Cleaning, such a wonderful activity right? WRONG. Oh how I’d love to have clean floors all.the.time but with a dog and a cat that’s just not reality. BUT, I do want to share with you how I keep an effortlessly clean home all year around + a spring cleaning guide for when you need a little more umph in your cleaning life. Since spring is right around the corner I figured that this was a perfect time to share this guide!
One of my biggest pet peeves is a messy house. Part of it is related to my OCD but a large part of it is simply the mental clutter that clutter can actually cause. When I started to think and act like a minimalist I found myself calmer, more creative, and ready to tackle the day instead of worrying about the upteen house chores that needed to be done. By practicing these 5 steps the days of non-stop cleaning and organizing will be over. Then just once a month or so you can give your home a good deep cleaning…things like scrubbing the bathtubs. Yes, I said it, it really does need to be done 😉 Here we go!
Having clutter in your home is proven to increase anxiety and overall discontentment. Plain and simple. The American lifestyle is all about more. More, more, and more things. Try getting rid of the things that you don’t use regularly. If you haven’t used it in a year chances are you never will. Get rid of it. Check out my article on 24 Things to Throw Away Today for a Calmer Home. By adding negative space to your home you are able to relax which leads to more creativity and happiness. You can also tackle the digital clutter with the tips in this article.
#2 PICK UP AS YOU GO
Ever notice when your kitchen is dirty and there’s a sink full of dishes you’d rather pick up some unhealthy takeout instead of whipping up a nutritious meal? By cleaning up as you go you’re more apt to keep healthy habits in check. Wash the dishes as soon as you’re done eating (or stash them in the dishwasher), make the bed when you wake up in the morning, put the clothes away as soon as they come out of the dryer. By doing these things (which, let’s be honest, don’t take THAT much time to do) you won’t have to spend hours cleaning all of these things combined each week.
#3 MAKE YOUR BED
The first thing I do each and every morning is make the bed. Think about it, if you do this small 2 minute task right when you wake up you’ve already started off accomplishing something. By making the bed you are making your space organized and clean which will promote a stress-free environment. If you work from home like I do it will also prevent you from crawling back into bed to play on Pinterest at noon. It’s a win win.
#4 10 MINUTES A DAY
Do you know how much you can accomplish in 10 minutes? A lot. If you’ve already followed the steps above you should only need 10 extra minutes. Maybe you need to vacuum, dust, or throw a load of laundry in the wash. You won’t have to do these things every day but by doing 10 minutes of something you’re preventing having to spend hours doing multiple things.
#5 CLEAR THOSE SURFACES!
In my opinion surfaces are what can make or break how dirty a home feels. Try clearing most of the surfaces in your home of things that serve no real purpose. In the kitchen put away, or totally get rid of, appliances you don’t use. Only the things that you use every day should have a home on the counter. In the bathroom I like to keep the vanity completely clear of everything except a plant and keep the toiletries in a cabinet beside the sink. My nightstand has a few crystals, a glass carafe of water, my favorite essential oil, and if I’m lucky a fresh vase of flowers. If you’re one to let mail pile up on the counter make a habit of going through it every day. It’s one of those little things that takes less than a minute or two but can save a lot of frustration in the long run.
Basically, the point it to be INTENTIONAL. Pay attention, don’t put things off, and only have things you find useful or beautiful.
So now that we’ve covered those 5 steps to an effortlessly clean home let’s talk about the full-fledged spring cleaning! This spring cleaning guide will be broken down into sections by room. Let’s get started!
Prep (1-2 weeks out)
A good spring cleaning session takes a bit of planning. Here are a few steps to make sure you’re prepared and able to follow through.
- Pick a Day – Yes, I said it. One day. Don’t try and do your spring cleaning over a few weeks. I guarantee that once you get to the end the rooms you started with will already need a touch up. It’s so nice to look back on your effort and see your entire house spotless. If you can’t do it in one day pick a weekend
- Grab a Partner – This not only makes cleaning a bit more fun but also faster allowing you to get it done in a day or two.
- Make a Playlist – What’s a good cleaning session without some upbeat music? Make a playlist with your favorite songs to get the energy flowing. Check out this awesome one on Spotify if you’re not keen on making your own.
- Gather Supplies – You’ll need baking soda, your favorite essential oils, and some all-natural cleaner. Essential oils are easy to find at any health food store or speciality grocery store. You can also find them on Amazon. For the all-natural cleaner I either go with soap nuts (I LOVE them! You can use them to make an all-purpose solution, dishwash, laundry detergent, and more!) or Dr. Bronners. As far as tools go you’ll need gloves, a vacuum, a duster, a bucket, paper towels, a mop, sponges, a scrubber brush, and rags.
So your cleaning day is finally here…excited right? Thought so 😉 Here’s a few simple tricks and tips to get the day started and flowing on the right foot.
- Wake Up Early
- Open ALL the Windows – Get that air flowing, after being sealed up all winter your house will welcome the breath of fresh air.
- Turn Up the Music – Start the upbeat playlist you picked a few weeks ago and get the energy flowing.
- Eat – Nothing is less fun than cleaning on an empty stomach. Use today to order some take-out or eat pre-prepared meals. You don’t want to dirty up the kitchen when you’re trying to spring clean!
- Prepare Cleaning Supplies
So here’s the deal I’ve broken everything down into individual rooms except for the things you need to do in every room. I suggest starting in the kitchen, moving to living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, and then outside. This is the flow that works best for me but you can totally switch it up. Just remember to do those every room items when you get to each room.
I’ve even got a handy little Spring Cleaning Guide checklist that will guide you through the process: download PDF now!
Along with using a natural cleaner there are also a ton of little things you can do to make sure you and your home is healthy and happy:
- Add Air Purifying Plants to Each Room – Not only will plants bring beauty and life into your home they can also help filter VOC’s. Check out this list for a run-down of individual plants.
- Use an Air Purifier – Along with the plants a HEPA air purifier will do wonders for your homes air quality. They can filter out pet dander, mold, dust, pollen, as well as VOC’s. You can find a lot to choose from on Amazon or your local home improvement store.
- Replace your Candles – This was probably the last thing I replaced when stripping our home from harmful products. Burning candles obviously releases smoke and chemicals into the air and if you’re using cheap dollar store candles like I was then you have no idea what you’re filling your air with. Try switching to 100% beeswax candles!
- Stop Using Air freshener – Check out this AWESOME article from Mind Body Green on the harmful effects of candles and air fresheners. Want to make your own air freshener? Check out this graphic on how easy it is! You can also burn natural incense or place your favorite essential oils in a diffuser!
- Replace Bath Mat with A Bamboo Alternative – I despise standing on a wet rug when I step out of the shower. They mildew easily and bacteria thrives in a wet environment. A few years ago we switched to using a wooden shower mat and haven’t looked back. They’re cheap, beautiful, and much cleaner than your standard fabric variety.
- Plant a Herb Garden – Not only will this bring life into your kitchen but you’ll have fresh herbs all year long. Herb are super easy to grow! I’ve recently started growing microgreens as well. Check out this article if your thumb is black like mine.
- Throw Out Plastic – Replace all plastic ware with glass. This includes kitchen containers and all other things you normally store in plastic. I love Mountain Rose Herb’s selection of glass jars. I use them for my spices, bathroom salts, oils, spray bottles etc. Plus by using glass containers for things that are normally packaged in plastic make everything feel just a little bit spa like.