Spring is in the air, which means no more golfing, no more Netflix, because it’s time for spring cleaning. That may sound like a lot of work, but you can clean your Encantada home with minimal effort and probably won’t even have to buy cleaning products since, as anyone who has ever perused a cleaning website will attest, there are very few things on our planet that can’t be cleaned with either lemon juice, vinegar, or a combination of the two. If you do have to purchase a commercial product, most experts have two words of advice: Magic Eraser.
There are hundreds of online tips for cleaning everything from ovens to toilets, but here are a few general suggestions to get you started:
Make a List
Walk around your apartment, one room at a time, and write down everything you want to do. When you start cleaning, check-off items as you complete them. Not only does this ensure you won’t miss anything, but it will also give you a feeling of accomplishment.
Clean Top-to-Bottom and Left-to-Right
You have to have a plan when cleaning. If you clean top-to-bottom, the law of gravity works in your favor, keeping dust and debris away from items you’ve already cleaned. Working left to right guarantees that you don’t miss anything. Divide each room into a grid and tackle everything along a line that’s three or four feet wide. Then, move to the right, and do the same thing. You’ll have every square inch of a room cleaned in no time.
Vacuum in Rows
Just as the above advice, vacuuming in rows is the best way to be certain you haven’t missed anything. Plus, it looks very cool having perfectly straight lines running the length of every room. If you want to achieve the diamond pattern you see in ballparks, you’re on your own.
Keep Cleaning Products and Tools at the Ready
Put all your cleaning products in plastic buckets. This not only keeps everything together but, since every room will have its own set of cleaning products, you can have a separate bucket for each room. When it’s time to tackle the bathroom or kitchen, all the products and tools specific to those rooms will already be there waiting for you.
Minimize Products Size
Buy several small spray bottles and adhesive labels, and pour cleaning products from those large, cumbersome bottles into something of a more manageable and portable size. It’s also more economical, since you can buy large sizes and distribute a product in small bottles to every room. If you want to keep the large bottles organized, get a tension rod to put in a closet or cabinet. Large spray bottles hang conveniently over a rod by their handles and they’re easy to see and retrieve.
Now that you have a strategy, here’s an easy way to get everything done—do one manageable task every day for 30 days. Good Housekeeping has planned 30 small cleaning projects that will have your place clean and sparkling in a month.
Finally, once everything is clean, it’s much easier to keep it that way. If you find the 30-day plan to be fairly stress-free, you may want to repeat it every month so that next year at this time, while everyone else is scrubbing and scouring, you’ll be able to relax.