Hello blog friends! I’m glad you’re back to continue our weekly time on organization. This week will be Part 2 – Spring Cleaning. I’m writing this in the month of May and have been busy with spring cleaning myself. Of course what really motivates me is that I am having out of town guests. Nothing will get you in the cleaning mode more than having guests!
Spring cleaning is hard. Who invented it?! I Googled it to find out how it started:
In times past, when people kept their houses shut tight against the cold of winter, heated them with coal and oil and wood, and lighted them with candles, the coming of spring signaled a welcome opportunity to make a dingy habitation fresh again. On the first warm, dry day of the season, everybody in the family—that is, everyone in the family who had survived the ravages of the cold season—would pitch in to pull every stick of furniture and scrap of cloth outside. Then, armed with brooms and wash rags, one squad of housecleaners would return to the house, sweeping and scrubbing every corner and washing down the walls, while another would air out linens, remove soot and ash from couches and chairs, dust books and paintings, and mend a few items on the run.
Today, the thought of taking a day or weekend to turn our houses upside down seems a near impossibility. Who has the time? Besides, our modern centrally heated and cooled, climate-controlled homes don’t get oily, sooty, or smoky, and our washing machines and vacuum cleaners help keep the dirt from sneaking in.
True enough. Still, there are trade-offs: our houses are airtight, comparatively speaking, but they also can’t breathe. They’re full of chemicals and gas, from the components of floor wax to the microfibers of carpets. That our ancestors never knew.
- 1. Begin with a plan of all the areas you need to spring clean and then how and when you will get these done. Some of you will just take a whole weekend while others may work a few hours a day.
2. Go through each room and begin to collect clutter/items into cardboard boxes as well as items that need to be: cleaned; donated; stored away; or put back.
3. Make sure that your closets on your list. It’s time to swap out your winter clothes and bring in your spring and summer. Sort through and put in different stacks clothes that need to be cleaned, mended, donated or stored. Also, put away gloves, winter coats and boots.
4. All donated or garage sale items need to be placed in a special place in your home or garage until you have the time for the sale or to deliver the items.
5. Clean and freshen bedrooms. This is the time to rotate and flip mattresses. Wash blankets/comforters and mattress pads or take them to the cleaners. Wash pillows or hang them outside in the sun. Wash or dry clean all small rugs.
6. Clean bathrooms. Yes, we do this every week but now it’s time to battle clutter and refresh old products. Go through your medicine cabinets and safely discard any outdated products. Clean under the sinks and clear out/organize drawers. Replace worn bath mats or wash the ones you like along with shower curtains and liners.
7. Clean out your kitchen. Take time to clear out your pantry, kitchen cabinets and drawers. Wipe out or install fresh shelf paper. Store or donate equipment you don’t use. Discard stale spices or dated items such as baking powder. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer, discarding old items and wiping down the shelves. Vacuum the cooling coils under or behind the refrigerator.
8. Clean floors. Wash and/or wax floors, depending on their material. Deep clean rugs or have them professionally cleaned. Wash baseboards. Vacuum upholstery and draperies. Dust and wax wood furniture. Flip sofa and chair cushions.
9. Clean up, down and all around. Now is the time to clean light fixtures, ceiling fans and mirrors. Dust or wash window blinds and replace bent or worn blinds. Dust /wash or professionally clean curtains.
10. Wash windows. Wash your windows inside and outside. I use a professional window cleaner for the outside windows twice a year and then I do the inside ones myself. This is also the time to clean storm windows and screens.
11. Check batteries and stay safe. Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights. Purchase a fire extinguisher and keep it in the kitchen. Have an emergency area that has water, first aid kit, flashlights, etc. for any emergencies.
12. Evaluate how to better organize. As you go through your home spring cleaning, take another look at how you could organize better from your pantry and closets to your family room and bedrooms. The best way is to add shelving, hooks or plastic bins.
Manna from Heaven: If your home is like mine, you have areas that are clutter free along with areas you really don’t want anyone to see! Our hearts and minds are a lot like that – they accumulate lots of clutter. And as we continue to live in the world, we will inevitably pick up ungodly thoughts and attitudes. Before long, our hearts and minds are no longer clean and orderly. Paul wrote to the people of Corinth words to remind them to spring clean their mind and bodies:
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” I Cor. 6:19
I pray that as you spring clean your home, you will also take time with the Lord to clear your thoughts of bitterness, sensual thoughts, and wrong attitudes. Spend time outside in the beauty of God’s creation, fill up your heart with His love and make it “spring clean”!
Emotional Check-Up: Good Housekeeping Magazine surveyed moms across America and found that keeping the house neat is a number-one household struggle. So, please don’t get overwhelmed with your home or spring cleaning. If you can hire someone to help you, then by all means do. Get your whole family to help you. You can’t do it all so you must delegate. If you have a new born, now is not the time to spring clean! Just take life day by day, doing the best you can. Because having daily stress is one of the worst things you can do for your health.
Healthy Fit-Fact: One of the healthiest things we can do is to move our body which we usually do by exercising. But did you know that doing housework can be just as beneficial? Of course, it won’t get your heart rate up as a run or fast walk can. But for an overall, healthier lifestyle, you will be exercising as you clean your home, work in the yard or garden!
Next Week: What to do with all those stacks of paper and mail