By Kathryn Weber
After a long, gray winter, nothing feels better than throwing open the curtains and letting in the warm sunshine again. But as ready as you may be for spring, your house may need a good cleaning after the long winter.
Spring cleaning can be daunting. It requires a more serious time commitment than normal tidying, and that might conflict with other things on your schedule or with what you'd probably rather be doing -- enjoying the outdoors. With a little planning, though, you can do a deep clean and have time leftover to enjoy the spring season.
Get motivated with the right tools
Spring cleaning is a household job not everyone looks forward to, so make it a point to go to your local home center and buy new products that will make you want to clean. Purchase a bucket and fill it with cleaning tools such as microfiber towels for polishing windows, new cleaners you'd like to try, and new sponges and brushes. Let's face it: Most of us like fun new products, so why not use them to motivate ourselves to clean?
One particularly helpful item is a tool belt. Look for a sturdy nylon tool belt or a gardening belt to help you keep cleaning tools and supplies on you. If possible, look for one with waterproof pockets. This will help you keep a damp microfiber towel or eraser sponge at the ready to wipe off spots and stains on the walls and woodwork as you go from room to room.
Schedule your cleaning
If you're overwhelmed at the thought of all that's involved in a spring cleaning, it might help to know you can often hire special help. Look in the phone book or classified pages for cleaning crews who do new home finish cleaning. These crews are often called on for larger cleaning jobs and often hire out for spring cleaning.
Another option is to do a mix of your own elbow grease and a hired crew's help. When you're ready to spring clean, hire cleaning services that can clean areas you can't or don't have time to cover. That might include gutter and carpet cleaning, grout cleaning for tile floors, or pressure washing to make the outside of your home sparkle. An added benefit of scheduling these services is that it might put a little extra pressure on you to get busy and get spring cleaning behind you.
Get ahead of the curve
To really get a jump on cleaning, tackle jobs now that most people won't be thinking of until later in the year. For example, schedule your chimney cleaning in the spring and you won't be waiting in a line with everyone else come fall. Before summer comes, schedule a check of your air conditioning system so that when it's time to turn the AC on, it'll be ready and you won't be waiting in the steamy summer for a serviceman. Take comforters and duvets to be cleaned now and they'll be ready to go next winter.
Spring cleaning doesn't have to be daunting: Buy some fun cleaning products and a new tool belt to hold them all, and schedule some professional backup. Your house will get cleaner quicker and more thoroughly, and it will leave you with the time and peace of mind to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.
© Kathryn Weber