Photo by mooste
Have you ever wondered why spring is the traditional big cleaning time of the year? For one of the most likely explanations, we'll have to turn back time and return to the days before people started using electricity. After the winter, everything in the house was usually covered with soot from the candles, fireplaces, kerosene, and lamp oils used to keep people's homes warm and bright during the winter. So, when the spring came, every bit of the house had to be cleaned to get rid of the layer of soot.
Though living conditions have changed considerably over the years, it still feels great to refresh your home during these early spring days, while nature is reviving itself. Here we provide you with a handful of tips to make your spring cleaning a little more efficient.
- Devise a system first. Make a plan and stick to it. Run through all the unnecessary, old stuff accumulated in your home and think about what you can get rid of right away and what can be reused. Remember to sort out things that can be recycled. You should also consider donating some items that someone else might need. Just remember: good organization can make your spring cleaning much more efficient.
- Make your own household cleaning supplies. It's truly the greenest way to clean your home! Most of your household can be cleaned with a combination of hot water, vinegar and baking soda or washing soda. Lemons are great natural cleaners as well. You can add a few drops of essential oil, if you like the scent. This way, you're reducing the amount of waste, and you won't have to worry about any toxins you may otherwise be spraying around your home.
- Reduce cleaning waste. Using an entire roll of paper towels isn't the most eco-friendly way of cleaning. Try using reusable microfiber cloths or sponges instead. The same applies for your mop — ditch your disposable one for a reusable one.
- Focus on places you don't clean so often. Of course, most of us clean our homes at least once a week, but there are several often-overlooked spots you don't want to miss during the big spring clean. Vacuum out the refrigerator coils, for example – the appliance will get much more efficient again. Try also deep-cleaning your carpet, washing your drapes, etc. A good method for cleaning the carpet is to mix borax and essential oil together, sprinkle over the rug, let it sit, and vacuum afterwards.
- Plan ahead. Sticking to the plan will make your 2012 spring clean much easier. Try to prevent stuff from accumulating in your home further, get rid of unnecessary items instantly. Remember, compulsive hoarding can become a serious problem!
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Photo by Bianca de Blok
But seriously, the most important thing is not stressing yourself – keep in mind that you're doing all of this to make your home a better place to live.