Thursday, March 20, 2014

Refresh Your Home with a Springtime Cleaning

A traditional spring cleaning can be a great way to rejuvenate your home for the season.

Despite what the weather has already told us over the past two weeks, spring has officially arrived.

Time to banish the winter blah with a good old fashioned spring cleaning. Experienced homemakers know this is no small feat. As a relatively new homeowner myself, I’m not quite sure if I’m up to the challenge. I may have never washed a window in my life, but I do know how to vacuum. Or, to be honest, I do know that I at least HAVE a vacuum. Somewhere. Maybe.

So I looked up some tips to help me get started.

Start with a Plan

  • Jot down areas in your home that need the most attention, and tackle them one at a time. Haven’t washed your windows since you bought the house (like me)? Then now’s the time to go for it. Same thing with floors, walls and any of those weird spaces under, behind or above furniture that usually miss routine cleaning.
  • Make sure you have the tools you need. Stock up on whatever cleaning sprays, sponges, mops or cloths that you will need so you’re prepared for whatever tasks await in each room. It can be extremely frustrating when you’re just about to start dusting, only to find out you’re out of dust spray! Plan ahead so you’re well equipped.
  • De-clutter before you clean. Spring cleaning is the mother of all cleaning jobs. Handling routine upkeep beforehand, like throwing out old magazines or garbage, will save you some time before you really get started.
  • Assign tasks to other household members. My husband is great at following specific instructions. “Clean the bathroom,” might mean nothing to him, but providing him with an itemized list of what to clean in the bathroom with which products will result in a much better outcome and a cleaner room.


  • Open them! With weather this beautiful, it seems like common sense. Get a fresh breeze going throughout the house to remove stale odors and to ventilate fumes from cleaning products. Say hello to spring with some fresh air!
  • Wash them. Kids and pets who have been stuck inside all winter have probably left some serious smudges (or boogers) all over your glass. (I have two cats that spend a lot of time staring and sneezing in front of the window– TMI, I know.) It’s amazing how much brighter and more energizing each room will feel once the windows are sparkling.

Be Realistic

  • Clean, don’t cook. If you’re going to spend all day cleaning, you probably won’t want to cook. Don’t try to do it all! Heat up some leftovers or splurge for a pizza– either frozen or delivered. Besides, you probably won’t want to mess up your kitchen again or spend time on dishes after you’ve cleaned it.
  • Tackle small projects each day. If you think it’s impossible to get your whole house clean in a single day, you’re probably right. Do as much as you can, knowing that you can continue the work the following day or weekend. Even if you only finish 90% of your cleaning goals, that’s still a huge accomplishment!

After all of your hard work, celebrate your efforts. Enjoy your clean house with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. Spend some time relaxing on the porch in the beautiful weather. Depending on your budget, a fresh manicure is a fantastic post-spring cleaning reward. (Don’t your hands deserve a little pampering after scrubbing all day?) Spring cleaning might not be anyone’s favorite part of welcoming spring, but it can become an important ritual that helps you to more fully appreciate the beauty of the season, and of your home.

What are some of your favorite spring cleaning tips?

This post originally appeared on the Smart blog on March 20, 2012. Read the original post here, or check out my author archive for the blog.

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