While our lack of seasons here in the Middle East makes an annual ‘Deep Spring Clean’ slightly redundant, it is nonetheless a great way to refresh your home before the long hot summer sets in.
Spring-cleaning was traditional in many world cultures due to the pleasant, fresh climate making it easier to air out the home and remove dust from curtains and cupboards. There is also religious significance for some cultures, with it being necessary to cleanse the home before certain festivals. Many people use the spring clean as a chance to undertake some of the larger household tasks that while important, are not a necessity of an everyday household cleaning routine.
The reality is that no one likes vacuuming out their air conditioning vents, or getting the curtains deep cleaned- but it feels so much better when you do (especially once everyone is spending more time inside because it’s too hot to go out). You might not have a whole day (or two) to dedicate to cleaning; you might not want to. Approaching this with a few simple steps can make the process more thorough and enjoyable:
1. Schedules! Lists! Embrace your inner fusspot and make a plan of attack for all your rooms. Not only do you utilize your time better, you’re also more likely to stick to your deep cleaning.
2. Too lazy to make lists? Not sure where to start? Get online and start borrowing other peoples. Just because you are laid back, doesn’t mean everyone else is. There are countless resources put together by dedicated fusspots that love to share their wonderful printable checklists and make the world a cleaner place.
3. Why should you tackle it all on your own? Split it up. Chances are you share your home with someone- maybe family members, children, husbands, wives or flat-mates. This is an annual event for everyone’s benefit, and even if all year round you’re on your own, make a point of roping others in to lend a hand. If you’ve made a list (see: tip 1), then it should be easy to delegate tasks, right?
4. If you have children that are old enough to effectively help, but young enough to be fooled into thinking they are having a good time helping- make it a competition, turn it into a game. You could even turn it into a colourful chart if you’re feeling crafty. If they are too old for that to work, use guilt.
5. Get some help: You could even offer an exchange for a friend to help you with the big jobs. Make an event of it; they hate dusting, but you can live with it. You can’t reach the top of the cupboard, but they have much longer arms than you. You are not alone in your dislike of ritual cleaning: it might be less boring for you both with someone to chat along with.
6. Take advantage of the fact that everything is being moved around for a little redecorating, or moving around. If you have to pull out the couch to get under there, you might find it looks better on the other side of the room. There might be a stain on one of the walls, use this as your chance to touch things up.
7. Let some air in: Use the last few weeks of good weather to thoroughly air out your home, get in the air conditioner (or hire someone to give them a deep clean). Make sure you’ve flipped your mattresses. Open your windows while you dust and vacuum, and make the most of not needing air conditioners on.
8. Take stock of what you’re doing and maximize your spring clean- if you feel that your refrigerator needs to be cleaned more frequently make a note of it. Make notes on your list, and improve your system.
9. Over-do it: Do every task with more effort than normal. You should feel totally satisfied with your amazing job and that you don’t need to clean anywhere for months. Imagine that Beyoncé, the Pope and your mother-in-law are coming round for dinner and you want to impress them.
10. Reset the rules: Too much kids clutter in the family room? Make a system of junk baskets, and have everyone start pulling their weight. There’s a fairly high chance that your home will once again be in chaos, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make new rules about who should do what, and where stuff should be.
If you’re already clean and tidy, pat yourself on the back, make some tea and delight in your beautiful home. If you’re not concerned by any of this, delight in your beautiful messy home and enjoy the brief spring.