For the most part, there are really only two seasons in Phoenix: winter and summer. Ha! We go from 50/60 degree days to 80/90+ literally overnight. But, if you pay very close attention, there are a few days here and there that look like fall and spring. We, hopefully, will see some of those spring days in April and can “celebrate” a time for spring cleaning!
Of course, deep cleaning can be done year round, but that change of season from cold, short days to longer, pleasant weather days allow for you to turn off that HVAC unit, open the windows and really clear things out. That spring weather also gives the perfect opportunity to get your outdoor spaces cleaned up and ready for use through the summer.
Still, spring cleaning is a huge undertaking. It’s typically a much more extensive cleaning than you do in your home any other time of year and takes quite a bit more time and a lot more effort. It can seem so overwhelming that it might not even happen! So, to help you get started and make it more manageable, here are some spring cleaning tips:
- Start with Decluttering. You can’t really get to the actual cleaning when the house is full of clutter and completely disorganized. Start there. Don’t even worry about getting out the cleaning supplies and equipment yet. Begin with closets, cabinets, drawers, shelves and play rooms. Sort items for trash, donation, relocation and/or storage. Here are some great tips for organization from a fellow Scottsdale Moms Blogger.
- One Room at a Time. Don’t try to do it all at once. Systematically move room by room. First, declutter and organize each room, making notes about areas that will need extra attention. And then go back through those rooms one by one again for the deep clean. Trying to take on all the closets at once or starting in one room and halfway through getting distracted by a project in another room will likely leave you feeling like you aren’t making progress or are more disorganized than when you started. And give yourself time! Spring cleaning doesn’t happen in a day. Pick one room to do each day or week and tackle it in manageable bites.
- Overhaul your Cleaning Supplies. If you have a myriad of cleaning products or are still using high-chemical products with harmful ingredients, it’s time for a major overhaul of your supplies! “Less is more” is a great rule here. Too many products can create unnecessary clutter, but you also don’t need a ton of supplies to keep your home clean and fresh. Trade out toxic products that contain fragrance or phthalates, formaldehyde, ammonia, chlorine, bleach, or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) like 2-butoxyethanol or sodium hydroxide. Replace these products with cheap and easy to find products that you probably already have in your home like baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, borax powder, and even vodka! Puracy, Norwex and Branch Basics are great companies to purchase safer, cleaner home supplies from.
- Open the Windows and Purify the Air. Opt out of air fresheners and go with some good ole’ air freshening by opening all the windows in the house and leaving them open for a few hours to lift the stagnant air. Just doing this will improve the air quality in your home and you can also use it as an opportunity to change out any filters in your equipment, HVAC unit and get your dusting done.
- Go Deep and Use a Checklist. Because spring cleaning is such an undertaking and you are often cleaning spaces that get less attention or are forgotten about, it’s helpful to use a checklist to make sure you get everything done that you want. Ideally, space by space. Everyone’s list will look a little different, but here some ideas that you may need to include on yours:
- Microwave – a bowl of water, vinegar and lemon juice is a great option here
- Knife Block – disinfect by submerging and air drying
- Dishwasher – run a a hot cycle with white vinegar
- Tea Kettle – vinegar and water are also an easy option with kettles
- Coffee Maker – crazy tip: run a cycle with a couple of denture tablets!
- Trash Can – white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and essential oils do wonders
- Refrigerator – soap down and use baking soda and water mixture for scrubbing
- Blinds – follow up dusting with a microfiber cloth wet with warm water and vinegar
- Mattress – vacuum and baking soda to pull up odors and staining
- Furniture – a hot steamer is the way to go on upholstery
- Throw Pillows – toss in the dryer to freshen
- Washer/Dryer – white vinegar for washer, and cleaning vents and pipes for dryer
- Showers/Tubs/Grout – flush drains and scour grout with white vinegar
- Walls – Magic erasers are a miracle worker for scuffs and markings on the walls