It is another beautiful sunny day which inspires me to to continue my posts about spring. I decided to attempt the topic of spring cleaning. Just the word "cleaning" brings mixed feelings. The thought of hours of cleaning sounds dreadful, but yet I know how much satisfaction and joy I have when my house is transformed and sparkles. I grew up with a family of women, who I think enjoyed this laborous chore, or at least never complained. My mother was one of these women! I remember coming home early mornings from spending the night at a friends so I would be there to help. As the years have passed into adulthood I have grown to appreciate what she has taught me. But trust me, at the time, I never understood what was soooo important about cleaning!!! After all watching the smurfs was so much more important. So what is my process? I am going to attempt to explain it.
I have to make everything an experience to appreciate the joy I receive through the cleaning process. Create your own environment.
- Wear something comfortable but yet sexy! Why not feel good while you work!!
- Grab your drink of choice...I have to have my iced coffee with soy milk before my brain and body can accomplish anything. Yes, my crutch, but I do get so much joy from my coffee.
- Music, music, music. And play it loudly. And yes your neighbors can enjoy it as well. I have to open all the windows to get that fresh air in.
- Start with the hardest room first. For me, that is the kitchen. I get it done and feel like I have accomplished a lot in that first room. (Finish a room before moving on to the next. This makes you feel like you're making progress.
I love this kitchen -especially with all of the color on the counter tops. Wish this was the kitchen you had to clean?
Here we go-
- Prepare a bucket of hot water with non-toxic detergent. Pick your fragrance of choice.
- Clear off all counter tops and free them of clutter. Put everything away in its proper place. It's always a good idea to go through your cabinets first and de-clutter and sort.
- Clean all appliances on the inside. (I wait to turn on the self cleaning on stove until I am done with the kitchen because of the smell.)
- Wipe down all cabinets, woodwork, walls, appliances, counter tops and any other surface.
- Clean sink. I like to use the Barkeepers Friend. I also use this on pots and pans; it's great for many things.
6. Clean all windows. This is my favorite because there is nothing like seeing the outside of the world through a clean lens. I think this makes the biggest difference. My mother always did this first in every house I would move to.
7. Clean all light fixtures. Take down any glass and clean well. Put fixture back together.
8. Vacuum floor.
9. Mop floor. I prefer to do it by hand so that every corner and hard-to-reach spot is cleaned.
10. Turn the oven on for it to self clean.
11. Stand back and enjoy your new kitchen and the satisfaction of your hard work.
12. Move on to the next room.
For living rooms:
- Vacuum under all cushions
- Take out area rugs
- Clean lamp shades
- Have window treatments sent to the dry cleaner
- Wash all linens. I love to hang them outside on a sunny day for the fresh air to dry them. I love climbing into bed at the end of a long day and smell that clean freshness.
Good luck on your spring cleaning projects. Make them all about the experience and joy you can get out of this process. Remember to make it your own and add things that you enjoy. Another way to add fun into cleaning is to clean with a friend. Take turns helping each other out with both of your houses. Make a day of it: make a fabulous lunch and use the time to catch up with what's going on in your lives.
Last, but not least: Buy fresh flowers and arrange in a vase for those special clean rooms. I would love to hear what products you like to use or what ideas you have on cleaning. It's always nice finding new ways to improve my own cleaning process.