- 1. Start by making a checklist
- 2. Make decluttering a priority
- 3. Make cleaning fun
- 4. Work rewards into your cleaning plan
- 5. Take consistent breaks
- 6. Limit your spring cleaning focus to lesser completed tasks
- 7. Dress comfortably to make tasks easier
- 8. Ensure you have all your supplies to hand
- 9. Make sure your household is on board
Spring cleaning is a ritual for many of us, but that much cleaning can get overwhelming even for the most efficient of professionals.
Here, professional cleaners have shared the nine things they do to make sure their spring cleaning is successful every year, and they don't feel drained at the end of it.
Expert tips for successful spring cleaning
From making a checklist to wearing comfortable clothes, it is often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference when spring cleaning without getting overwhelmed. This is what the experts suggest.
1. Start by making a checklist
One unavoidable tip for successful spring cleaning is to make a spring cleaning checklist before beginning any cleaning project.
Spring cleaning is very different from your regular weekend chore, and requires more thoughtful planning to help tackle all the areas we do not usually address in our day-to-day lives, says Ryan Knoll, cleaning expert and owner of Tidy Casa. A list will help keep you on track and ensure everything is cleaned.
‘Lists like this can also help delegate tasks to other family members when cleaning as a group,’ he adds.
When creating the list, avoid simply writing down all of the tasks as you think of them. Instead, it is worth breaking these tasks down into categories or rooms, suggests Ahmad Jamal, cleaning professional at Cleaners Advisor. This helps you to visualize them as more ‘manageable chunks, to help tackle them one by one,’ he says.
2. Make decluttering a priority
If there is one thing experts agree on, it is the importance of implementing good decluttering tips and discipline before you start with your cleaning products.
Decluttering your home and getting rid of items that you no longer use will give you more space to work and help you avoid cleaning things you are later going to get rid of anyway. It may help to make a secondary decluttering checklist on top of your cleaning list to help get rid of items you know you don’t use or haven't touched over fall and winter.
3. Make cleaning fun
Making cleaning more fun and feel like less of a chore is a great way to motivate yourself to clean, and make sure that you complete the task before giving up. There are a range of things you can try to do this, from making cleaning into a game with things like the ‘roll-the-dice’ chore game, or even trying a challenge like ‘ski-slope’ decluttering.
A great way to make cleaning go faster is to listen to audiobooks, or your favorite podcast, adds Karina Toner, cleaning expert at Spekless Cleaning. ‘You can also challenge yourself with cleaning goals such as setting a timer to see how quickly you can clean a room, starting a mini-game with a reward system for each cleaning task, or making a cleaning playlist of your favorite upbeat songs.
‘Another idea is to enlist the help of friends or family members to turn cleaning into a fun, social activity.’
4. Work rewards into your cleaning plan
Although giving yourself rewards for completing a task may sound a little childish, there is no better way to prevent cleaning or decluttering when overwhelmed. Adding in small positive reinforcement is important no matter your age, and can range from having a favorite treat, to a relaxing bath, suggests Ahmad Jamal, a cleaning professional.
‘Rewarding yourself will help you stay motivated and give you something to look forward to after all your hard work,’ he explains.
5. Take consistent breaks
Even professionals have to take regular breaks throughout a day of cleaning to help prevent burnout, but what you do in those breaks is just as important as taking them.
Taking a break is about recharging physically and mentally, so spending it making more cleaning lists and plans, or moving things for the next task is not sufficient, says Paulo Filho, cleaning expert and owner of Celestial Cleaning Service.
‘Spring cleaning can be physically and emotionally draining. Take a few moments to relax and recharge, whether that means sitting down with a cup of tea or taking a short walk outside.’
6. Limit your spring cleaning focus to lesser completed tasks
There are plenty of forgotten spring cleaning dirt spots that end up accumulating dust and dirt that can pose a health risk and make out homes unhygienic. It is a good idea to use the spring cleaning period to target all the dirtiest places in your home that don't receive regular attention.
‘Some ideas for spring/deep cleaning lists that get looked over during a normal cleaning include cleaning baseboards, doors and door frames, ceiling fans, and windows,’ says professional cleaner Ryan Knoll.
7. Dress comfortably to make tasks easier
Although many cleaning influencers online typically have their hair and makeup done while cleaning their homes, dressing comfortably is more important to help you spring clean successfully.
‘Wear clothes that are easy to move in and that you don't mind getting dirty. You should also pick some shoes that offer good support,’ recommends Ryan Knoll, cleaning expert. ‘It's also a good idea to wear cleaning gloves, from Amazon to protect your hands from harsh chemicals.’
8. Ensure you have all your supplies to hand
Starting off with all of your spring cleaning supplies to hand means starting off on the right foot. Organizing your cleaning supplies is also important to help you find things more efficiently, removing barriers in the way of your cleaning in the first place.
Cleaning expert Paulo Filho recommends starting with a basic set of tools, including a microfiber cloth, a good vacuum cleaner, a broom and dustpan, and a mop. These items will allow you to tackle most cleaning tasks around the house.
9. Make sure your household is on board
Even if you already have some family house rules in place to keep a tidy house, getting your household on board with your spring cleaning plan is the best way to ensure your vision is realized without hindrance. After all, spring cleaning doesn't have to be a solo mission, points out Ryan Knoll, a cleaning expert.
‘Assign tasks based on age and ability, and consider turning cleaning into a fun game or challenge,’ he suggests. ‘Reward them with a trip to the movies or other activities they may enjoy and don't get to do often.’
What is the psychology of spring cleaning?
Spring cleaning may sound like just another cleaning challenge, but it is important to maintain a tidy home and positive mental health. While cleaning generally has been shown to increase mood and productivity, performing a whole house scrub at the beginning of the warmer months helps us transition out of the winter blues, swap out furniture pieces as needed for the increasing temperatures, check for any maintenance jobs, and prepare the house for the changing weather. Overall, it helps to restore a sense of control.
How often should you spring clean?
Although its name suggests we should spring clean once a year in Springtime. However, we should be ‘spring’ cleaning twice a year, in each transitional season. Completing a thorough house cleaning in spring and fall will help us to transition our homes between the two seasons and prepare for the warmer or cooler months ahead.
Each cleaning period will require different tasks, from opening up the home to fresh air in spring to preparing fireplaces and cleaning gutters in fall ahead of snow and rain.
These tips for successful spring cleaning are essential even for the pros looking to tackle their own spaces. Even the smaller tips, like dressing comfortably, and taking regular breaks make the biggest difference to your spring cleaning success. Happy cleaning!
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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