As the weather gets warmer, we start anticipating the arrival of spring…and the ensuing thought of spring cleaning! While we know it's not the most fun way to spend a weekend, it has to be done. Here are a few ideas to make it a little easier to handle, and how to get ready for next year!
Get Everyone Ready!
The old saying is "many hands make light work", and in the case of spring cleaning, it certainly applies! Get your whole family together, or at least the ones old enough to help. Schedule the weekend well in advance to avoid conflicts with more exciting activities! If possible, arrange to have younger members minded, or think of something to occupy their time.
Identify what needs to be done, and assign jobs to everyone the night before. Allocate tasks based on age and ability. Get your cleaning supplies and tools ready the night before. You'll probably need dusters, ladders, cloths, buckets, detergent, boxes, garbage bags, brooms and a vacuum. Then pack everyone off to bed early for a good night's sleep!
Add Rewards and Fun
Try and incorporate rewards and fun! Make a chart that shows everyone's assigned tasks and apply a sticker each time a task is completed. It's a great way to keep track of your progress and motivate everyone. Try using Avery® Merit Stickers for extra fun and colour!
You could make everyone a team t-shirt to wear on the day! "Spring Clean 2009" t-shirts will add some fun. Try our Inspired™ T-shirt-Transfers. You can create your own design – a photograph, a family logo or just some funky text! Design using your computer, print on the transfer and apply to the t-shirts.
Music will help keep you moving along while cleaning. Share the control of the music, and make sure everyone's selection is played.
Reward yourselves with your favourite foods. Pat yourselves on the back with a special lunch – fish and chips, or pizza. You're probably all working off the kilojoules scrubbing and sweeping!
One of your biggest jobs will be organising what you need to keep and what you can dispose of. There are many ways to dispose of things – recycling, rubbish collections, a garage sale or a charity bin. Think carefully about what is appropriate for each item and prepare boxes or bags for each group. Prepare a few sheets of Avery labels with the category name (design them using the Avery Wizard) and give each family member enough labelled bags and boxes to cater to the area they're sorting. When recycling or preparing rubbish, break or squash as much as possible to reduce the volume.
When sorting through your belongings, consider how much room you have, how much you use the object, and the sentimental value it has. You'll keep some things just because of their sentimental value, and that's fine – just don't go overboard!
Home Sweet Home
If everything has a home, it will reduce the clutter around your house. You'll reduce the need for storing things in junk drawers and the garage and hiding them in cupboards. Use boxes, tubs and containers to store things. You'll deter storage of an item that doesn't belong there, and have a much better chance of finding things because they'll be where they are supposed to be!
Label, Label, Label!
Make sure you label as much as you can – tubs, shelves, boxes and containers. It means there's no excuse for things being incorrectly stored. You'll have less to sort through next year if you make sure that things are stored correctly all year round. Our Durable Heavy Duty Labels are perfect for areas where you want the same label year after year. They're dirt resistant, splash proof and designed to stay on – perfect for indoor or outdoor labelling.
Prepare For Next Year
Some of your spring cleaning tasks can be made easier if they occur on a regular basis. The "clean as you go" approach makes a big difference to areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Wiping down surfaces after use reduces grime, grease and scum build-up. That will make it a much easier job when spring rolls around next year. For other tasks, like cleaning blinds or skirting boards, scheduling "mini cleans" during the year will make the task quicker and easier. Again, the time allowed for dust and dirt to accumulate is shortened, reducing the cleaning effort. For maximum impact, you can apply the same principles - planning, adding rewards and organising – to your mini cleans!