For most people, performing a thorough spring clean in a day is just about impossible — there’s just too many detailed jobs to carry out. But why put yourself under pressure when you can spread the process out across seven days?
By giving yourself a week, you can spend some quality time on the big jobs, such as steaming carpets and cleaning ovens. Use this handy guide to spring cleaning in a week, and make this year’s event more effective — and a lot less stressful.
Create a schedule for the week
If you’re going to complete every job within the week, you’ll need to be organised. If you simply perform jobs as and when you have time, you simply won’t get everything done. Sit down with a cup of coffee, and plan a cleaning schedule that fits around your work, family and social commitments.
Day one — start with a whimper
Getting your behind off that comfortable sofa at the very start of the process is probably the hardest job of all — so start slowly. On day one, commit to just an hour, but make it count. Choose one of the bigger spring cleaning jobs to tackle, and use the hour to perform it to the best of your ability.
Once you’ve done that all important first job, you’ll get the satisfaction that comes from seeing an area of your home being transformed. This should give you the motivation to crack on with the rest of the week.
Day two — clear the decks
If you run a busy family home, you will know that certain areas can become a dumping ground. We get into the habit of putting our possessions in places they’re just not meant to go. And when everyone is doing this, a home can become cluttered and messy very quickly.
Fast and effective spring cleaning requires a clean slate, and this means decluttering should be one of the first jobs you tackle. Designate a home for everything, and sell or give away what you don’t use. Clear every room of unnecessary clutter, and all your cleaning jobs should become a great deal easier.
Day three — bathroom day
You only job today is to completely gut and clean your bathroom to within an inch of its life. The process should begin by removing everything that’s not attached to the walls or floors, including towels, hygiene products, brushes, pots, mats and bottles.
Start from the top of the bathroom, and work your way down. Clean your showerhead and taps with a paste of lemon juice and baking soda — which removes dirt and limescale at the same time. In fact, you can use this paste to clean most areas, including porcelain, tiles, tile grouting and your shower door. Use a hard-bristle brush to work the paste into surfaces.
Day four — windows and curtains
All you need to clean your windows is a spray bottle filled with a solution of one part vinegar and five parts water. Spray the solution onto your windows liberally, and wipe it off with paper towels. Alternatively, you can use a handheld steamer for the job. Don’t forget to clean frames and window sills while you’re at it.
Check your curtains’ cleaning instructions. If they’re dry clean only, either send them to the cleaners or simply give them a thorough vacuuming with the necessary attachments. If you can wash them, use the brush attachment of a handheld steam cleaner to give them a thorough once-over while they’re still hanging.
Day five — kitchen day
Once again, you’ll need to remove everything from your fridge, your kitchen cupboards and your worktops before starting. This is probably going to be your heaviest day, so make sure you have designated sufficient time.
Move from appliance to appliance, cleaning using your favoured methods. The biggest jobs will be you oven, your refrigerator and your dishwasher, so give them priority. Don’t forget to deep clean cupboards, your sinks and taps, tables and chairs, worktops and shelving. Finish off by steam cleaning your kitchen floor.
Day six — bedrooms
Perhaps the most important spring cleaning job in the bedroom is cleaning the mattress, as this is something most people do once a year at best. If you can, take the mattress outside and beat it in the fresh air. Use a solution of alcohol, water and essential oil to spray the surface of the mattress — which will kill bacteria and bad odours. Finish by vacuuming it thoroughly.
This is your opportunity to clean and organise drawers, cupboards and wardrobes, so take your time. You might also want to re-organise your clothes and possessions while you have the chance. Other jobs to consider include washing pillows, cleaning mirrors and polishing surfaces.
Day seven — vacuuming day
Start the final day of spring cleaning week by dusting and polishing in your main reception rooms and hallways. You’ll know what you need to clean, but pay special attention to skirting, rails, walls, doors, handles, sills and mantels.
Once you’re finished, the final job of the week is to vacuum. But this isn’t just any old vacuuming job. Start from upstairs, and systematically move your way from room to room, removing furniture and vacuuming in areas that never normally get attention. Make sure you’re vacuuming upholstered furniture as you go — using the most appropriate attachments.
And there you have it. While this seven-day plan doesn’t cover everything, it’s perfect for people who simply can’t find the time to spring clean.