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Don’t Wait for Spring to Clean Your House

Why wait to ‘spring clean’ your home? Cleaning your home doesn’t need to be a seasonal event. Of course, most people clean their houses throughout the year but most do so in a haphazard way.  Most clean a room when it becomes moderately dirty. Others clean when the dirt becomes unbearable but most don’t clean to a schedule. I’m suggesting that you clean your home continuously throughout the year instead of waiting for spring or autumn to do a full scale cleaning.

Make A Plan 

Plan your cleaning. Separate your home into three categories: high, medium and low traffic areas.  The kitchen, bathrooms and common areas such as common living spaces and hallways would be the high traffic areas.  The bedrooms and guest bedrooms would be medium and low traffic areas, respectively. 

Make a calendar and populate it with the high traffic, moderate traffic and low traffic areas.  High traffic areas should appear, on your calendar, weekly; medium traffic areas every two weeks and low traffic areas monthly. These frequencies are suggestions so adjust them as needed to suit your cleaning need and schedule.

High Traffic Areas

Kitchens and bathrooms should be deep cleaned once a week.  I am not talking about a cursory cleaning. Cursory cleaning can happen as frequently as needed to take care of small messes. I’m talking about a deep cleaning of countertops, ranges, ovens, microwave ovens and refrigerators. Bathrooms should have all fixtures cleaned.  Don’t forget to vacuum and mop floors.  Dust or clean any window coverings and wipe down the cabinets and walls.

Floors collect dirt and germs which can hold a significant amount of dirt and odor, due to their square footage and foot traffic.  Consider investing in a steam mop for hard floor surfaces.  Steam kills germs and removes dirt and grime without the need for costly chemicals.  Smaller steam mops are available for hard surface countertops. 

Let's talk about carpets for a moment. I understand it’s impractical to clean carpets on a weekly basis but, when they are cleaned, look for cleaning options that don’t leave a soapy residue. Although they may appear clean, the unseen residue attracts dirt and would, ironically, require more frequent cleaning.

Medium Traffic Areas 

In the bedroom, change your bed linens, blankets and covers.  Dust the walls, furniture and window coverings before you clean the floors.  Dusting helps to remove allergens and may help reduce the symptoms of those who suffer from seasonal allergies.  If the bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, it should be cleaned on the high traffic area schedule, not the medium traffic area schedule. 

Low Traffic Areas 

Guest bedrooms, offices (that are not used on a daily basis), home theaters or any other area that is used occasionally can be cleaned monthly.  Only a light dusting and floor cleaning is usually required.

Additional Considerations 

In this article, cleaning includes sanitizing.  Sanitizing removes germs which cause odor and potential disease.  Instead of buying deodorizing sprays or plug-in devices that mask bad smells, clean and sanitize your home to eliminate the odor.  It is okay to use deodorizing sprays or plug-in scent devices, but be sure you are enhancing an already clean home and not masking an odor.  Guests can tell, more than you may think, the difference between masked odors and a clean home.  Also remember that sanitizing is cheaper, more effective and healthier than masking odors.  

Homes built today are more air-tight than those built in the past so consider stepping up your clean air game a notch or two. Invest in an air purifier.  There are several technologies, from which, to choose. An Ion, HEPA or UV type purifier can help to rid your home of dust and allergens while leaving fresh, clean air in its wake.

Final Thoughts

Over time, using a schedule to clean your home year-round will ultimately reduce the overall time required to clean your home. Cleaning tasks that may have taken the better part of a day will be reduced to just an hour or two.  You will ultimately save time, your home will be cleaner and there is a chance your health will improve from living in a cleaner environment. When spring time comes, you can devote your attention to truly seasonal outdoor tasks in the yard or garden because your home will already be clean.

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