Spring cleaning should be treated as an event, rather than a collection of everyday cleaning jobs carried out on the same day. This is your opportunity to completely cleanse and organise your home for the rest of the year — so it should involve a structured, comprehensive approach.
Unfortunately, a lot of people make exactly the same mistakes when it comes to the annual spring clean. This results in jobs being done half-heartedly or not at all. But by getting the planning and preparation stages right, you can set yourself up for spring cleaning success.
Here are seven of the most common spring cleaning mistakes made by householders… avoid them at all costs.
1. Not creating a plan of action
If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll never be able to perform a detailed, comprehensive spring clean. Your planning should begin by listing all of the jobs you need to take care of. You should ensure that every job is listed, but make sure you’re planning deep cleans, rather than the everyday jobs you take care of all year round. You should also plan who’s doing what, and give each job its own time slot. Finally, you will need to make a list of all the products and tools you need.
2. Not decluttering
By holding onto unused possessions and rubbish, you’re making life a lot harder for yourself. It’s always easy to complete large and complex cleaning jobs when you don’t have to work around clutter. Getting rid of unnecessary items in your home and starting your spring clean with a blank canvas will make the entire process a lot easier.
3. Taking on too much
If you live with other people, it’s only right that they should do their fair share of spring cleaning. After all, everyone contributes to dirt and mess. Taking on too much yourself will make things exceptionally slow and tedious. And if this happens, you’re more likely to take shortcuts or quit altogether.
4. Waiting too late
Try not to get too caught up on when spring actually begins. In truth, your annual spring clean can take place at any time between the beginning of January and the end of May. A home is often at its dirtiest and messiest just after the festive period, which is why many people do their “spring” cleaning in January or February.
5. Not devoting enough time to the process
Spring cleaning is a big job by any standards. Too many people try to get everything done in a day, when the simple truth is that spring cleaning should take as long as it takes. It doesn’t matter whether you devote a weekend or a fortnight to the process, the main objective is to get everything on your plan done. Don’t put pressure on yourself by creating ambitious deadlines — as this usually leads to shortcuts and inferior results.
6. Not allowing sufficient contact time
Many of the cleaning agents you use during a spring clean require several minutes of contact time in order to work properly. But too many people simply spray and wipe. If your planning is right, you can spray certain surfaces then move onto different jobs — while you wait for the cleaning agent to do its job.
7. Not having the right supplies
Once you have a plan of action, you need to ensure that you have the right tools for the job. A single bottle of multipurpose cleaner and a few sponges aren’t going to get the job done — so don’t kid yourself that they are. Cleaning with insufficient or inappropriate cleaning tools won’t just lead to inferior results, it will also make jobs harder and more time-consuming.
Make sure you have a plentiful supply of microfibre cloths, scrubbing brushes, scourers, sweeping brushes, sanitiser, degreaser, paper towels and speciality cleaning agents. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your vacuum cleaner is up to the job. Awkward cleaning jobs can be made easier with a handheld vacuum cleaner and the right attachments. And you can clean and sanitise a wide range of surfaces in your home with just a single steam cleaner.
If you can manage to avoid these seven common spring cleaning mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to making your home sparkle for the rest of the year.