Cleaning Article

Lazy Wife’s Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is all the rage! Everyone wants to get their homes sparkling clean & Tidy. It is so relaxing to see your home organized and inviting. But spring cleaning can get more cumbersome if you do not organize time for it in advance. For super-organized people, it can be a breeze up. But for lazy or just multi-talented lazy folks, it is an enormous challenge. This article covers important tips, steps, and a FREE checklist to get your spring cleaning done quickly.

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I love a clean, beautiful, organized home. But you know what I would like more? Maid service to do that for me. Because I’m a lazy wife. A good wife, but a lazy one. Hence, I introduce to you –

Flowers

Lazy Wife’s Guide to Spring Cleaning

But before that, let’s understand what month is spring cleaning in 2021?

I do not know. So I went to google and typed -When is spring cleaning in 2021? That is where we Millennials go often. For some reason, we don’t call our mom and ask basic questions like these. We would never hear the end, so Google comes to the rescue. It says- “It is traditional to clean the house thoroughly either right before or during the first week of Great Lent, which is referred to as Clean Week. This also often corresponds with the Julian New Year, or April 1.”

Perfect, I’m late as usual. But who says you can not spring clean after the spring? Trust me, there is no such rule. And if there is, I anyway love to break the rules (only sometimes- as long as they don’t hurt anyone). After all, in my college, my marketing professor recommended the book “First, break all the rules” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. As an excellent student, I took his advice a bit too seriously and brought it home in my marriage- even if it’s just for cleaning our tiny home.

The key point to remember here is- I was a really excellent student, and a hardworking one too. In fact, I’m still an excellent student of life. I spend my days and sometimes even the nights, studying about various topics such as web design, homeopathy, marketing, Ebooks design, Project Management, Jewellery, Making, Sewing- really there’s no end to my curiosity. But I can’t do all this if I waste my time keeping up the home. Can I?

And, if you are like me, you agree that

Half of millennials hiring cleaners as they are ‘too busy’ to clean one-bed flats- The telegraph.

Wait what, when did they come to my one-bed flat without telling me? That’s just not acceptable, and I’m completely offended now. But the reality of this truth is staring at my face from my overcrowded home office.

Being too busy is my excuse and there’s nothing wrong with it, just ask any millennial out there (on Instagram or Twitter, I mean). Luckily, I found a soulmate who loves learning too. We both are super flexible about cleaning and not organizing. Now, our home is not all dirty and hoarders galore. It is a tiny apartment, so there is not enough space to keep anything extra. So, we made systems to keep the clutter under control (or behind the cupboard)

We have an annual de-cluttering system. Want to join us, click below-

Why is spring cleaning so popular?

There are many reasons for the popularity of spring cleaning. One of the primary reasons can be it’s a fresh start of a new season. So, cleaning our home and surroundings for the fresh season can bring cheer to our lives. But do you know there is a difference between deep cleaning and spring cleaning?

I didn’t know that. Read more about it here. According to this article, deep cleaning is to be done every 6 months to a year. So I can call spring cleaning deep cleaning because it comes every year. All good? Twinkle just confused me there.

 

When should you start it?

If you ask me any day is good to start, as long as you start and finish the cleaning. Ideally, start it when you have enough time in your busy schedule. If you’re like me, you will never find enough time and that will soon become an excuse. So, I made this easy and Lazy wife’s guide to spring cleaning.

checklist

Take multiple prints if you have the same situation as me or have more helping hands around the house. You can use the checklist as is or just print the pages applicable for your home and save your paper and printer ink.

NOTE- even a lazy husband can use it. Mine does, except he is not lazy like me, but he wouldn’t start the cleaning on his own because he would not know where to start. Hence, the guide.

How long does the spring cleaning last?

Many people prefer dedicated days for spring cleaning. And that is an excellent strategy to get super-focused and get all the tasks done in either a day or one weekend. If you did not listen to me and have a bigger house than you can manage, you’ll probably spend an entire week for spring cleaning. That’s one week of your time gone into cleaning the stuff! Just imagine, if you had less stuff or a smaller home with less stuff, you could enjoy the cherry blossoms event in the first week of April.

That is why I always emphasize downsize your home and your belongings. Go Tiny! (at least for the house- because it’s possible.)

But I digress again.

We typically keep two schedules for spring cleaning. One for me and one for hubby. I do daily cleaning for 20-30 minutes. I can’t do heavy lifting or deep cleaning as I suffer from chronic carpal tunnel syndrome. So, I do light work and leave the heavy stuff for my muscle man. He likes to dedicate one day to cleaning. He organizes his time, his calls, his projects around my list of cleaning tasks. Whatever tasks I can’t get done during the week, he completes them on Saturday or Sunday.

I made two lists for us. But because I am super nice (seriously ask anyone- except my ex-boss), I made an ultimate spring-cleaning checklist for you.

Wow, it took me so many paragraphs and blah blah to reach the most important part of spring cleaning. So, without further ado-

What do you need for lazy spring cleaning?

First thing first, you‘ll need my spring cleaning checklist. You may think you do not. But seriously you do. It’s FREE, download it, print it, and paste it on the most visible place of your home

Cleaning supplies

Note– I’ve listed the most convenient cleaning tools and supplies below. You do not need them all. I suffer from the early onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis and also have chronic carpal tunnel syndrome. Hence, I tried and tested many cleaning tools that are easy on my hands and back. Some tools I suggest below are God-send to me and my family. But you definitely do not need all the supplies below for a regular spring cleaning. Stick with the basics and use what you have.

Cleaning supplies

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. It is an all-purpose soap. It is good for fabric, utensils, floors, doors, everywhere really. Stock up on this soap this month as they have a special monthly 15% discount with free shipping over $35. I love their Peppermint, Almond, and Rose versions. Love how they say Dilute, Dilute ok!! on their product sub-title. Seriously, this soap goes a long way. We use it for everything in our home from cleaning to personal care. You can get a 3 pack soap in Costco, but I suggest giving Dr. Bronner’s website at a first go because they donate with every product you purchase.
  • Water
  • Vinegar- Get White Vinegar, not the rice vinegar or vinegar with the Mother!
  • Cleaning brushes- in various sizes. One will do, but if you want to get into the nooks and crannies, get the tiny cute ones at home depot or Dollar store. Dollar stores are good enough for “use and throw”. Once you do this year’s spring cleaning, throw them out. They do not cost a fortune. Seriously, don’t reuse them. I’m super frugal, but take it from my own frugal adventures. Some things are worth buying at dollar tree and then tossing after good use. Just put them in the recycle bin!
  • Metal bristle nurses for barbecue grills (optional). I got one from Aldi years ago and it’s going strong. But Aldi does not keep them all year round. So you can find a similar brush here or you can get it in the local mom-pop store as well.
  • 5-in-1 electric cleaning brush– Excellent for tough stains on the bathtub.
  • Rust- cleaning brush- Excellent for removing dirt, rust and grime on most surfaces
  • Long handle Hard bristles brush– This is excellent if you are a shorter person like me. its adjustable length from 16 to 48 inches can help you reach the corners easily and help clean any types of floor with tiles, marble, cement, and hardwood.
  • Unique brushes- no matter what size and shape you consider, there are always some dead-end spaces you can’t get into. For such places, these two brushes are great options. Flexible cleaning brush and dead-corner brush
  • Reusable spray bottles
  • Cleaning sponges- Get the ones with scrubby side and sponge side. 3M calls them clean and prep sponges. The brand is Scotch-Brite!
  • Squeegees brush for cleaning the windows and glass doors.
  • Windows screen cleaning brush- optional but a huge timesaver. It’s excellent to get into smaller window screens and get every dust particle out. It’s easier to wash the window screens in the bathtub later on.
  • If you live in a high-rise building with vast windows, this telescopic high-rise window cleaning brush is a sanity saver.
  • Mr. Clean magic eraser sponges: They are good for cleaning the scuff marks on walls, furniture. Just test the small area first.
  • Duster- My favorite is a feather duster for delicate items and screens. But it’s optional. a dollar store duster is good enough.
  • Toothpaste- Yes, it’s a cleaning ninja trick for your silverware.
  • Essential Oil- (optional) you can make your own using lemon and orange peels. But it will just add one more task for you. So, invest in good essential oils to clean your home in a more eco-style.
  • Dawn dish-washing detergent for tough grease and stains
  • Grout sealer- this is important if you have cracks in cement between walls, floors, tiles, etc.
  • Towels- Heavy-duty cloth towels are best. Nex best option is micro-fiber mops. But, if you do not have them, just use old t-shirts as rags. They are equally efficient.
  • Paper towels (optional-I use them for bathroom deep cleaning)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Borax- for tough grease and stains
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner (optional- although every house in 2021 has one Vacuum cleaner- thanks to cleaning obsessed advertisers)
  • Baking Soda
  • Hand soap- because you have bought too many at the stores when the pandemic hit. Just kidding! But seriously, have one handy. Dr. Fauci will be happy.
  • Newspaper- not for reading and getting sidetracked from cleaning. Jeez, it’s for cleaning the mirrors and windows. Get the regular non-shiny newspapers. Those marketing flyers are no good for our purposes. Well, they are no good for anyone in this digital marketing age except for increasing landfill. Greta is looking at me right now!
  • Cleaning bucket
  • Steam mop (super-optional)
  • Storage boxes or bags. You can repurpose Cardboard boxes too. But they take more space. If you have a tiny home like us, Vacuum Storage Ziplock bags are essential.
  • Pen or pencil to mark off the cleaning tasks on this printable. If you have super cool memory, it’s optional. Not for me.
  • Cleaning gloves- get the longer ones. I like the Costco purple gloves. Bought them a few years ago in a huge bundle at a deep discount. In that bundle, my entire family cleaned their houses, rentals, apartments, and cars. Seriously, we are good in the gloves department for another 3 years.
  • Wax and polish- if you need to use them for your metal or wood furniture.
  • Batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detectors
  • Filters for your AC and room air freshener. If you have washable filters, you are already smarter than I’m.
  • Trash bags to throw trash out. But you can also use them to de-cluttering your stuff. Many people have fancy bins for sorting out their clutter into different piles such as donate, sell, repurposing and trash. I do not have space for additional bins in my tiny home. If you have, please purchase them. Or if you are on a tight budget, stick with the clean trash bags and write on them with the marker pen.
  • Nice candles (Entirely Optional)
  • Nice Flowers or Fresh Indoor Plants (Must for me, but optional if you already have them). This is a hint to hubby to get me new plants.

Most of these cleaning supplies you may already have in your home or garage. If so, gather them in one place. It saves a ton of time on the cleaning day. If you’ve a poor memory like me, you‘ll spend half your time looking for cleaning supplies instead of cleaning. You do not want any distractions. So gather them beforehand or buy them beforehand.

Where do you get cleaning supplies?

Any shop is wonderful, really. But, I like Dollar Tree and Costco. If you have a Costco membership, get their cleaning sponges, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, Vacuum Storage bags, and Dawn Dish-detergent. You get the vast amount from Costco and use it for the next 10 years of spring cleaning!

If you do not have a Costco membership, any nearby stores will have most of these cleaning supplies. My request is please check out your local Mom-and-Pop store- you know the ones who do not spend million son advertisements and depend on your business than those big-box stores. Please support them by buying your household stuff there. It may cost a little more, but they’ll be thankful and you’ll see your money going towards building your local economy.

Now comes the time for the best tips for cleaning!

Top 20 tips to do Spring-Cleaning

1. Mark your calendar for the cleaning day. And add nothing else on your calendar for that day. No events, no parties, no outings- (well, except after the cleaning). That is why I spent so much time making that printable above and listing down all the cleaning supplies you will need. Get them before your set D-day! (D- is for cleaning. So it should have been a C day, but who cares?)

2. Do a quick 1-hour de-clutter. If you spend too much time doing Marie Kondo style de-cluttering, you’ll spend most of your day smelling stuff!. There is time for that and it’s important too because the world is going crazy following her. There must be a reason for that. But here we’re talking about lazy guides to cleaning. So, no extra tasks at this point. Maybe later. We do this in our Annual De-cluttering challenge, by the way.

3. Once your one hour is over, get your trash out of the house, put the donation bins or bags in the car, but the stuff that needs to be washed in the bathroom or the washing machine or dishwasher, and move onto the next step.

If you have a large home, you can do this step every time you are planning to get the cleaning done. Or if you have more family members to help you in spring cleaning, give each of them one hour to get this task done.

Note- if your car gets filled with too much stuff to donate, visit the nearby donation center or bins at the library during the snack break. If you don’t have a nearby center, arrange for the donation service to pick it up from your home. It is best to arrange this pick-up in advance so that you have the motivation to get the de-cluttering done before they come. Else, you will have bins or bags of donation piles sitting in your home.

4. Start at the top and finish at the bottom-Always

Why? Ask Martha Stewart. But she will suck you into her gorgeous home videos and articles. So, stay here. I will tell you why? My answer is gravity. When you clean from the top of your home, you work with gravity not against it. And Newton thanks you for taking his invention seriously.

E.g. when you dust at the top, it automatically falls down on the ground. When you clean all the top areas, it becomes easy to clean the bottom areas in one fell swoop. No need to back and forth cleaning. Remember, this is a lazy guide. We want to do the least possible work for the biggest impact.

5. Keep your trash bags or trash bin handy. If more people are helping you, give each of them their own trash bags. You will save a ton of time and energy.

6. Speaking of people, make sure you get them involved. That day, arrange for easy meals, their favorite snacks, or even lure them to help you with their favorite rewards if you must. This is just for a day and there is nothing wrong and getting help from family members.

family

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

Assign one area or a room to each person. Give them light instructions if you need to, but mostly, let them do their tasks. If someone needs help, of course, offer it. But do not be a micromanager and supervise every single corner of that room. They will quickly get annoyed and you will end up doing the cleaning yourself. Once the room is clean, take a glance and clean up what has been left off later. Do not point to smaller mistakes unless they are bigger. This way you will get more participation in the family in your future cleaning efforts.

7. Start with the areas where you need the least efforts first.

Why? Because it will speed up your cleaning and give you the motivation to continue some more cleaning. If you are like me, you will love the sight of clean areas as you push yourself through the more messy area needed bigger efforts. With this logic, keep the bathrooms at last. After a long day of cleaning, you will anyway go there to take a shower or a bath. Clean it that time.

Bathroom

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

8. Keep the surfaces clutter-free to wipe them off. If you have a specific counter with too much stuff on it like an office desk, use the baskets. They will help you remove the office stuff from the desk. Do not get caught in organizing tiny notepads, 100 pens, 1000 coloring pencils at this stage. Just put them all in one box or basket and clean the surface. We will organize them in the pencil box holder like this but later on- Marie Kondo style!

10. Dust the bookshelves and books as well. Do not get into book-organizing mode just yet.

Home officePhoto Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

11. Don’t forget to dust the walls with a long brush. This is basic dusting. So, it does not include washing the walls. It’s a bigger task and hence takes a longer time, If you’re like me, just delegate it to the strongest person in your family. If they do not help, at least you got the dusting done. Pat yourself on the back and move on to the next one!

12. While doing other cleaning tasks, if you have more clothing to wash like bedding, linens, upholstery- run one load of wash. While the washer is doing its work, you can get other things done.

13. Speaking of multitasking, if you have that fancy robot floor cleaner, use it in the last. Just make sure the floor is empty and free from objects. But it will not clean the baseboards for you, so clean them up before starting the robot.

14. Vacuum your mattress with baking soda. Let the soda sit there for 10-15 minutes and vacuum it all out. After that, rotate the mattress.

15. If you have carpeted floors, shampoo them the next day or when you have warmer weather. But keep this task at the last.

16. Clean your exercise equipment. Wash your yoga mats, weights, stretching bands, and exercise ball as well.

Exercise Tools

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

Ideally, do this every week or day, depending on how often you use the exercise equipment. Spring cleaning is a good time to clean them again.

Always store your yoga mat on the cover like this so that it will not attract dust and germs. This cover is waterproof. Replace the equipment if you need to!

17. Speaking of exercise equipment, clean your running shoes as well. You can wash them in the washing machine and air dry them. Check their soles and replace them if the shoes are good enough for another season. Replace the worn-out or damaged shoes. You carry all your weight on your shoes every time you use them. So, get in the habit of checking your shoes often. If you have back pain or foot pain, it’s most likely that your shoes are not working well for you. I know you’re reading about spring cleaning in this article, but add a note on visiting your chiropractor for a spinal alignment check.

18. Clean your personal care and makeup

Makeup

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

Replace your personal care and make-up every year. But some of our favorites makeup is hard to part with. Spring is a good time to get new makeup and clean your make-up vanity, makeup brushes, and other sponges. This make-up cleaning surface is great to take out old dried makeups from the brushes.

Once your makeup is clean and disinfected, put it back into the containers where no dust can get into it. I like this makeup and personal care organizer because each compartment holds separate kinds of items. On the days you do not need to do full makeup, just take out the bags you need.

19. Clean all the big and small electric appliances

Refrigerator

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

For your bigger appliances, assign a day to clean each one. E.g. clean the washing machine both inside and outside in one day. That day, move the washer and dryer a little and vacuum areas around it. Don’t forget to clean the lint in the lint tube. The next day or day after, clean the refrigerator and deep freeze (if you have it), clean the floor under the refrigerator. Ditto for the Oven.

20. If you have extra energy left from cleaning the refrigerator, clean the pantry where you store dry foods. If you are running low on energy, do it the next day. For pantry cleaning and organizing, use my food printable bundle.

Food Prinatables

21. Clean your pots, pans, and Tupperware

For tough grease and grime, use dawn dish-washing liquid or baking soda vinegar mix. Let the cleaning solution sit on the areas for 15-20 minutes and then clean it off with towels.

utensils

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

Wash your Tupperware, food storage containers, and utensil storage containers in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher friendly. If they are not, just clean them up by soaking them in a big tub of water with few drops of Castile soap.
Air dry them on clean surfaces and fill them up with your dry foods. Keep a note of your food storage in the food printable.

22. Clean your car an early morning or later in the evening

If you’re planning to donate stuff or use your car to haul the clutter away from home, keep the car cleaning task at last or the next day. If you will not need the car for the rest of the day, do the car cleaning early in the morning. You will save your energy and will not get irritated in the high heat of the day like me.

23. Clean your electronic devices

electronics

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

Your laptops, keyboard, mouse, and other devices collect a lot of dust from everyday use. Even if you dust them, they will need some extra cleaning. Thinking of my keyboard as I type this. This mini vacuum is cool to clean off small areas of my keyword where my fat fingers can not get into.

24. Wipe clean the walls especially in the kitchen and Bathrooms

Warm soapy water and good cleaning rags are all you need to wipe off the walls in the kitchen. If you have not cleaned your kitchen walls above the stove range, you’ll see tough greasy residue at some places. For that, spray the dawn dish-washing liquid and let it stay for a while. Wipe it off with the cleaning rags.

On a sunny day, the walls will dry out faster. If you want to save yourself from doing this task next spring, I have a small but mighty tip for ya. Get hold of those peel-and-stick transparent vinyl sticky papers from the dollar store and paste them on the walls above the kitchen stove. You can do that for the walls around the stove as well. Every couple of months, remove those sticky papers and put the new ones on.

In between, every couple of days, just spray your cleaning liquid on these walls and wipe them off. It’s easy cleaning! And next time in spring, this is one less task to check off!

25.Change the curtains for spring. If you do not want to, put up the washed curtains up again. You can store the thicker darker curtains in the vacuum storage bags until winter.

26. Wash all your pillows in the washing machine. Check the washing instructions first. Change the sleeping pillows every few months. Decor pillows are ok to reuse for years with light vacuuming.

27. Clean the patio furniture and patio on a good sunny day.

barbecue

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

If you have a barbeque grill, get hold of cleaning tools for the grill and work out a sweat to get that grill ready for the summer barbecue season.

 

28. Clean your yard and front door

I kept it in the last, but you can do it first as well. When you clean the front door and the yard of your home, it gives you a fresh inviting look. For a large yard, divide the cleaning tasks in 2-3 days and get most of the cleaning done before the mid-day or late in the evening until you can still see the natural light outside.

For the front door, wipe the door with soapy water. Replace the old decor with a new one or just change the flowers and plants.

29. In the end, replace your old worn-out cleaning brushes, towels, cleaners. And burn a nice candle to enjoy your clean home.

towels

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

30. On the day of heavy cleaning, cook some light meals.

Cook easy meals

Photo Credit- Pixabay, Pexels

When all the cleaning is done for the day, light up your favorite candle. Watch your favorite TV show or curl up with your favorite book and enjoy your clean home! That’s it.

Oh, I almost forgot the organizing part. I tell you, just writing this big cleaning article was a too big a task for me. So, I will just add 3 simple tips to declutter and organize your stuff-

checklist

  1. Don’t bring in more stuff that you don’t love, need, or would use
  2. And whatever you brought in either use it up fully, return it back to the store if not opened yet, sell it or donate it if it’s in a good usable condition.
  3. Join my simple annual de-cluttering challenge.

How do you do spring cleaning? Do you have tips, tricks, and shortcuts that help you in getting your home and yard clean before the spring begins?

I would love to know them.


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Comments

    • Jen
    • May 3, 2021
    Reply

    Great Tips. We have not yet started out spring cleaning. This year is flying by so quickly. Thank you for sharing the printable

    1. Reply

      Thank you Jen. I’m glad you found the tips useful. Let me know how the printable helps you.

  1. Reply

    I don’t normally do a traditional type of spring clean, but I occasionally have episodes of trying to clear out stuff. A couple of days ago I went through my skin care stuff and got rid of 95% of it due to hording the products that didn’t work in my skin

    1. Reply

      It is great to do regular cleaning than one week of massive spring cleaning. It’s exhausting. Skincare stuff is great to de-clutter regularly. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Ever year I try to clean out my closet and get rid of things I know I don’t need anymore. It’s good to get rid of things and spring clean.

    1. Reply

      Agree. If we do regular de-cluttering, then spring cleaning gets easier. Thank you for sharing.

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