Spring cleaning has become a ritual in many countries and many homes. Even more so in colder weather countries, where welcoming a warmer temperature, more sun and fresh air brings such a special vibe that many people feel they’re starting fresh.
While it may seem like a huge, heavy endeavour, Spring cleaning can be very fun, refreshing and a feel good activity. And most importantly, cleaning in general can be done while respecting the environment and our health.
Why Spring Clean?
Spring cleaning is known to have many benefits, amongst others, here are a few:
It reduces stress – cleaning is actually therapeutic. While cleaning, the physical effort and concentration to remove the dirt, declutter, organize, etc. clears the mind from anything worrying it and helps have a fresh perspective afterwards.
It makes you happy – the feeling of being in a clean, neat home provides a feeling of wellbeing that, combined with the new season, more sun and a better weather, makes you happy.
It’s healthy – it allows to clean up all the dust particles and pollutants that have accumulated throughout the winter. From dust on carpets, from the chimney or anything else, it reduces allergens.
It increases productivity – Spring cleaning also means organizing, which in turn means less time wasted trying to find for things you need around the house.
Getting ready, in a greener way
For an eco-friendly clean-up, think reusable, biodegradable and DIY. Here are a few suggestions to consider before you get started.
Swap the usual disposable pads Swiffer – not only is it polluting but it becomes much more expensive. Use instead a reusable cloth mop that you can wash and that’ll last much longer.
Forget about anything paper – say no to Scott towels. There are better options. You can use an old piece of cloth that you already have, or if you don’t, get the Kliin reusable towel. Not only is it economical, can be used for a very long time, is made of natural materials, absorbs and cleans super well, but it is also compostable in 28 days when it becomes overused. We love them!
Think biodegradable – yes, many of the cleaning supplies we use are loaded with chemicals. Not only are they unhealthy for the skin, but also they pollute our waterways. Instead, opt for a biodegradable product. We love the products from the Unscented Company. They are biodegradable, free of harmful chemicals, not tested on animals and unscented. Another alternative is to do your own DIY, we provide a few recipes below.
Places to clean that are often forgotten
Yes, we all do forget these places… simply because we don’t use them as often or again we don’t see them (they are not visible).
- Sofa: under the cushions
- Curtains & blinds, windows & screens
- Ceiling fans and light fixtures
- Windowsills & tracts
- Door knobs & cabinet handles
- Small appliances on the counter
- Behind big appliances such as: fridge, stove, washing machine, dryer, etc.
- Computer keyboards & electrical wires
- Garbage, compost & recycling bins
How to go about cleaning
Get ready to do your cleaning one room at a time. No need to rush it all through a day or a weekend, remember, this should not become a heavy chore.
And, in order to do so, think of starting from the top down. Be it the rooms on the top floor if you live in a several storey house, starting from the shelves down, remember that in order not to put back dust and dirt on what you already cleaned, start from the top.
So, let’s kick it off! Use your cleaning recipe, or any eco-friendly product you have bought, and start your Spring cleaning.
Start by dusting you shelves, countertops, tabletops, etc. then move your furniture and appliances around and vacuum to remove all the dust and dirt.
Follow through with window cleaning by mixing white vinegar with water, put it in a glass spay bottle and you’re ready to spray and wipe.
Then continue with toilet cleaning, carpet and curtains/blinds. The next step is to remove your bedding to wash your sheets. Don’t forget the mattress and take time to turn it around.
Finally, if you have wood surfaces, clean them and take advantage of this time to make them shine again. You can clean them with an all-purpose cleaning spray or even by scrubbing a fresh lemon and wiping any excess. We love to use the beeswax balm from Dulce Bee to protect and make them shine, alternatively, you can wipe the surface with olive oil.
For glass: mix half a glass of white vinegar with half a glass of water. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired.
For wood: mix ¼ cup of lemon juice with ¼ cup of olive oil.
For toilets: sprinkle baking soda in the toilet bowl and scrub with a wooden toilet brush. To make a disinfectant, add an equal part of white vinegar to the baking soda and as desired, a few drops of essential oil.
Cleaning is also an occasion to declutter, re-organize and refresh.
Go through unwanted clothes and other items. Anything that you don’t use, anything too small, too big, or even à la Marie Kondo, anything that does not spur joy but that is still in good condition is ready to find a new home. Put everything together and donate them to people around you who may benefit from them, to a charity, a thrift shop or anyone in need.
Alternatively, you may also want to sell some pieces. Whatever you choose, don’t just throw them away, reuse and make them last longer. It’s much better for our planet.
Now that you’ve cleaned, decluttered, re-organized, it’s time to freshen up.
Open your windows – even if it may still be a little cold, consider opening your windows for a few hours on a sunny day to get some fresh air in. Even better, if you can create a wind corridor by opening several windows to let the air move around.
If you don’t have some already, consider adding some indoor plants. Many are known to purify the air by increasing the level of oxygen in a room. Some suggestions are:
- Areca Palm
- Bamboo Palm
- Boston Fern
- Spathiphyllum (Peace Lilly)
- Snake Plant
- Rubber plant
- Spider Plant
You can also ask your local florist to give you some suggestions.
A few things to watch out for…
First and foremost, your back! When cleaning, there’s a lot of bending and moving things around. Be careful how you move, avoid heavy lifting by yourself. Take some pauses and drink water while cleaning. This is kind of your home exercise session.
As we said in the beginning, cleaning does not have to be a burden. Even if Spring cleaning will take longer than the usual cleaning, it can be made fun.
So, try those few suggestions as you get active:
- Put on your favourite music
- Do your cleaning with family members
- Involve your kids
- Play and be silly
- Set out a competition between all those cleaning
On that note, we hope you enjoy your post green Spring cleaning home, and Happy Spring!