When the brown buds on the trees turn to green and the flowers begin to bloom, there seems to be this incessant urge to come out of our winter hibernation with a burst of energy and conduct an overhaul on our homes. Spring Cleaning. It is almost as if it is part of our DNA. In fact, it is a long-standing tradition. Wikipedia notes that spring cleaning may trace its origin dates back to the Jewish tradition of getting ready for Passover, a remembrance of the Jews’ hasty flight from Egypt following their captivity there. During the seven-day observance, Jews are not only supposed to refrain from leavened foodstuffs (chametz), they are expressly commanded to rid their homes of even small remnants of chametz for the length of the holiday. Observant Jews conducted a thorough “spring cleaning” of the house, followed by a traditional hunt for chametz crumbs by candlelight on the evening before the holiday begins. This tradition has shown itself in cultures throughout the world, so we thought it only appropriate that we start this blog with a few thoughts and hints for your own Spring Clean.
Before we begin, let’s be clear. This is not a one man or one woman job… it’s a family affair. We all know this can be a challenge for moms and dads so it is important that we don’t make this a chore but a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. First, make a list of your spring cleaning goals including the time frame in which you want them completed. We suggest the following check list.
- Dust home thoroughly
- Vacuum and shampoo carpets and rugs
- Wash windows, window screens and blinds
- Wax non wood floors
- Defrost the freezer and clean out the refrigerator
- Rotate bed and change blankets
- Discard expired prescriptions or cosmetics
- Replace cool weather clothes for warm weather wardrobe
- Organize office files and paperwork
- Clean decks, patios, driveways and walkways
- Wash outdoor furniture
- Clean out the garage
Once you are clear on the goal, offer up a reward that everyone can get excited about in the form of a family outing. This could be to the local zoo, theme park or even your favorite restaurant. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A reward incentive will get everyone excited about pitching in knowing that by completing the task so they will have fun celebrating their success.
Ok, now we have our game plan and incentive, but as life always goes, you are going to be up for a big challenge. CLUTTER IS YOUR ENEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!! It peeks its ugly head out all around your home in the forms of extra papers, extra clothes and knick-knacks collecting dust in every nook and corner. Have no mercy on clutter. If you haven’t used it in the last year, it has got to go! Let’s be honest, most of us have a little hoarder in us. This is why it is so important to dig deep within and ask ourselves if we really need the item, could it be better used by someone else or will my life be easier and less cluttered without it. If all else fails, the item goes to a family vote. Once you have captured the enemy. It is time to place it in its rightful place. There are four places for clutter.
- Donation Pile
- Trash Bin
- Storage Bin
- Recycling bin.
These are your only options. Clutter doesn’t get the opportunity to hang around our house making us feel anxious and unorganized! Now, pat yourselves on the back. You are half way there.
Once the clutter has been removed, you can begin digging into your check-list. Our next few blogs will address specific aspects of these tasks including:
- How to effectively clean out your closet and store your winter wardrobe
- Do it yourself all-natural cleaning solutions
- How to quickly and easily clean your windows
- Where to donate unwanted items
“Simplify Your Home” is committed to supporting you with your spring cleaning endeavor. It is all part of helping to make your life easier.
Look for more trips on moving & storage from “Simplify Your Home”.