Welcome to Spring Clean Your Life, your one-stop shop for gotta-try-those tips & bookmark-me inspiration to spruce up your kitchen and home this season—and well beyond.
Don’t love cleaning your house? You’re certainly not alone. It’s safe to say that most of us have things we’d much rather do than break out the mop or scrub the shower, which makes it easy to procrastinate these chores.
However, while cleaning is a necessary task—unless you’re content living in a pigsty—that doesn’t mean it has to be hard, time-consuming, or unenjoyable. We turned to the pros for advice on how to make cleaning a more efficient process, and some of their best tips might just surprise you!
Leslie Reichert, the Green Cleaning Coach, says it’s easy to get off track if you don’t have a plan while cleaning. To ensure you do a thorough job, she recommends cleaning in a circle.
“Cleaning in a circle keeps you focused,” she explains. “Usually, we go in to clean a room and end up bouncing around in a star pattern, cleaning the dirtiest surfaces and missing the rest.”
“If you start at one point in the room and work your way around in a circle, you won't miss a thing. You clean the pictures on the walls and the woodwork in an area before moving to the next spot on the circle. Once you have cleaned in a circular pattern around the room, all you need to do is hit the items in the middle.”
The shower is one of those areas that often gets neglected in your home, but Dana K. White, author of Decluttering at the Speed of Life, has a helpful tip on how to keep it sparkling clean.
“Mark the word ‘bathroom’ in permanent marker on a soap-in-the-handle dish scrubber, and keep it in your shower,” she recommends. “Fill it with dish soap, and use it to scrub the shower while you're in it.”
This is kind of genius—who doesn’t want an excuse to spend a few extra minutes in the shower?
Mornings can be pretty hectic, especially if you’re scrambling to get your family organized and out the door. However, if you have a few minutes to spare, professional organizer Laura Cattano recommends tackling a few easy chores before work: “Wash your dishes and take out the trash before you leave the house in the morning to come home to a clean space.”
Mopping is messy and time-consuming—it’s no wonder so many people hate doing it. Well, the Green Cleaning Coach has an easier way to get your floors sparkling clean: bucketless mopping!
“The ‘bucketless mopping’ technique is something I've been teaching for a long time,” Reichert explains. “It saves on cleaner and water by using a spray bottle as your ‘bucket’ and a microfiber mop. All you do is wet the microfiber cloth with water, spray the floor with diluted cleaner in the bottle and wipe. You can do a huge floor in just minutes. It makes cleaning your floor very simple, and it looks like you cleaned it on your hands and knees!”
Sure, the space under your bed might seem like prime storage space, but Cattano says that storing things under here encourages us to be lazy and avoid properly cleaning the area. We're less likely to pull everything out, wipe things down, vacuum or mop underneath the bed when we keep things there, she explains. All that clutter just collects dust and grime, making it a tougher mess to tackle when you finally get motivated for a deep clean.
Completing little tasks each day can go a long way toward making spring cleaning a breeze.
“When things don't get cleaned often, the build up makes the work so much harder,” says Reichert. “Simple things like using a squeegee on the shower walls or running a vacuum over the wood trim can easily keep the dirt to a minimum.”
Finally, according to Cattano, you’ll be much happier in your home if you embrace closed storage options, such as baskets, drawers, and cabinets.
“Try to find a balance of open (open shelving, bookcases) and closed storage (cabinets, boxes, drawer units) so you're only looking at the things that you love and tell a story about you, rather than the stuff we all have like office supplies and toiletries.” You heard the woman. Put the office supplies from your desk in a drawer, or showcase them in beautiful accessories or alongside framed photos.
Do you use any of these tactics? What are your favorite ways to make cleaning more efficient (and maybe even fun)?