Warm weather is right around the corner and the longer days and higher temperatures help motivate me to get my house out of hibernation.
Deep cleaning my house is never something I am energized to do in the colder winter months, but spring cleaning certainly adds an extra spring to my step, too.
I honestly can’t tell you how happy it makes me seeing (and smelling) my house in the immediate moments after I have cleaned it from top to bottom.
With a full-time job and a busy family, I don’t have a ton of extra time. Does this sound familiar?
I have learned some good life hacks when it comes to house cleaning.
I actually enjoy doing it — and really appreciate how lovely my house is to be in when my chores are complete!
Whether you were born with a mop and bucket in your hand or are a slow learner like me, I have dedicated this month’s message to help all of you add some sparkle to your house – and some simple ways to do it!
• Mean, Green and Clean: OK, I was just looking for a pun here as there is nothing mean about using sustainable products that are safe for your family and the environment.
There are many great green options out there that help me add sparkle to my house without a lot of extra chemicals.
Antibacterial microfiber cloths have been a life changer for me and helped me streamline my cleaning steps.
I have done away with virtually all non-organic cleaning chemicals and disposable cleaning supplies — no more paper towels or antibacterial wipes for our family.
My home is cleaner than ever, and I do not have to spray everything with harmful chemicals and then wipe it clean.
Most of these products are antibacterial from the tiny silver particles threaded into the fibers.
The cloth then disinfects itself naturally while it dries, ready for its subsequent use. My toilets and sinks need a little more help, especially with two young boys frequenting them — but I love that I can still go green and keep their bathroom smelling as if they don’t even use that room!
There are many alternatives for antibacterial cleaning supplies.
Still, having seen the magic that my new cleaning arsenal has done on my home, I encourage all my readers to give this type of product and cleaning style a try!
• Simplify and Schedule: You need to have a system and order to your cleaning.
Start at one end of the house and complete one room at a time — this will save you from backtracking your steps and all that back and forth.
I used to do my bathrooms first, then focus on dusting before vacuuming the entire house.
Once I started with one room — in my case, the bathroom — and worked my way from room to room — I was amazed at how much quicker the process went.
Your system should ideally work from top to bottom, left to right.
This keeps you from having to go back and redo areas that may have gotten soiled after you dusted the places above them!
For example, start with ceiling areas down — any dust you miss will land on the floor or tables.
Anything you miss from dusting your tables will land on the floor, which will be sucked up by your trusty vacuum!
• Share The Workload: Whether you have kids at home or live with a spouse, sibling or roommate, there are ways to make the cleaning process spread out and shared.
My cleaning day usually occurs on one of my days off.
It goes much more smoothly if I have done my decluttering homework all week.
Think about it: How much of your cleaning time is simply moving things off of surfaces so you can properly clean them?
If you spend a minute or two daily making sure that the clutter is under control, you will get to cleaning more efficiently.
For example, my oldest son is responsible for ensuring there are no toys or clothes on the floor in any room while my youngest son gets counters and tabletops.
Any items they find go in the basket at the bottom of the steps that get put away by the owners later.
Sometimes that “later” becomes “much later,” but that is an article for another day!
If you give each family member a declutter job (or assign yourself one each day), your cleaning will zip by, and you will have more time to sit and relax in that sparkly clean house of yours.
• Prepare your arsenal: Keep a caddy of your favorite cleaning supplies in several rooms in your house.
This way, you are never far from the supplies you need.
For starters, have a counter cloth at each sink of your house (kitchen and bath), dust cloth in each non-bathroom area, and a vacuum on each floor if you have carpeting.
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)