There are three things that are sure in life: death, taxes and the need for spring cleaning.
The best piece of advice I can give you about cleaning is pay for a cleaner. If you’re reading this, however, I assume you’re like me and this is not an option. And even if you do have one, the reality is they’re doing business as usual, and sometimes… no, always, things eventually need more care and attention than the weekly spruce-up. When this happens, I notice every mark on the door and scuff on the skirting – usually accompanied by loud complaints about what a pigsty the house is becoming. Opening up a drawer forces a Pavlovian response when the next thing you know, I have all the utensils on the bench and am scrubbing in the corners, muttering darkly all the while.
I’m a school teacher, and even when I was a single mum with my two children at home, I’d attempt to spring clean every room of the house every one of the four school holidays to get rid of this urge. However, achieving this goal was challenging (if not impossible), put me under pressure, and wasted days that could’ve been spent doing better things. So here’s the system I’ve developed to avoid this cleaning overload and instead tackle it in bite-sized chunks. I want to credit Flylady for her idea of zones, which I have tweaked to my needs.
Create a list of rooms / areas.
In our house we have:
- kitchen / scullery
- dining area
- living room
- master bedroom
- walk-in wardrobe
- son’s bedroom
- daughter’s bedroom
- garage / laundry
This is 12 separate areas. You then group them evenly (eg don’t put the kitchen with the bathroom), and since you want to be getting to each area every four weeks, you make four groups (Four weeks is my sweet-spot by the way. You will know what yours looks like, and adjust accordingly). Mine look like this:
Area 1: kitchen / scullery, dining area, living room
Area 2: master bedroom, walk in wardrobe, ensuite
Area 3: hallway, son’s room, daughter’s room
Area 4: bathroom, toilet, garage / laundry
Each area has the following tasks to do in this order:
- wipe out and tidy drawers
- deep dust (remove books, ornaments etc and dust the whole surface)
- deep clean (inside microwave, wipe down inside oven, wash rangehood filters)
- clean out rubbish bins
- clean doors
- clean light fittings
- clean skirting
- vacuum room edges
- clean windowsills and joinery
- wash windows
- dust for spiderwebs
You want to dedicate anything between 15 minutes and an hour tacked on to your weekly cleaning, depending on what your day is looking like to work through this list. Alternatively, you can aim to just do 15 minutes a day, or two tasks six days a week. Keep track of where you got up to and the following week, move on to the next area. When you return to the area, begin where you left off last time. Over time you will cover all the rooms and all the tasks.
I had this system going in my previous house and when we put it up for sale we didn’t need to do any extra frantic cleaning inside- not even when we packed up and moved out. That was when I knew I had something that worked.So what do you think? Pros? Cons? Any suggestions on how this could work better, or how you handle spring cleaning in your home?
So what do you think? Pros? Cons? Any suggestions on how this could work better, or how you handle spring cleaning in your home?