It’s time for spring refreshing… here’s how to survive it!
Days are getting longer and sunnier. Grass is growing. Trees are adding new fresh leaves. Birds and wildlife are getting frisky. The gloom of winter is evaporating into sparkling sunshine. After months being cooped up in the burrow, its time for fresh air again. Hibernation is OVER!
Spring triggers high energy and near frantic activity. Humans have traditionally been inspired by good weather to spruce up their home, starting with the repair of any damage from the harsh winter months. Over time, this spring clean-up has morphed into what’s now called Spring Cleaning, It has actually become a tradition. I believe some people put things off all year just so they can have it on their “spring” list.
Spring Cleaning becomes a problem if you have many piled up issues. I’ve seen “recommended” spring cleaning lists that contain nine pages of tasks! I was exhausted just reading it. Who has time for all that? By the time you finish, it will be October.
If spring time joy inspires you, the last thing you need is some enormous task list to dampen your spirits. Instead, let’s make the most of your energy with a short, simple, powerful and efficient list.
Here is my spring list:
- Repair damage from any winter mishaps
- Develop a maintenance strategy and declutter plan
- Perform heavy deep-cleaning tasks
- Prioritize one-off, odd-ball tasks that do not happen every year
What’s not on my list
General maintenance and routine housekeeping tasks are not on my spring cleaning list. These items could, and should, have already been addressed during the year. If you wait to do all this work in the spring, you will be faced with an enormous amount of work, plus you will be living in fairly squalid conditions most of the year. don’t want on that stuff. Instead, develop a strategy to perform maintenance and housekeeping tasks over weekly, monthly or quarterly schedules. Do this and the tasks will be easier and surprise breakdowns will go away. As a bonus for being diligent you will enjoy a nicer home all year.
Develop a plan
If you have not yet created a maintenance strategy or a declutter plan for your home, perhaps those should be your first tasks on your spring-cleaning list. Go here for a complete guide to developing a long-term maintenance strategy. The same goes for housekeeping. Keep up with the obvious housekeeping stuff on a regular basis and you won’t have to worry about it come spring.
Ah! That removes many of your spring-cleaning duties right there. The final and more important task are what we will deal with in this article. Some is what I call heavy or deep-cleaning. The rest consists of one-off, or odd-ball repairs that require attention but may not require it on a regular schedule.
The spring deep-cleaning list
Heavy, deep cleaning is housekeeping on steroids. This is where you clean all the difficult and hard to reach areas that don’t otherwise get attention. Since these are hard to reach, safety must be taken into account when performing many of these tasks. The jobs will be different for every home but here is a good comprehensive list to get you started.
- Dust high areas: beams, tops of crown molding, door casings, artwork etc. (observe ladder safety)
- Wash both interior and exterior light fixtures (observe electrical safety)
- Clean ceiling fan motors and blades (observe ladder safety)
- Clean window curtains and clean/wash window blinds
- Vacuum books and bookcases (observe ladder safety)
- Wipe down wood furnishings and vacuum upholstered furniture (clean the base and under the cushions-keep the change)
- Clean area rugs and shampoo carpeting
- Clean all trash and garbage containers
- Clear out refer, freezer and ice maker
- Clean the interior of the cooktop hood
- Reorganize and clean out cabinets and drawers
- Disinfect all “tactile” items: switches, knobs, handles etc. and cutting boards
- Clean tub or shower walls and the shower heads
- Service area behind/under washer and dryer and vent (this should be included in your maintenance plan)
- Clean inside washing machine doors, especially front loader door gaskets
- Properly dispose of old cleaning products
- Disinfect remote controls and gaming devices
- Clean out office files and shred unneeded documents
- Sanitize your computer keyboard, and mouse
The spring oddball task list
The last and perhaps most important list includes one-off items that need attention. These are easy to overlook because they are not necessarily on any regular schedule. These items may be new and unfamiliar so they are a perfect way to channel a burst of spring energy. IF you have any of these, you may want to schedule them as recurring events on your calendar program so you won’t forget them two or more years down the road. Here are the items you might want to consider for this list:
- Winter damage repair: Roof repairs, gutter and flashing leaks, area drains, rotted fences, overgrown or sick tree removal etc.
- Create a regular maintenance strategy for your home if you don’t have one.
- Create and implement a declutter plan
- Every quarter: Clean/replace pet bedding
- Every 6 months: Paint inspection to create touch-up list.
- Every year: BBQ rehab: Disassemble, deep clean and replace bad parts
- Every year: Landscape tune up: Lawn aeration, thatching, irrigation timer and system check, fertilizing
- Every year: Clean/seal tile grout
- Every year: Throw out expired food/spices and organize pantry
- Every year: Sharpen knives
- Every year: Rotate/flip your mattress
- Properly dispose of expired medications and vitamins (do not flush down toilet or sink)
- Every year: Dispose of your old pillows and get fresh new
- Every year: Update home inventory documents.
- Every year: Detail your vehicles.
- Every year: Replace entry mat.
- Every two years: Outdoor furniture refinishing (observe fire safety).
- Every two years: Clean and refinish wood decks and exterior patios (be careful of fire risks).
- Every two years: Clean chandeliers (observe ladder safety).
- Every two years: Replace your shower curtains.
- Every two years: Condition your leather furniture.
Happy Springtime to you!
I know, this list is still too long. You might need to get some professional help if you plan to get it all done before summer. Even if you have to pay for some help, it is worth it to get this work behind you. Now that you know what to do, you should be able to find plenty of specialists who can help you get it done.