Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted six more weeks of winter, but that doesn’t mean you should put off spring cleaning. If you’ve been hibernating in your home all winter, now is the time to dust off those cobwebs, open up the windows and get out your cleaning supplies.
If you’re like most people, spring cleaning sounds about as appealing as waiting in line at the DMV. It’s one of those things that’s easy to brush aside based on the fact that you’re too busy, too tired or just completely opposed to devoting your free time to dusting.
The truth is, spring cleaning—like self storage—can make your life better. So how do you tackle the task if you’re not exactly Martha Stewart? By utilizing the following Real Person Approved spring cleaning hacks.
Don’t Do it All in One Day
What sounds better: A long Sunday brunch or a long Sunday morning mopping your kitchen floor? For those of us who hate spring cleaning, part of the agony is how much time it takes up. It’s like regular cleaning but so much longer. Avoid sacrificing too much free time by breaking up spring cleaning over the course of one or two weeks. Schedule a few hours out of every day or plan on tackling a few big cleaning projects a week and before you know it, you’ll be done.
Hire a Professional for the Stuff You Really Hate
Is it cheating to hire a professional to handle your least favorite parts of spring cleaning? If so, we’re fine with it. Paying a cleaner might sound expensive, but go through a website like Care.com and you’ll find housekeepers who work for as low as $10 a hour. For that price you can afford to do the bulk of the cleaning yourself and then hire someone for a few hours to wash the windows, shampoo the carpet or do whatever else it is that you hate doing.
If you’re going to throw something away, recycle it or donate it, you don’t have to worry about organizing it. Use spring cleaning as an opportunity to get rid of the clutter that’s crowding your home. When dusting your bookshelf, set aside the books you don’t want. The same goes for your closet and drawers. Decluttering creates space and makes spring cleaning feel much easier.
Make a Schedule
This spring cleaning hack is a lifesaver if you’re Type A. Create a schedule (or follow this incredible eight hour plan) for your spring cleaning. Designate a time frame for each activity or room of the house and spring cleaning will seem like an attainable, black and white task rather than an abstract goal.
Focus on Key Tasks
Look, there’s no set rules when it comes to spring cleaning. If the thought of cleaning your whole home from top to bottom doesn’t sound doable, don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do it. Instead, focus your spring cleaning on the handful of cleaning and organization projects that you’ve been putting off for months. Have a closet you’ve been meaning to declutter or too many boxes of junk under your bed? You can vacuum and wipe down the counter any day of the week, but taking care of the stuff you’ve been procrastinating is a real spring cleaning accomplishment.
Spring cleaning is a battle against dust and grime. Don’t go in unprepared. Spring cleaning is much more manageable if you take the time to run to the store first and stock up on the right supplies. Items like gloves, dusters, sponges, garbage bags, cloths and scrub brushes along with an all-purpose cleaner that you actually like the scent of (French lavender, anyone?) will set you up for success.
Forget Elbow Grease
While there’s a lot to be said for the amount of calories you burn cleaning, all of that exhausting scrubbing is far from enjoyable. Ditch the elbow grease and use cleaning supplies that do the work for you. Products like Scrubbing Bubbles are great because you can spray them, let them sit and wipe clean rather than spending hours on your knees scrubbing your tub. Baking soda is also a miracle worker for this same reason. Use it along with some hot water to easily remove burnt residue off of pots, pans and even your outside grill.
Try Cleaning Slippers
Yes, these cleaning slippers are very silly. But guess what? They’re also kind of great. Pop them on when cleaning and you’ll avoid tracking dirt on a freshly mopped floor or getting cleaning products on your feet.
As with all tasks, it’s nice to have some incentive to clean. While the domestic goddesses of the world might argue that the real reward for spring cleaning is a beautiful living space, the rest of us know that that’s not enough. Plan on treating yourself to something you like, whether it’s takeout from your favorite Thai place, a new outfit or even a few episodes of a show you’ve been streaming. Having something to look forward to will motivate you to stop procrastinating and get your spring cleaning done faster. And after all that work, you deserve it.