Make your home “fresh as a daisy” with minimal effort
Spring is almost here and it is time to think about making our houses fresh and clean after many months of being closed up. But, who has time to get on your hands and knees like our mothers used to do and spend days washing down every room?
In today’s hectic world we want a clean house with the least amount of effort. Below are some suggestions to get you started on that fresh-as-a-daisy home.
Where to begin?
One of the biggest problems is knowing where to begin. Before you begin dragging out the buckets, mops, and sponges first make yourself happy by turning on your favorite music and turn up the volume. Then:
De-clutter—don’t fret over what you are going to throw away, instead, focus on what you and your family truly need, treasure, and use. Look at the objects in each room and ask yourself if they belong there and help you use the room the way it was intended. Remove the items that don’t accomplish that goal. According to Peter Walsh, organization expert and author of It’s All Too Much, there are two kinds of clutter—1. I might need it one day clutter, and 2. Memory clutter. “Memory clutter” is items such as every picture your child has drawn since age 2. The “Might need it one day clutter” includes those skinny jeans you hope to get into someday and the boots in the back of your closet you paid too much for to throw away. Walsh says the “might need it someday clutter” keeps you in the future and the “memory clutter” keeps you in the past. Both are preventing you from living in the present. Walsh has devised a simple plan for attacking clutter:
Peter Walsh’s F.A.S.T. Plan for Clutter
Fix a time to de-clutter
Anything not used for 12 months — if it hasn’t been used in a year, get rid of it
Someone else’s stuff — if it doesn’t belong to you, it has to go
Trash — unusable items and garbage definitely should be tossed
Prepare to clean—gather up all your supplies in one place before starting to eliminate trips all over the house looking for last minute items. Put cleaning sprays, sponges, polishing clothes, dusters, paper towels, newspapers, old sheets, drop cloths, etc. into a caddy or bucket; round-up the vacuum and its tools; gather the family (this should not be a one woman’s job) and go to work.
Time to rearrange—as you move furniture away from the baseboards to be cleaned also take time to clean the carpet next to the baseboards with the crevice tool of the vacuum and go after all those dust bunnies under furniture and in the corners. This is the time to rearrange the furniture to give the room a different look and prevent wearing patterns in the carpet.
Give everything a good cleaning—be sure to vacuum all carpeting and throw rugs, mop floors, dust and wax furniture, and clean away dust at air vents. Don’t forget to wipe away dust and cob webs from light fixtures and shades and hunt for the cobwebs that like to hide in corners and near ceilings.
Let in the light—to make sure the room sparkles clean the windows and window treatments. Mix 1 cup of water with ¼ cup white distilled vinegar and ½ teaspoon dishwashing liquid, pour into a spray bottle and shake it up. Spray on windows, clean and polish them off with a microfiber cloth—voila, clean windows! Wash or gently vacuum the curtains or window treatments.
Open up the windows—the best freshener is nature’s own breezes. Once the temperature is warm enough open the windows and let the breezes blow through the room to rid the house of last winter’s blahs.
Progress to the next room—after one room is complete then gather up the tools and family (kids off the computer and phones) and go to the next. Take one room at a time rather than trying to do the same job (such as window cleaning) in all the rooms at once. With a feeling of a goal accomplished this gives extra energy for tackling the next room.
Now sit back, put your feet up, pour yourself something refreshing to drink, and read a good book—you deserve it!
- Clean your home in March – before spring arrives (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Green Spring Cleaning Tips by Liza Barnes, Health Educator (mariadorfner.wordpress.com)
- Its not about the stuff! (storiesnotstuff.wordpress.com)