Spring is just around the corner, which can only mean two things: The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is on the horizon and it’s time to begin spring cleaning. But where does one begin when trying to tackle a messy, overwhelming house? Instead of diving right in, it is best to develop a strategy to create the least amount of stress–and hopefully, the largest amount of relaxation when it is done.
1. Set a plan and goals.
You’re not going to tackle everything in one day. Set a plan for the whole house and schedule appropriately. It’s unrealistic even in the best of circumstances to expect this task to be done so quickly. Furthermore, if you set goals and don’t meet them, you can become discouraged and end up doing nothing–and sitting around all day can be even more hazardous to your health than the accumulating clutter. Instead, create a plan of attack by choosing different rooms to clean throughout the week.
2. Check on your cleaning supplies.
While you may think that getting the name brand supplies is the best option, most generic materials will do the job just as well. Cross check the ingredients of cleaning products, because you may find that the generic version does everything the name brand version does for much less. You can also hunt on many different sites for coupons or specials that allow you to purchase cleaning supplies at a discount.
3. Set up bins.
Set up bins in order to ease the process of moving things around or out. One of the bins can be set up for donations, full of clothing or household items that can be donated to those less fortunate. Another can be set up for yard sales, while others can be for trash or various items you want to keep, but store somewhere else in the house. Use an open space in your house for setting out the various bins. Keep these as the collection points for items–trash, donations, yard sales, keepsakes, decorations, and so on–as you move through the house. It will be easier to move them around or out later.
4. Start at the top and move outward.
Clean each room by starting at the top corner and moving to the bottom and toward the door. Starting with the ceilings and working down enables you to get dust and dirt to fall to the floor and be cleaned up as you progress. If you start at the bottom and move up the walls, you will leave dirt behind once you get to the top because it falls down to the floor or on top of furniture. When working on the floors for sweeping or mopping, start at the furthest point away from the door and work toward it–otherwise you’ll be stuck standing in a room waiting for the floors to dry.
5. Use others around the house.
Use your kid–or kids–to help you out. With more hands on deck, spring cleaning can become a much easier, quicker and more painless task. Also, you may have some fun when including the whole family. Children are more than eager to help with cleaning if any fun aspect can be added to it, such as a treasure hunt or a race. Besides, the promise of a reward later for helping you with such a big task can be just as good for you as it is for them.
Use the above steps when the time comes for spring cleaning in your home to keep priorities straight, your plan moving forward and your sanity intact.
Of course, you may decide that the time and effort spent to do it yourself is not worth the money saved. If this is your chosen method, there are many companies in the Atlanta area that will gladly take an appointment and stresses of this job for a fee.
When all else fails, call in the professionals. Here are a few local cleaning services to help you organized:
Green & Clean Maid Service
57 Forsyth St, Suite 8G
Atlanta, GA 30303
Metropolitan Maid Services
832 Toonigh Rd
Canton, GA 30115
Sponge & Sparkle
3374 Hardee Ave
Atlanta, GA 30341
Michael Francis is a freelance writer studying at Georgia State University. His work can be found at Examiner.com.