Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Now that Spring is finally here we can all emerge from our winter hibernation and enjoy the outdoors once again. By spending so much time indoors during the winter, however, our homes tend to accumulate quite a bit of… well… junk. By keeping so much junk in our environments we are welcoming mental clutter and unnecessary stress into our lives. Spring cleaning is a yearly solution to this inevitable build-up. Here is a step-by-step guide for cleaning your home and clearing your mind.
Start from the top down. If you have several rooms with the same clutter problem, start small. Work one room at a time. If you need to, set a whole day aside for spring cleaning so that you can be thorough and get the job done. Make sure all of your items have a “home” inside your home. Sort the accumulated mess by what “lives” in which room, then escort each item to its’ rightful place. If you think that you have just too much stuff to have a place for everything, check out these storage solutions from Better Homes and Gardens or possibly even consider donating items to local charities. Typically donations are tax deductable so donating can benefit you come tax season. Or, you could always have a yard sale.
Now that the mess is gone, the cleaning can begin. Again work from the top down. Dusting should be the next major step in the process. Open your windows for ventilation if the weather is right so you’re not constantly sneezing as you go. Get a fluffy dry duster and start at the highest surface, dusting all the way to the floor.  Get on top of ceiling fans, behind the TV, the tops of cabinets, book cases (the area behind the books), pictures or tapestries hanging on the walls, the tops of door ledges, appliances, etc…
Next, get some hot water and antibacterial dish soap, your favorite cleaner and some rags and get going. Look here for some Real Simple natural alternatives to strong chemical cleaners. Clean your windows, panes, tabletops, wall & door panels, light switch panels, trash cans, etc… Take your pets outside and brush out that thick winter coat that they will soon be shedding all over the house. Give them a bath while you are at it.
Once all surfaces are clean, finish with the floors. Sweep all hard surfaces getting under furniture and rugs and into corners. Vacuum area rugs and all carpeted areas. Don’t forget to pull out the vacuum hose and get all the corners against the wall, under chair and couch cushions as well as any stairways.
When this is all done, take a deep breath. Light a candle or spray some lovely air freshener if you wish. But with the spring flowers in the air, you probably won’t need it. Enjoy your clean home!

Check out these books for Spring Cleaning ideas:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Cleaning by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli

Garage Sale Magic! by Michael & Pam Williams

Real Simple Cleaning  by Kathleen Squires

For Packrats Only : How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Live Clutter-Free Forever! by Don Aslett

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