If the thought of deep cleaning your entire house sounds daunting to you, then cheat.
We all live through seasons of busyness when we need to reevaluate our usual methods in favor of something simpler. Dedicating an entire weekend or more to spring cleaning might not be realistic for you right now. (It certainly wasn’t for me, last year, when I was finishing my book and getting ready to birth my son!)
If you’re too busy to deep clean, skip the traditional top-to-bottom spring cleaning this year and tackle just a few focus areas instead. Over the course of four Saturdays (or whatever weekday you choose), set aside about 2 hours to do one focus area of deep cleaning. Fill these time slots only with tasks that you do annually or bi-annually.
During the rest of your week, stick to your normal cleaning routine but focus on details you wouldn’t normally do in a quick wipe-down. For instance, if you normally clean the bathroom every Monday, stick to that schedule but the next time you clean it, clean the trashcan with soapy water or give the drains a de-clogging treatment. Or if you dust the furniture on Tuesday, take an extra couple of minutes to dust lampshades and the tops of picture frames. It won’t add much time to your normal cleaning time, but you’ll still make sure these “extras” are getting done. Here’s a checklist of spring cleaning detail work, if you’re not sure what to do.
After you’ve done all the detail work you want to do, you can go back to cleaning these areas as you normally would.
This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed by needing to set aside a whole day, weekend, or an entire week for spring cleaning.
For the focus areas, go around your house with a paper and pencil and write down what jobs need to be done. Then sort them logically into four groups and tackle one set each weekend for a month.
I recently asked you, my readers, what cleaning tasks you do just once or twice per year. I used your most frequent responses to create this sample of what a 4-week spring cleaning focus might look like for you.
Tip: Busy girls don’t always have time to make a Wal-Mart run for cleaning supplies! I highly recommend saving yourself a trip to the store and getting your supplies through Grove Collaborative, instead! They have discount prices on natural cleaning supplies from brands like Method, Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner’s. If you’re new to Grove Collaborative, you can get a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s handsoap + $10.00 store credit when you click through this link. They’ll deliver what you need straight to your door!
Saturday #1: The Kitchen
- Defrost the freezer and deep freeze; re-organize
- Clean the inside of the oven
- Clean behind the fridge
- Remove contents from cabinets and clean interiors
- Clean cabinet fronts
- Clean dishwasher (see how to do it here)
Saturday #2: Heating and Air Conditioning
- Dust/wet wipe blades and lights on ceiling fans
- Change air filters
- Vacuum/wet wipe air filter grilles and registers
- Clean outdoors air conditioning unit (Here’s a detailed how-to)
Saturday #3: Living Areas
- Wipe down baseboards
- Pull out heavy furniture; clean behind and underneath
- Wipe scuff marks off walls; touch up paint
- Rotate bed mattresses
- Clean washer and dryer (Instructions here)
Saturday #4: Windows
- Wash curtains
- Wash windows and windowsills, outdoors and indoors
- Wash window screens
- Clean blinds
Some of these might sound like complicated jobs, but they won’t take you as long as you think. I’ve found that the longer I postpone a task, the harder that task appears to be. Procrastination skewers our perception. In reality, when we actually collect our motivation to get things done, the tasks we dreaded aren’t so scary or time-consuming as we thought.
Splitting up the biggest spring cleaning jobs over four weekends, while adding detail work to your normal cleaning routine, will help stave off overwhelm and let you fit spring cleaning into your busy schedule in manageable chunks.