Now is the time to focus on some spring cleaning. Yep, when the weather slowly starts to warm up and there’s a smell of jasmine in the air, you know that summer is officially on its way. It’s important to give your house a deep clean, but there are ways to make this arduous task a little easier for yourself.
Follow these helpful do’s and don’ts of spring cleaning to get your home ready for the summer months.
The do’s of spring cleaning
1. Decide on a day to start your spring cleaning and stick to it. Think of it as a meeting you can’t cancel. This way you won’t keep putting it off in favour of more enticing social engagements.
2. Write up a spring cleaning plan. This should be a detailed checklist that says which tasks you are committing to on the day. Stick it up somewhere in the house where you can’t ignore it – if it’s on paper, it will be harder to forget (or ignore).
3. Make an inventory of your cleaning supplies at least a week in advance. Ensure you have enough stock of gloves, cloths, detergents, and bin bags.
4. Do you have any specific spring cleaning goals? Commit them to paper (“wash all pillows in bedrooms”) so that when you are cleaning the room in question, you make time for that specific goal.
5. Focus on one area or task at a time and don’t deviate. If you think of something else you’d like to do (“I should also clean the toaster”), write it on your list and then carry on with the task at hand. Organising for two or three hours at a time is do-able, so don’t overcommit yourself. Picking one project per weekend will help you stick to your overall goal.
6. Keep your windows open and each room well-ventilated while using cleaning products. Read the labels before trying out any new chemicals, and make sure to wear appropriate protective clothing.
7. Clean from top to bottom. This means wiping off the top of windowsills and door frames and then working your way down. Clean upper cabinets, then move down. Pull out your appliances and wipe them down. Do your floors last – give them a good vacuum and then go over with the mop.
The don’ts of spring cleaning
1. Don’t try to do everything at once. Rather prioritise the rooms according to which one bothers you the most.
2. Don’t overload your dishwasher. Stacking dishes on top of one another will prevent hot water and soap from reaching everything and your dishes won’t get cleaned.
3. Cleaning your vacuum regularly ensures that it performs at its best, otherwise you just end up pushing the dirt around. So, don’t forget to replace the bag once it’s almost full.
4. Ignore cleaning TV remotes at your peril. Remote controls are handled by a lot of people, so tackle germs by wiping them with disinfectant wipes at least once a week.
5. Don’t use dirty sponges. There’s no point in cleaning your dishes and surfaces with a sponge that is past its prime. Sanitise from time to time by soaking your sponge in water, placing it in a microwavable dish, and then heating it on high for a minute. Replace it every month for good measure.
6. Never use a feather duster – it simply spreads dust from one surface to another. Rather invest in a microfibre cloth which will grab dust and actually remove it.
7. Avoid spraying your furniture directly with polish. When you do this, it creates a build-up that’s difficult to remove and attracts even more dust. Spray your cloth with polish and then use it to wipe your surfaces.
8. Don’t neglect the most-touched areas in your home. Taps, mixers, handles, and doorknobs are breeding grounds for germs so get into the habit of wiping them with disinfectant every day.
9. Rushing your tile cleaner is another major spring cleaning don’t. Once you’ve sprayed your detergents, give them a few minutes to work their magic before wiping them away. It allows the dirt to soften so you don’t have to apply as much elbow grease.
10. Using the same cloth everywhere is also a no-no. Over-using one cloth will just spread germs all over your house, so wash it after each use.
11. Try not to wash your windows while it’s sunny. The heat causes your cleaner to dry, leaving awful streaks in its wake. Wipe with newspaper afterward for a beautiful, streak-less shine.
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst