Most of us grew up hearing about, or participating in, “spring cleaning.” Everything outside is fresh and new, so why not your house too? The problem I have with deep cleaning, organizing, and household projects in the spring is that it’s not what I want to be doing that time of year. As soon as it warms up in the Midwest I want walks, bike rides, sitting outside with friends, and GARDENING! The last thing I want is to be trapped inside. So, many years ago I began winter cleaning and have stuck to it ever since.
Starting after the holidays, I divide my home into sections, usually levels, and assess what needs to be done preparing a list as I go. Then I give myself, get this, A WHOLE MONTH OR MORE TO COMPLETE EACH SECTION. Rather than giving up entire weekends to accomplish several tasks, I complete smaller tasks all month in these areas. My goal is to complete all sections and projects by Memorial Day weekend so we can have people over to celebrate and start the summer with no major jobs hanging over my head.
Does this mean my house is never dirty or cluttered again? Sadly no. However, each year the jobs are easier and shorter, and it’s actually fun knowing I can enjoy the few warmest months of the year. Below is my list of winter cleaning jobs:
Declutter, sort, discard toys or store in a container to save. Check DVD and video games to ensure they are in the correct cases. Go through board games checking for missing pieces and recycle those that are missing items. (Can you tell this is where the kids hang out?) Wash curtains, shampoo carpet, wash rugs, polish woodwork, and touch up paint.
February to Mid March/Upstairs
This is where all of our bedrooms are, so I give myself more time on this level. Declutter and organize all closets, sorting items into discard and donate. Go through all dressers and do the same. Clean out bathroom closets, cabinets and drawers using the same approach as the bedrooms, and don’t forget the linen closets. Wash window treatments, rugs, pillows, shampoo carpets, polish woodwork, and touch up paint.
Mid March to Mid April/Main Level
Go through the kitchen cabinets, drawers, and pantry using the same approach of decluttering, sorting, discarding, and donating. Take things out of the china cabinet and wipe out. Clean out the coat closet and discard or donate items. Polish woodwork, shampoo carpets, wash curtains, and touch up paint.
Declutter and organize where needed. Throw out or donate unused or old toys. Add air to balls and pump up bike tires. Assess garden supplies and hoses, wash out garbage and recycling bins, and clean garage.
We’re almost finished! Wash windows inside and out – I LOVE the Windex outdoor cleaner that attaches to your hose. Power wash deck and patio, clean and place cushions and outdoor furniture and décor – don’t forget the lights! Touch up deck or furniture as needed, and plant pots!
ENJOY!!!! Remember, this is my list, have fun making your own! This has helped me enjoy my summers with my remaining tasks simply being laundry and regular everyday cleaning. And remember, if you don’t think this sounds like fun or is something you can accomplish on your own … Straighten Your Paths is here to help.
It’s not too late to start now – have fun!