As I write this from my home in New Jersey, I can hear children outside running around. I look toward a window in my living room – the sun is bursting in. A cool breeze blows through a window screen. As I look out the window, in a daze, I’m thinking about the cleaning I need to get done before I venture out for a stroll. My thoughts push my eyes in the direction of my coat closet – it’s where I store some of my cleaning supplies.
Spring cleaning is inevitable.
On a day like today, the last thing I want to do is clean. I stop searching for ‘spring things to do in NJ’ on the Internet and start searching for ‘how to clean your home fast’ and ‘easy spring cleaning tips.’ The inevitable spring cleaning calls, and so does the great outdoors. It’s a battle. I think, “I need to get this done fast!” Less than two hours later it’s a mission accomplished. Spring-cleaning your apartment rental or small house does not need to be an all day event. I found the following tips helpful – they serve as a great guide for getting started with spring cleaning and as a bonus, they can each be done in minutes.
I clean these weekly, but I make no exception as part of my spring cleaning routine. My trick to getting these clean fast is all in the power of a duster with extender. I use it on my ceiling fans, too. I always start with cleaning my ceiling first then floors last so I don’t do double the work when dust falls.
Inspired by Reader Digest’s ‘8 Spring Cleaning Tips to Get it Done Faster,’ I grab my sponge mop, some hand wash soap from my kitchen, and two buckets. In just minutes, I wipe down each of the walls throughout my home, removing dust that has accumulated through winter. The sponge mop is the trick here – it makes reaching high points easier.
Real Simple outlines how to clean upholstery in 15 minutes or less. One author suggests using a vacuum, a few clean white cloths, gentle dish soap, a horsehair upholstery brush, and a bucket. I do my upholstery cleaning without the brush and the job still gets done pretty well. For full instructions, please check out this article. Side note: I learned the hard way to never get upholstery fabric too wet (it can cause watermarking) so go easy on the water!
When it comes to cleaning my hardwood floors, my spray mop works like a charm. Moving onto the carpets – I sprinkle a little bit of baking soda for freshness. The baking soda also serves as a guide for not missing any spots. I have a small vacuum cleaner that is easy to maneuver.
This is something you can start today but it will be ongoing – hang all the clothes in your closet one way. Each time you wear something and put it back away, turn the hanger around. At the end of the season, you’ll be able to easily determine what you wear and don’t wear so you can donate and throw out clothing you no longer use, accordingly.
What most people don’t realize is the self-cleaning button on ovens is not enough. I tried this oven cleaning approach from The Kitchen and it worked like a charm:
- Create a baking soda paste that consists of 3 tablespoons of water and about a ½ cup of baking soda.
- With oven racks removed, spread the paste all over the over interior (minus heating elements).
- Rub the paste in then let it sit for at least 12 hours.
- 12 hours later or the next day, wipe out the dried baking soda using a damp clothe. You might need a plastic spatula to scrape off some of more dried soda.
- Using vinegar in a spray bottle (I found white vinegar works best), spritz everywhere baking soda residue remains to help create a reaction with the baking soda – a gentle foam will form.
- Give the inside of your oven one last wipe down, replace oven racks (be sure to clean them first) and you’re good to go!
Each tasks (the initial clean, oven rack clean, then final wipe down) take me about 10 minutes each.
The dishwasher needs cleaning too. Sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp cloth or sponge and wipe around the edges to kill bacteria.
Bathroom Cleaning in 15 Minutes
Following a guide from HouseKeeping.About.com, I’m able to clean my bathroom in a breeze. The guide includes tips of wiping down the tub area to cleaning the floor. Check it out and let me know if you find it helpful.