Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Now that spring is upon us, it's time to feather the nest with a bit of spring cleaning!  Andrew and I are pretty good about doing a regular weekly cleaning of the apartment, along with periodic touchups throughout the workweek, so I reserve spring cleaning for the tasks that only get done every so often.  (Think washing the baseboards and vacuuming behind the sofa.  If you do these things on a regular basis, I am in awe of you.)  Here are some ideas to help make the process a little bit more lovely!

1. Stock up with your favorite cleaning supplies.

 Basic H2
I'm trying to be more mindful of the kind of cleaning products I use, avoiding harsh chemicals for both my own health (breathing those fumes can't be good) and for the earth!  Not only is the Basic H2 line non-toxic, you're not wasting any packaging by reusing your cleaning bottles again and again! This all-natural super-concentrate comes with three spray bottles.  Depending on the ratio of concentrate-to-water, you can make an all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, and window spray. The whole package (with concentrate and spray bottles) costs about $20 and it lasts a long time!  (I've had my concentrate for- I kid you not- two years, and I still have about 1/3 of it left!)

Also safe and non-toxic, the Method line of cleaning supplies is great!  I love the clementine and pink grapefruit scents.  And have you seen their new advertisements?  So cute!

I have a good stockpile under my kitchen sink of old towels and pieces of Andrew's raggedy undershirts to use as rags.  After I'm done cleaning, I'll throw them into the wash to re-use unless they're totally toast.  I'm still not completely off the paper towel train (especially for day-to-day kitchen wipe downs), but for big jobs, I'll pull out the rags!

2. Make a list.

Making a list always helps me prioritize tasks in a way that makes sense (rather than just diving in willy-nilly). Usually I take things task-by-task, rather than room by room.  For example, I vacuum every room, then mop every room, then do windows.  You get the picture.

The other bonus to a little list-making? It's oh-so-satifying to check things off as you go!  (Another note--- I usually put my initials next to tasks I've completed.  When Andrew sees I've scrubbed the bathtub, washed the windows, dusted the bookshelves and cleaned the oven, he's happy to pitch in with some vacuuming and mopping so I don't have to do it all.  Is this called a guilt trip? I don't care.)

3. Play some good music.

Mary Poppins was on to something. I do find "a song will move the job along"!

4. Open the windows.

The best bonus of spring cleaning is that you can finally open up the windows and let in a little fresh air.

5. Finish things off with some fresh flowers.

A little bouquet from Trader Joe's is a great treat for all your hard work!

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