Are you ready for spring cleaning, but feeling overwhelmed? These house-cleaning tips will save you time and energy — and they might even make some chores fun!
1. Buy All the Gear.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” This applies to anything in life — including house-cleaning — so, take this tip to heart: Before you pick up a speck of dust, make a list of all the gear and products you’ll need.
Take it room by room. No single space requires the same safety equipment, appliances and cleaning products as another. Make a list of items you’ll need to clean just the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and garage.
Think about each space’s unique needs and how to address them, whether that’s with a broom, vacuum cleaner, mop or a just old toothbrush. No one knows the space as you do, and in many cases, you can ‘make do’ with simple cleaning tools.
Also, consider the specific cleaning products and safety gear you’ll need. While it’s tempting to grab popular products — with harsh chemicals — there are many natural cleaning solutions for everyday spills, stains and odors. You’ll also need to plan for safety glasses, gloves and maybe even earplugs, depending on the task.
Eco-Friendly House Cleaning Options
Ready to do some spring cleaning? Here are 8 eco-friendly house cleaning tips to clean, disinfect and wipe away the winter mess.
- All-Purpose Cleaner: Slice up some lemons, place them in a bowl and pour white vinegar to the brim. Then, let this combination sit overnight and pour it in a spray bottle to create an all-purpose cleaner.
- Grime Loosener: Need to clean the inside of your oven? Make a paste from baking soda and water, apply it to the bottom of the oven and let it sit for an hour to turn all the grime loose.
- Garbage Disposal Solution: Your garbage disposal and dishwasher are often the culprits of kitchen odors. So, to make the place smell good, place baking soda in the garbage disposal and leave it there for a few minutes. Then, flush it out with water. (Have you noticed how much baking soda comes in handy for house cleaning chores? White vinegar, too!)
- Dishwasher Deodorizer: For the dishwasher, pour a bowl of white vinegar right into the dishwasher, and then run a normal wash cycle to clean the appliance and make it smell great.
- Cutting Board Cleaner: When you’re cleaning your house, don’t forget the surfaces that directly touch food. Rub a slice of lemon on your wooden cutting board to disinfect the surface. Bonus effect: It’ll also make the cutting board smell great!
- Easy Rust Remover: Struggling with a stubborn rust stain? Then go ahead and make a paste from baking soda and some water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a half-hour and then wipe it clean.
- Window Spray: Washing windows? Here’s a simple trick: Put 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar in a spray bottle; then, spray the windows with this mixture and wipe them with a microfiber cloth.
Want to speed things up? Have a partner help you with the house cleaning! In this case, have one person inside and one person outside working on the same window. Don’t forget to clean the window frames and screens!
- Mold and Mildew Mixture: Notice mold and mildew on your patio or brick surfaces? Don’t use chlorine bleach to remove them — oxygen bleach is much friendlier to the environment, less caustic and most important, it really works!
2. Stock Some Cleaning Caddies.
Purchasing cleaning gear is just the tip of the iceberg. After all, you can stuff a bunch of products in your pantry or garage and forget they’re even there!
And let’s face it: No one feels motivated to perform even the most basic home maintenance if they lack the right tools to do the job, or if they can’t find those tools when they need them.
So, here’s a house-cleaning tip that will help you to get into a convenient routine: stock some cleaning caddies with everything you need when you need it. That way, they’re ready and waiting for you to grab and go!
Now, you can tackle this in one of two different ways. I like having a cleaning caddy for every room. This is the most convenient option because you can purchase everything you need to clean each room and keep a fully stocked caddy in each closet or another nearby location, out of view.
Yes, there’s some additional upfront expense — for all the caddies, the safety glasses and gloves and other items you may need — but that means you’re not running from one room to the next to grab what you need. And some of these items (like safety glasses, or a duster) will last a while.
As for Plan B? You can purchase all the products you need and keep one central cleaning caddy to maintain every room.
To do this, just grab your room-by-room checklist — the same one you took to the grocery store or home center — and fill the caddy with the items you need to clean each space. After you’ve cleaned one room, refer to the checklist, remove any items you don’t need to clean the next room and add any items that you do need.
This option, of course, requires less upfront expense but takes more time because you have to change the caddy’s contents from room to room.
There’s no wrong option — just pick the one that’s right for you and your household budget.