Spring is a boom time for getting things done around the home.
The weather has improved, there’s a long stretch of summer on the cards, and it just makes sense to wrap up winter with a good spring clean.
Easier said than done.
A massive home spring clean is not an idea that brings a smile to my dial.
The only thing that encourages me to just get down and do it with gusto is the feeling I’ll have at the end.
My home – and therefore my mental wellbeing – will be clean, fresh, orderly, and ready for a string of warm weather entertainment.
Now I’m motivated.
So in order to get this desired outcome, and not fall into an exhausted heap at the end of it, I have created a spring cleaning plan of attack.
I hope your home gets as much out of it as mine!
1. Eat the elephant one bite at a time
I like instant results, but not if it means locking myself in for a weekend of spring cleaning torture.
So the first step in my plan is to look at what I can get happening sooner rather than later, and how I can balance this out so my home is getting its spruce up, and I’m still enjoying life on the side.
Decision – outside jobs are going on hold until the warm weather has genuinely arrived.
Inside jobs are taking priority given they’re not weather dependent and I’ll feel like I’m getting stuff done if I see the interior freshening up first.
2. Break it down room by room
I’m looking at what needs to be done in each room, rather than going the scattergun approach; that just leaves me wandering throughout the house feeling like I am not getting anything done and making me want to pull my hair out.
Not a good look for spring.
The room that needs the most work is the kitchen, so I am starting with that, and will finish with the laundry, which needs the least amount of ‘bits of’ jobs, but actually requires a fresh lick of paint.
So my thinking – leave the painting until last when there’s more chance of a dry day, so I can open windows and keep the home fresh, as well as let the paint dry faster.
3. Getting brutal
This is where things become nasty.
I’m going to go through cupboards like an unforgiving tornado.
If there are any ‘staples’ in my kitchen that have not seen the light of day since before winter, then they’re going.
Food Bank accepts non-perishable food and grocery donations from the public, which are collected via food drives.
My plan is to tally everything up at the end and then find out when a food drive is happening in my area, or where I can go to drop it all off.
I’m also going to Facebook my mates in the area and see if they’re willing to do the same thing, so together we can all make a really solid contribution.
Similar approach for the bedroom.
All clothes are coming out, and going on the bed.
Before they’re hung back in the robe (all facing the same way, preferably colour coded – I’d like to start spring the way I want to finish it, this year) they’re undergoing a strict examination.
Has this been worn in the last year?
How many times?
Many – then it stays.
Not as many – then it goes into the ‘you’re on probation’ area of the wardrobe..
Hardly any – then it goes into a plastic bag, washed folded and ready for me to drop to the Salvos down the street.
If you’re in need of some spare cash then consider a local market – could be a good way to get rid of some great threads, and earn some cash at the same time.
4. Red tape
I am such a sloth when it comes to administration.
All important documents, tax notices, council letters etc just get shoved into a certain cupboard so I can get them quickly out of sight and out of mind.
The result – a burgeoning shelf of disarray.
I’m off to the newsagent to get a quality binder, and everything’s going into plastic envelopes marked accordingly and then filed away.
I want something simple – no hole punching of documents – so that I continue this practice after my spring clean madness, and all this effort doesn't go to waste.
I can’t tell you how in control of life I will feel once all this admin is arranged.
Forget the home – I will feel like a massive weight has been lifted!
5. The wash up
Do you associate certain homes with a distinct smell?
Something you could detect anywhere and say to yourself, that smells just like the Smith’s house?
I am not sure if this is actually an attribute about which I should be admitting, but I can definitely identify home-centric smells.
My theory is it all comes down to the washing liquid used on clothes and linen.
It’s all-pervasive, even if it is subtle (in some cases).
I prefer to use a natural liquid with essential oils – just a personal preference as I have never been big on chemicals, especially in the home.
A spring clean is a chance to really give everything a good, proper wash and airing.
Spring summer clothes – in the machine they go, and then out on the line.
Linen, cushion covers, washable matts… Even the cat (although of course he will be washed in the sink by hand!).
This home is going to look and smell like it’s super clean and ready for spring.
6. The replacements
I’m doing a tally of everything in the home that needs to be smartened up.
This isn’t always as obvious as it seems, I think.
Some features can become a little like grandma’s wallpaper – they’ve just always been there and as a result you never see them.
If they were in someone else’s home, you’d probably zero in on them like a hawk.
For me (so far) it’s the blinds; they’re not going to cope with the summer sun and I need to upgrade them before the heat arrives.
I also need to replace a door and do some re-sealing in the bathroom.
I am not going to know myself after this.
7. The great outdoors
OK so I’m getting out to this area last (but not least!).
As I said earlier, that will be timed with the better weather, but I think we all knew really I was just procrastinating…
The easiest way to spring clean my outdoors is to start with the garden.
A solid weeding and zealous trimming of hedges and a few citrus trees and it’s going to look instantly better.
Now you've cleaned up that area - is there room to finally put that watertank in you've been meaning to?
It's the perfect opportunity now the ground is starting to dry out.
The shed and the fence – these have an ability to be like grandma’s wallpaper as well, which is particularly astounding for the fence, given it essentially ‘frames’ the home.
Check the fence to see if it could do with a fresh coat, give the shed a good going-over with the broom so you get rid of spider webs and general muck that’s built up during a rainy winter.
Inside the shed, and it’s no different to the severe culling you would have given your cupboard contents by now.
Be brutal, but also play it safe.
If there’s anything toxic in there then make sure lids are on tight and, if you have kids or pets, that they’re stored out of harm’s way.
And now that you’re on a mighty roll, why not finally give the outside that decking it’s been yearning for?
It’s not a spring clean, granted, but it’s going to be a mighty spring lift, and think about how awesome the barbies are going to be…
I’m on fire. Got to shut down the laptop and get into this!