One of the few advantages of spending more time at home is having time to get around to those things you just never had the time to do before! In between baking, arts/crafts and studying, one thing you’ll thank yourself for is doing a spring clean (right before Australian winter!) of your home or room. Here are our top tips for spring cleaning.
Make a schedule
Any task seems far more terrifying when it is presented as a large, domineering challenge. With this in mind, we suggest that you create a schedule or plan for your spring clean, breaking up the task into more manageable tasks in the process. You’re much more likely to finish this task when it is broken up into achievable rooms or jobs, rather than tackling the whole thing in an afternoon.
Work from top to bottom
The most logical way to thoroughly clean your home is to work ceiling to floor, breaking the room into three sections:
- First, remove all clutter and rubbish from the area.
- Look eye-height and above, and you will find ceiling fans, shelves, light fixtures, bookshelves, paintings, photo frames, windowsills that need cleaning, and lightbulbs that need replacing. Don’t forget to wash any linen curtains!
- Now, look between eye-level and your waist. This will involve washing (and maybe replacing) your bed linen, cleaning or vacuuming your furniture, as well as dusting and polishing surfaces such as benches, coffee tables, and the toilet.
- You’re nearly done! Sweep away dust and dirt from hard floors, baseboards, and outdoor steps before vacuuming the floors and any rugs you have. Well done!
Get comfortable with culling
You may have come across Tidying Up with Marie Kondo during a recent Netflix binge. Marie Kondo’s tip when it comes to culling – not just your wardrobe, but also your books, games, bathroom products – is to ask yourself one question: does this spark joy?
So often, we hold onto items because they were expensive, or we think we might wear or use them in the future; but according to Marie, this is not the question we should be asking. Put your clothes and belongings in a pile, pick them up one by one, and ask yourself if this item sparks happiness in you. You’ll keep it if the answer is yes, and you’ll donate it to your local charity shop if the answer is no. Many people swear by this method and are surprised at how emotional the process is, and how much they end up giving away!
Once you’re left with only items that spark joy, invest in some clever storage (IKEA has some great options!) to maximise the wardrobe space you already have to ensure everything is kept neat, tidy and easy to access.
Sort out your study space
With so much time spent studying at home, you’ll want to keep your study space nice and tidy! Think like Marie Kondo and recycle any documents you no longer need, then utilise drawers and filing cabinets, as well as other storage solutions so your desk is clear and you can focus on your work.
The spring clean doesn’t stop at your physical study space! Our computers are full of old downloads, documents and photos that we haven’t thought about for months. Spend some time clearing out your virtual folders, and maybe even print out all the photos you have backed up on your laptop to decorate your freshly cleaned home! Since we can’t be close to friends and family during isolation, seeing photographs of them is the next best thing.
Now for the kitchen…
There are two main areas to focus on in the kitchen:
Cabinets and counters: Empty out your rubbish and recycling bins and fill them with warm soapy water, empty cupboards of all cutlery, pots, pans and anything else that may be lurking in there – only refill cupboards with what you honestly use on a weekly basis. Use clever kitchen storage so you can see your groceries to avoid unnecessarily buying the same basics like spices, flour and sugar.
Appliances: Throw out any expired condiments, fruit and vegetables from the fridge and wash all drawers and surfaces in hot soapy water, making sure to clean the fridge door and rubber seals to ensure the fridge is closing properly. When you’re getting rid of food, it’s worth doing it consciously – food waste is a huge problem but can be minimised with a few helpful hints. If fruit or vegetables are looking a little limp, you might still be able to revive them or cook with them. With the right food storage, leftovers can be stored in the fridge and eaten at a later date. If food has genuinely gone bad or is well past its expiry date, see if your local council takes food scraps in its green bins. If not, you might be able to set up a composting system of your own.
Once you’ve done the fridge, fill a glass bowl with water, lemon juice and white vinegar and then microwave it until it’s nearly boiling (about three minutes) then use a damp cloth to wash the inside microwave walls. Give the glass plate a clean with warm soapy water.
Purchase oven cleaner and follow the instructions – you’ll be surprised how dirty your oven is!
Don’t underestimate the power of the sun! A spring clean is all about flushing out the old and welcoming the new, so let your sheets, curtains and clothes dry outside for that fresh-linen smell, and take any rugs or blankets outside, hang them over a clothesline and hit them with a broom to remove dirt and dust before leaving them to sit in the sun for a while.