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How to Tame the Spring Cleaning Lion

How to Tame the Spring Cleaning Lion

We know what you’re thinking: “It can’t possibly be time for Spring Cleaning already, can it?!" "Didn’t we just take down the last of the Christmas decorations a few weeks ago?” “Aren’t some parts of the country still getting SNOW?!”... and the unfortunate answer to all these questions is YES.

Like it or not, whether you’re mentally ready or not, Spring cleaning season is here. Unlike March, which enters like a lion and leaves like a lamb, Spring cleaning goes hard all season long, especially if you ignore its first growls of warning.

If the thought of endless Spring cleaning tasks sneaking out of the tall grass and bounding toward you teeth bared makes you feel like running in the opposite direction, you’re not alone. We know Spring cleaning can be daunting, even downright scary, which is why we’re here to teach you that the best defense against the Spring cleaning lion is a good offense. So let’s learn to run, jump and spring into Spring cleaning before it pounces on you!

1. Early Bird Gets the Worm

If you’d rather throw money at the problem and pay others to spring clean for you, you’re in good company. Spring cleaning is the busiest few months for every cleaning company in the industry. This is a great thing, since professional cleaners are always faster and more effective than novice DIYers, but it also means that the best cleaning slots disappear FAST.

If you don’t have a cleaning company service your home regularly (which you really should!), but you want to hire one to do a deep Spring cleaning for you, get on the phone NOW! In fact, you may want to bookmark this article to finish later and go call, especially if there’s only a few really good companies in your town, as your neighbors know that too!

The last thing you want is to pay top dollar for a big Spring cleaning to some unvetted rando, because they were the only one with opening left in the next four weeks. The hourly worker shortage isn’t ending anytime soon, so even the best companies are understaffed, making booking early even more critical than ever before. Don’t say in two weeks I didn’t warn you.

2. Don't Go Whole Hog

You don’t have to Google long to find endless lists of suggested spring cleaning tasks, some so long they could keep you scrubbing all the way to next Valentine’s Day!

The reality is, you're going to have to pick your battles, figuring out which tasks you can outsource, which you can handle yourself, and which you just don’t care enough about to have anyone do.

Journalists love to make home consumers feel like they’re terrible people living in squalor if they don’t scour their home with a toothbrush every Spring, but cleaning experts know that the human tolerance for filth is actually far higher than most modern people want to admit.

To understand just how dirty societies can be and still survive, check out The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History. The book will have you itching from cover to cover as it uncovers personal hygiene habits from the past, everything from the ancient Romans that never bathed with soap to 17th French aristocrats that never bathed at all and only changed their underwear. A few chapters in and you’ll feel far better about the condition of your home and be able to see through the modern hygiene hysteria clearly enough to pick the tasks that really need doing.

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3. Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time

Once you’ve made peace with the fact that you can’t deep clean every inch of your home, next comes accepting that you can’t accomplish even your shortened list in one crazed weekend of Spring cleaning, no matter what Disney movie montages promised you.

The truth is, they call it "Spring cleaning" because you have an entire season to finish it, so stop putting so much pressure on yourself. At the same time, procrastinating till Memorial Day isn’t a good plan either, especially if you value your lower back and shoulders.

The key to successful Spring cleaning is breaking the work up into rational chunks and organizing those groupings in order of dirt, not priority. Cleaning in order of dirt means thinking about things like gravity and which surfaces might accidentally splatter onto other ones when you’re scrubbing them. For example, cleaning ceiling fans and AC registers should happen before you hire someone to steam the carpets underneath them.

As a general rule, cleaning rooms from the top down is 90% of the battle, so even if you’re really excited to tackle your kitchen floor grout, it’s best to do it after you’ve wiped down the counters. Some tasks are tricky to put in the right order, like a fireplace might be low to the ground but has the potential to blast soot everywhere, so it’s best to do it first.

At the end of the day, just envision yourself doing the task and think about where the dirt might fly and the order of operation will become crystal clear.

4. Ignore the Crocodile Tears

If your Spring Cleaning list feels daunting because you’re the only one doing it, it’s time to take a stand and demand those that live with you do their fair share.

Despite the fact that over 50% of US Households are dual income and women make up 47% of the workforce, most women still end up doing the majority of the cleaning, regardless of the season. Even in households that claim to be more progressive, women are still made to be the project manager, taking on the mental load of figuring out every domestic task needed and then delegating it in tiny chunks to hapless spouses and roommates that demand careful instructions and gold stars of praise for even the smallest effort.

If you’ve been made the project manager of your home’s hygiene, it’s time to give your employees a promotion. One last time, create a list of Spring cleaning tasks and enter them into a spreadsheet which can be used for years going forward.

In the spreadsheet, add columns for tasks, due dates, and assignees, then print it out for everyone to fill in. Tasks may be outsourced, but make it clear that everyone needs to sign up and take responsibility for an equal amount of outsourced and DIY tasks (modify expectations based on age as needed).

If your roommates, spouse, or children blubber that they don’t know what they are doing, how to figure out who to hire, or are simply too busy, ignore the crocodile tears and remind them that ovaries are not pre-programmed with cleaning instructions and you figured it out just fine, so they can too. Youtube exists, use it.

Before you even ask, yes all of this applies even to households with a stay-at-home parent. Stay-at-home parents already put in a 96 hour workweek cooking, cleaning, providing childcare, chauffeuring services, shopping, bill paying, and more, which totals over $180,000 in salary value, so yes they’re entitled and need to delegate Spring cleaning tasks to the fellow members of the household that helped make the messes too.

5. Come Loaded for Bear

Once you finally know what really needs to be done, how much to do at once, what order to do it in, and who is taking responsibility for doing it, it’s time to actually get to work.

As a purveyor of cleaning supplies, it would be irresponsible of us to talk about getting a jump on Spring cleaning without at least briefly mentioning the importance of making sure you have all the right tools you need to clean as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. If you and your household really plan to take Spring cleaning head on this year, you need to come loaded for bear (AKA with enough firepower to do the job right).

If your cleaning supplies have seen better days, don’t start something as important as Spring cleaning with worn out rags and old smelly mops. Give your spring cleaning a fresh start with our Ultimate Microfiber Cleaning Kit. It has everything you need from flat mop, to duster, to towels, so you’re sure you are giving your entire home the deepest clean it can get.

Microfiber Wholesale’s microfiber is the densest, softest, most durably sewn microfiber available, so every wipe and mop stroke you make will lift up more dirt, leave less streaks, and help you clean faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Pro Tip: If you have a lot of dirty floors and showers that need some serious help, add scrubbing mop pads and scrubbing sponges to your order too, so you have the firepower you need to tackle even the dirtiest of Spring cleaning messes.

5. Separate Housekeeping from House Cleaning

Housekeeping is the returning of order, house cleaning is the removal of soil. Professionals get through a whole suburban house in only 4 to 5 hours because they don't let themselves get distracted by putting stuff away.

When you clean, just focus on dirt removal and leave misplaced things where they are, either by just putting them back neatly, so you don't get pulled into a side quest like folding laundry or organizing your freezer when you're supposed to be cleaning the stovetop.

If you use a professional cleaning service, staying on top of housekeeping is actually the best kept secret to making your professional cleaning as cheap and effective as possible. The more things are put away, the more time your cleaner can spend removing dirt and grime instead of trying to neatly display your clutter.

Bonus tip within a tip, the more homes you create for your stuff, the easier it will be to housekeep. If you find your surfaces constantly cluttered, it’s because you’ve made putting stuff away too hard. Baskets, bins, shelf dividers and trays all go a long way to break up disorganized cluttered spaces and make putting things back where they belong instinctive.

If your items don’t have a home, they’re bound to roam like vagabonds around your space, so stop leaving them out in the cold and make them a place of their own.

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