Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Cleaning Tips

It's that time...Spring.  We've changed our clocks (did you change your batteries in your smoke dectectors?)

One of the best reasons for Spring Cleaning....Allergies.  It is that time of year and whether you have suffered your entire life or if they just began it is difficult to function when you have allergies.

I don't know if it is more about "this means the weather is going to change" or my house will finally get put back into order.

This year I am going to take four days and do the entire house. I have a four bedroom, two living rooms, sun room (that acts like another living room), two baths, laundry room and the garage (which may or may not get completed).

If you need some ideas on how to make the most of your time is doing this here you go:
  1. Containers, containers, containers. If you are a "neat" packer than I suggest see-through containers. The "stuff" in the containers that belong in the room STAY in the room unless you have a spot somewhere that everything can be stored.
  2. One room at a time. DO EVERYTHING in that room; floors, ceilings, windows etc.
  3. Start with the room that if you could "forget" about you would. The reason is if you leave that until won't get done. For me this is our "office." I avoid that room like the plague as it has boxes of "need to shred" and I just haven't done it this year the first room I do will be that one.
  4. Next room: Of course that would be the second room you would like to forget.
  5. I always do my bedroom is my sanctuary so when that one is done I can honestly relax.
  6. Don't forget the "hidden" messes; furnace vents, dryer vents, etc. I suggest hiring a professional for these.
Tips for each room:
  • If you plan on having your carpets, floors and/or furniture professionally and schedule the appointment BEFORE you begin. This give you a time that all has to be completed so no "putting it off" for another day.
  • Plan your work, work your plan. I start from the top and work down. Grab on of those swifter sweepers and wash the ceiling. Be careful of the cleaning solution you use as it may damage the paint. Ceiling done, ceiling fans next. Windows (includes windowsills) then walls. Dust furniture, vacuum and last....the base boards.
  • Whatever room you are in: If something needs washed it gets washed while you are cleaning that room. If something needs packed and stored it gets done while you are cleaning that room.
  • Don't forget to have your tools and/or WD 40. Do repairs as you find them.
  • If you haven't touched it for six months THROW IT OUT.
  • If you haven't used it for a year THROW IT OUT. (This one also applies to clothes).
  • If you have to remove everything from the room and place in the hallway DO IT. This will help you see the room and know where you want to put everything back. It will also help you throw out the stuff you don't need, use or touch.
  • When the room is complete; leave the room and SHUT THE DOOR! The reason you shut the door is mentally you can see the door closed and feel the "completed job" every time you see the door.
Tips for surviving this:
  • Give yourself a break. This break you get to do NOTHING for 15 minutes. Use this time to regroup and plan your next stage of attack.
  • Plan your start and end times AND STICK TO IT!
  • Plan your meals for the day. There is nothing worse than breaking for lunch only to spend 20 minutes figuring out what you are going to eat and another 10 minutes fixing it. Plan it so you can relax for the time you eat. I give myself a half hour (any more time I would have a hard time getting back into it).
  • When you finish a break or meal walk into a completed room...this will get you motivated to continue on.
  • Start and end each day of your Spring cleaning in a completed room. There is nothing more motivation than a room completed!
House is done:
  • If you hired a professional to do the carpets, floors and/or furniture it is a good thing to do the garage or outside Spring cleaning while they are inside.
  • Have a get together at your home. Plan a Bar-b-que or a dinner. There is nothing better than having guests in your home complimenting you on how nice your home makes the work "worth it." I know, your family's comment "house looks nice" should be enough...but is it ever? Once the party is over CLEAN again. You don't want to "regret" having the party or get together.
Hope this helps and if any of you have any other suggestions I am always up for learning an easier way to do this and I'm sure the readers will also appreciate your input!

Spring Cleaning will help you with those allergies.  If you need additional help:

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Dr. Jere Sutton of the Colorado Car Wreck is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon