Have you noticed the days getting longer? Every morning the sky is a bit brighter, and the sun is gaining strength. Spring is officially here!
all know that spring is the season for deep-cleaning your home (well, you might have started before the Lunar New Year). After being cooped up for the dark months, it’s time to wipe away the dirt and dust and open our homes (and our minds) for the coming summer months.
Also, between cold and flu season and the grey weather, spending most of our time inside, cleaning your home is more important than ever, mainly because you can’t disinfect surfaces without cleaning them first! Read our blog on how to disinfect correctly and which natural alternatives there are to chemical disinfectants.
Getting ready for Spring Cleaning
Before we tackle the wintery build-up of grime, there is a lot to do. If we start cleaning without proper preparation and a plan in mind, we get discouraged quickly and might abandon the whole spring cleaning project halfway through.
So it’s vital to get ready beforehand. Here are the tasks to do now so that spring cleaning will go over quickly, easily and without a hitch!
1. Declutter your home
Hoarding is a compulsive mental disorder where an individual finds it extremely difficult or even impossible to discard their possessions, collecting more and more belongings. Hoarders like those seen on the popular TV show Hoarders are rare, but most of us will admit to hanging on to our possessions. There are many tips for decluttering your home and stopping hoarding on a regular basis.
Everyone should declutter their home at least once a year. Research suggests that decluttering our homes can help our mental health by allowing us to focus on what’s important and relax, reducing stress and anxiety levels.
Furthermore, when decluttering in preparation for spring cleaning, we must go through our belongings and remove everything unnecessary. It can be clothes we haven’t worn in 6 months or more, toys that are not being played with any longer, unnecessary kitchen utensils and all damaged/expired items. Whatever is still in good shape could be sold or donated.
You can invite your children to help you or/and tackle their rooms. Depending on their age, supervision might be needed.
Going through our possessions and decluttering them will help us get the house into order, and we won’t have as much to clean in spring cleaning. Here are some areas to tackle:
- Personal Care Products
- Book Shelves, DVD/CD Collection, Toy Boxes
- Food Storage
- Kitchen Drawers and Cupboards
2. Wash everything
And I mean - everything!
Our tablecloths and placemats collect a lot of dust; we should wash them at least twice a year. If the covers of pillows in your living room and bedrooms are removable, they also deserve a good wash, as do your curtains. If you can wash your area rugs, bath mats and shower curtains, you should do so.
Always check the label to see if the item is machine washable. Anything that you can’t throw in the washing machine, you should shake out outside to remove loose debris. Carpets, area rugs, bath mats, and upholstery can be vacuumed with attachments to remove all dust and dirt. You might also consider professional, eco-friendly carpet cleaning.
It’s also a great opportunity to take care of your makeup and hair brushes. Soak them in warm soapy water to loosen dirt, grime and left-over makeup. Afterwards, gently work some natural dish soap or shampoo to clean them properly. Rinse them with warm water, then dry them thoroughly. For makeup brushes, it’s best to dry them upside down so the water won’t collect in the metal bristle holder!
3. Clear out and clean fridge and freezer
When was the last time you cleaned your fridge? What about your freezer? If your answer is somewhere between “Five years ago.” and “Never!”, then now is the perfect time.
Remove all items. Frozen products can be stored in a chest cooler until you are done. Thaw the ice from the freezer, and clean all compartments and shelves with warm soapy water. Before putting everything back into the appliances, check for expired products and discard them. Organize everything in a way that lets you see quickly and easily what you have at hand and with the upcoming expiration date at the front.
4. Clean appliances inside and out
Just like our fridges and freezers, our other appliances should be cleaned on a regular basis for their longevity and our health. So tackle your oven! You don’t need harmful chemicals either - our SuperScub Powder is a natural scouring powder perfect for eco-friendly oven cleaning!
You should also clean your other kitchen appliances: take apart the toaster, blender, food processor, microwave and others, and clean everything. Always make sure that the appliances are unplugged before you get started and that they are dry before you use them again. Descale your kettle and coffee machine with some household vinegar or citric acid - carefully read the manufacturer’s recommendations to see what is best to descale your appliances!
Your dishwasher and washing machine can be cleaned. First, remove any filters and wash them with a brush and some dish soap before putting them back in. Then put a cup full of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher and two cups of vinegar into the drum or detergent dispenser of your washer. Run the machine through a complete cycle on the highest temperature setting.
In order to clean your dryer, first empty the lint collector and clean it with a brush and dish soap, if necessary. Spray the inside of the dryer with All-Purpose Cleaner and wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to wipe the seal and the glass door as well, and remove dust, hair and dirt!
5. Muck out the junk drawer(s)
We all have that one drawer (or several!) where we put everything that has no other place in our homes. Again, this is one of those jobs that seems insignificant (and easy to hide away) when you’re doing a big cleaning day. But if left undone, it can lead to the accumulation of unnecessary cluttered junk and take away storage space.
Cleaning your junk drawer can be cathartic and rewarding. Even better, you can do it while you watch TV! Gather reusable containers such as glass jars, small boxes, or plastic containers that you can re-purpose as drawer organizers. Set yourself up in front of the TV (we recommend a bit of Marie Kondo for inspiration) and get to the task.
6. Make a checklist for Spring Cleaning
Organizing with lists is a good way to take stock of what you need to do. You’ll also get a sense of accomplishment after you check tasks off as ‘done.’
Start by dividing your home into rooms and big rooms into more manageable sections. In every room, separate the work into areas such as overhead cabinets or drawers and divide them into individual tasks. For overhead cabinets, tasks can include wiping the top of the cabinets, cleaning all shelves and the doors on the inside, wiping the outside and underside and cleaning the handle.
You can also refer to our complete spring cleaning checklist for inspiration.
7. Prepare your cleaning supplies
Last but not least, make a list of all the cleaning supplies you will need, and make sure you will have all of them at hand for your spring clean. Some basics include a good HEPA vacuum cleaner (make sure it’s in great working order with an empty bag/filter), cleaning cloths (preferably microfiber), sponges and a mop (again, microfiber if possible). You might also need a step ladder.
For cleaning products, it’s best to have specialized cleaners on hand. A glass cleaner is an absolute necessity for streak-free mirrors and windows. We recommend bathroom, kitchen, and floor cleaners, but an all-purpose cleaner will also do the trick. You will also need scouring powder and dish soap.
Be sure to run your supplies through the Environmental Working Group’s Guide To Healthy Cleaning to ensure that you are not swapping dust and dirt for harmful chemicals. AspenClean’s cleaning products are all rated A for the lowest hazard to health and the environment and are highly effective. Our Whole House Cleaning Kit is a great place to prepare for spring cleaning!
After you check these jobs off your list, you’ll find that you’ll already be ahead in your spring clean. They’ll also help make your big clean run smoothly.
So tackle this to-do list, and prepare for a deep spring cleaning! If you are still searching for the right supplies, find our non-toxic and effective (used by professional cleaners!) cleaning products here.