It's that time of year again – those months in between packing up the Christmas decorations and pulling out the spring decor, where your home might feel stale and in need of some freshening up. Spring cleaning is a perfect time to refresh your home, declutter, and realign with feng shui. But before all of the stress about cleaning starts, don't fret – we've simplified the process with these 10 hacks to make the process much smoother and simpler this year (and maybe even a little fun?) Read below for the 10 best hacks for tackling spring cleaning and getting your house prepped for a fresh, airy springtime.
1. Time Yourself
Dreading getting started? Set a timer for twenty minutes and tackle one, small project. Giving yourself a time limit will keep you focused and working faster and more efficiently. Plus, you'll probably be surprised at how much you can get done in twenty minutes; timing how long tasks take make them seem much more manageable. If you realize it only takes ten minutes to scrub down the bathroom, you might not put it off again for so long.
2. Work From a Checklist
It's a classic strategy, but nothing beats the efficiency of a checklist. This checklist by Jennifer Flanders is a free printable sheet and organizes your home by each room. Going down a sheet and checking off tasks will give you a sense of completion and help you stay on top of which rooms are crisp and clean (and which tasks you can delegate to others!)
3. Dust With Cheap Household Cloths
You'd be surprised at how many common household cloths work just as well as expensive wipes. Dryer sheets are a great substitute for more electrostatic cloths and work just as well. A dryer sheet wrapped around a spatula or butter knife is perfect for cleaning vents. Socks, when worn as a mitten, work in tight corners. For wiping electronics, try a coffee filter - it will pick up dust from a television monitor or computer screen.
4. Spray Vodka on Your Mattresses
It's an old trick to use vodka to kill odors, but it works especially great on a heavy mattress that's cumbersome to clean. Pour vodka into a spray bottle and spritz lightly across your mattress and air dry. The alcohol will kill any odor-causing bacteria. For a fresh follow-up, dust baking soda over the mattress, which will draw out any remaining moisture. Finally, spread a few scented dryer sheets across the mattress before remaking the bed to add a fresh scent while you sleep.
5. Wash Your Windows on a Cloudy Day
Washing windows during a bright, sunny day will cause your windows to dry almost immediately and leave behind streaks. For a quick washing solution, mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water, or a teaspoon of dishwasher liquid to a gallon of water. For cleaning dirty ledges or corners, use a high-power hose at least from five feet away to quickly blast away dirt.
6. Throw Ice Down the Garbage Disposal
Smelly sink disposal? Try this hack: chop a lemon into small chunks (aim for a dozen), place the pieces in an ice cube tray, top with vinegar, and freeze. Throw the frozen cubes down your disposal every few days to keep it staying fresh-year long (just don't accidentally add these cubes to your drink!)
7. Buff Your Stovetop with Car Wax
After a thorough wipe-down of your stovetop, apply a thin layer of car wax and then buff it off with a clean towel. The surface will look shiny and new, plus makes wiping future spills a breeze.
8. Use a Hair Dryer to Banish Water Rings on Wood
For those pesky water rings on your wooden table, there's a simple solution: a hair dryer. Blast the white water ring with a hair dryer on high heat until it starts to disappear. Once gone, rub a small bit of olive oil over the area to recondition the wood.
9. Use Your Dishwasher For More Than Dishes
Leave the deep cleaning to the machines. There are tons of things that you can clean in the dishwasher besides the usual: contact lens cases, hair brushes, pet dishes, plastic toys, soap dishes, and even a detachable showerhead!
10. Soak Your Showerhead Overnight
For showerheads that aren't detachable, you can still deep clean without scrubbing. First, fill a plastic sandwich bag with vinegar and secure the bag over your showerhead so it's submerged – an elastic hair tie works great. Leave the bag attached overnight and let the vinegar soak do the hard work. Simply detach, toss the bag, and let the shower run in the morning as normal.
These ten tips above should make your cleaning this year much more streamlined. Let us know which tips worked best for you, or any additional tips for making spring cleaning more efficient. Best of luck on your cleaning endeavors!