of extension tools on the market with multiple attachments that will help you eliminate those hard-to-reach cobwebs or change those hard-to-reach lightbulbs. No ladders necessary.

Most of these products have been on the market for quite some time. Chances are you may already use them, or have friends who do. The trick to well-ordered spring cleaning or really everyday up-keep is to have the right tools for the job, within easy reach when you need them. TaDa!

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