Spring Cleaning Time!
There's something about the fresh air, the green trees coming back to life, and the flowers blooming everywhere that inspires you to get your home looking just as nice as nature. With the madness of the holiday season well behind you and the cold winter days fading away, Spring is the perfect time to clean up, clean out, and start fresh.
Out With the Old
I suggest getting the kids out of the house for this step. After the influx of new Christmas toys, I eventually had a full-blown meltdown over the amount of stuff in our house, so my husband took the kids to grandma's for the day, and I indulged in some organizational therapy.
- Toys: I pulled every toy bin/caddy/drawer into the living room, turned on a rom-com, and then ruthlessly tossed every plastic knick-knack, ignored toy, toys that made way too much noise, and board games with missing pieces into the recycle bin, garbage can, or donation box. I swear the walls of the house stood up a little straighter when I was done
- Kitchen: Much like the dryer eats socks, I feel like my cabinets eat various tupperware lids and bases, so again, I pulled them all out of the shelves and if they didn't have both pieces, they were stained, or they were older than my kids, they hit the recycle bin. Ahh...zen. I also organized the pantry by putting all baking items on one shelf, breakfast items on another shelf, and canned goods, pasta, rice, etc on another shelf. The last shelf was a bit miscellaneous, but hey nobody's perfect, so the oils vinegars, and other tasty meal enhancers landed there. I found candy from both Halloween and Christmas hiding in there, as well as a bag of marshmallows that were hard as rocks that hit the garbage can.
- Bedrooms: My husband is a bonafide t-shirt hoarder. Holes in the armpits, stains on the front, threads unraveling, he cares not. For him, it's about quantity, not quality apparently. So I started there. Clothes that were torn, stained, hadn't been worn since college, went into the donate bag. Luckily, I have friends with younger kids, so any clothes my two babies had outgrown went to them. Again, the house breathed a sigh of relief.
Top to Bottom
When taking on the task of cleaning the whole house, make it as efficient as possible. If you start at the top and work your way down, all the dust & crud will land on the floor and you can get rid of it in one clean sweep right at the end, pun intended. I like to start with the ceiling fans and give them a good vacuuming and wipe down. Next, I tackle the bathrooms. I like to let the toilets marinate in cleaner while I scrub the showers and vanities, then scrub the bowl while wondering when my son and husband will ever learn urinate INSIDE the toilet and not on literally every spot on the outside of the toilet and on the floor. Then, kitchen counters and stove top. Lastly, dust, sweep, vacuum, mop. Done
Even if you don't think you have a green thumb, there are some simple things you can do to spring-ify your outdoor space. Adding a fresh layer of mulch to your flower beds makes them look like new and gives the plants a background that makes them pop. Planting herbs is a great way to add beauty to a back porch, window sill, or small garden. If you are nervous about keeping them alive, try planting mint, rosemary, and oregano. They grow and spread quickly, and it's almost impossible to kill them. Added bonus: they make your food taste like it was made by a pro.
Side Note: I say "I" when talking about Spring Cleaning, but believe me my husband pitches in and so do the kids, when they can. It's just that they (mostly he) need direction; a lot of direction, and I'm happy to provide that instruction. And sometimes, I actually find it therapeutic to kick everyone out and do it myself. Rage cleaning is when I'm at my most productive.
- Heather Lindow