Winter Downtime: Get A Head Start On Your Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning napkinsSnowstorms, icy roads and chilly temps may be keeping you huddled inside your warm custom home this winter. Even though you are looking forward to spending warm spring days basking in the sunshine, once the snow melts you’ll need to start your annual spring cleaning. Don’t waste precious spring days decluttering and scrubbing. Instead, take advantage of winter by getting a head start on your cleaning routine.

Get Organized

Rather than grabbing a scrub brush and jumping in, take a few minutes to get organized. Start by making a checklist of the rooms in your home and adding in the tasks you hope to accomplish in each. A complete decluttering and deep cleaning isn’t a quick process, so prioritize the rooms that need to most attention, we like to use this floor scrubber rental for when we want some extra cleaning on our floors.

Nothing derails motivation like starting a project and realizing you don’t have the right tools for the job. Look over your list of tasks and take note of any cleaning supplies or storage containers you will need. Put together a tool kit of cleaning items and take it from room to room. This will help you stay on task and prevent you from running around looking for the things you need.

Out With The Old

It’s time to get ruthless. Parting with items isn’t easy, but holding on to unused clothing, kitchen gadgets, and video games leads to a packed house that is impossible to keep clean. When deciding if an item should stay or go, ask yourself two questions. Do you love it? Do you really use it? For clothing, also ask yourself if it fits, right now. If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” it’s time to get rid of it.

As you declutter and select items to get rid of, you’ll need to remove them from the house as soon as possible. It’s tempting to hold on to piles of items in hopes of taking them to a consignment store, giving them to a friend or holding a garage sale. These are all worthwhile ideas, but they typically just turn your decluttered items into new piles of clutter that stay around long past their welcome. Instead, arrange for a charity to pick up the items, or take them directly to a thrift store. Not only is this the quickest way to deal with unnecessary items, but you will also benefit from the tax deduction.

Scrub-A-Dub-Dub

Once you have cleared a room of all of the unnecessary items, it’s time to start your deep cleaning by starting at the top and working your way down. First, clean light fixtures and ceiling fans before moving on to dusting crown moldings and clearing corners of any cobwebs. Continue to work your way down, cleaning the walls and dusting furniture as you do. End your cleaning session at the floor by dusting baseboards. This is also the perfect time to scrub tile grout or shampoo carpets. While winter is an excellent time to wash the inside of windows, you will most likely need to save cleaning the outside of the panes for the spring.

Stay on Track

Once you are basking in your newly decluttered and scrubbed home, make a plan to keep it that way. Rather than cramming your entire deep cleaning routine into one annual spring or winter session, spread them out over the course of the year. Schedule a one room or a handful of your typical spring-cleaning tasks for each month.

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+Ken Uhrich likes houses. In fact he lives in one…and he writes about custom home building tips as well as home improvement tips and trends on the Custom Home Group blog.

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