Springtime is always a welcome change after a string of chilly winter months, but when you live in the Northern Virginia area, this season is especially sweet. Mild temperatures emerge alongside pops of pink cherry blossoms (side note: we’re expecting early blooms this year!) and residents can find ample opportunities to leave behind their winter hibernation in search of fair-weather fun. And one of the coolest things about spring, besides outdoor festivals and perfect bike riding weather? Spring cleaning. No joke. At Van Metre Homes, we’re all about making your home the best it can be, and there’s nothing more satisfying than breaking out the cleaning supplies, throwing on an awesome playlist, and getting down to business. Bonus points if we get to throw open all the windows and let the sunshine in. What’s better than that? So yes, we love spring, and the annual deep clean tradition that comes with it! And we understand that the idea of embarking on spring cleaning adventures may seem daunting for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with these 5 tips to simplify your work and you’ll be rewarded with a fresh, streamlined space before you know it.
Have a Plan
Before you jump into your spring cleaning marathon, make sure to come up with a plan of attack. A good checklist will keep you on track as you assign out tasks to yourself and/or family members and plan out which rooms to conquer first. We particularly like this printable spring cleaning checklist from Martha Stewart. Run down your list of “must do” items and make sure to cross them off as you go because let’s face it — checking things off your to-do list is the best! Bonus tip: during the planning process, consider making your own non-toxic cleaning products ahead of cleaning day. It’s not as difficult or time-consuming as one would think, and you’ll be surprised by how many stubborn stains will come out with combinations of common household items like baking soda and white vinegar. You also have the option to customize your fragrances with rose water and essential oils. For inspiration, check out Good Housekeeping’s list of 9 Cleaners You Can Make Yourself or this list of Homemade Cleaning Solutions by Whole Foods.
Create a Cleaning Caddy.
Before you start cleaning, grab a portable container (preferably one with handles for easier transport) and stock it up with your most-used cleaning tools so they’re all easily accessible. Supplies will vary according to your own cleaning habits and preferences, but Home Depot provides a pretty solid list of supplies to consider stocking up on, including microfiber towels, a dry eraser, an iron handle scrub brush, tile and grout brushes and a microfiber feather duster.
De-Clutter and Donate
If you find yourself struggling to focus, relax or find things in your home because of unnecessary household clutter, you’re not alone — it’s common for individuals and families to accumulate excess items that build up over the years, and just as easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of sorting through it all. But good news! Springtime is a season of rebirth and renewal, so it’s a prime time to not only purge excess stuff from your home, but develop new habits to stay organized going forward. Spring cleaning will go much faster and easier without clutter, so take time to evaluate what items should stay and go before you start scrubbing and sweeping. Consider donating unwanted items to a local charity like Goodwill, Salvation Army or Martha’s Table, or trade them in for items you do need through online consignment shops like ThredUp.
Split your cleaning into manageable chunks
If you can’t work a marathon cleaning day or weekend into your busy schedule, or if the idea of doing so sounds intimidating, try splitting your spring cleaning up into smaller, more manageable increments. Goodwill has a great 7 Days of Spring Cleaning guide that can help you put in a little bit of work each day, for one week. This strategy decreases your time investment on any particular day but still results in your desired outcome: an awesomely clean home.
Having a fresh, clean home is a reward in and of itself, but there’s no harm in treating yourself once you have run through your checklist and the cleaning is finished. Setting an end reward can be a great motivator to get the job done — you can even set up a series of mini-treats throughout the day (or days) to motivate you to get through each task quicker. Rewards can be anything from a coffee or Netflix break to heading out for a walk to enjoy the spring blooms — any little thing that makes you happy. You’ve earned it! And above all, have fun with it! Tweet us your before and after spring cleaning photos and let us know how it goes! -------------- For more tips for your family and home, check out our list of 7 Ways to Make Your New Home Pet Friendly.