Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Cleaning Sprints // Week One

I wanted to do some spring cleaning ever since spring started (this year spring started in February). You know, like DEEP spring cleaning. Baseboards, ceiling fans, corners you never look at…that stuff. But I didn’t feel like I had the time for all of that. So I haven’t done any of it. (Avoidance always makes sense until you think about it.)

Recently I saw some posts on one of my favorite blogs (MoneySavingMom) about daily spring cleaning assignments, and I am once again inspired to clean. I am in between busy seasons so I think now is a good time to give it a go and do some cleaning assignments of my own. I don’t want to steal her idea…but I am going to borrow it a little bit. If you want a super efficient day-to-day organizational plan for spring cleaning, please check out her posts. They are awesome.

Since my schedule and cleaning needs are different from hers, I worked up assignments that fit someone who works outside of the home or someone with an ever-changing schedule. I happen to fall into both categories.

For the next five weeks, I will assign myself (and you too if you happen to follow along) some Spring Cleaning Sprints. They will be quick and easy cleaning tasks…well as quick and easy as they can be. The point is not to attempt a full-day deep cleaning marathon. As much as I love to clean, even I get burnt out when I try to stuff it all in a day.

Each week there will be assignments from each category:
1)      Weeknight Spruce
2)      Saturday Sweep
3)      Quickie Purge
4)      Peaceful Pause

The Weeknight Spruce is something that can be done without a lot of time or energy. I think each of the Spruce assignments can be done in less than 30 minutes unless you have a lot of house or a lot of clutter. On a weeknight, 30 minutes isn’t a bad time investment.

The Saturday Sweep includes a couple of tasks that are more involved and need a good amount of time dedicated to them. These tasks are best for when you have a full day at home. They shouldn’t take all day to complete, but I find these types of tasks easier to accomplish when I am not rushed. I also tend to be more thorough if I give myself a few hours to do them.

Quickie Purges will be the same task each week: find five things to get rid of either for a garage sale, donation pile, re-gifting or the trash. They have to be legitimate items though, like books, clothes, CDs. Not pieces of paper or bottle caps that should end up in the trash anyways.

The Peaceful Pause is the same each week too: 30 minutes of down-time for personal refreshment. This is different for everyone. It could be a warm bath, a good book by the pool, a walk at sunset. Whatever it is, those moments are important for replenishment to stay fresh and energized from day to day.

In case you want to follow along, I will post the weekly assignments on Tuesdays (not sure why…it just works for me) and I will do a follow-up post about my progress on Mondays. I will also share cleaning and organization tips as they pertain to each week.

I’m sure I won’t cover every nook of the home, but by the time week five is over, we will all have an idea of what else needs a deep cleaning. (Or maybe we will need to start over again? Yikes!)

I’m ready to get started!

Week One Assignments

Weeknight Spruce
Wipe down kitchen counters and cabinets.
Be sure to  move small appliances and other clutter. The crumbs like to gather underneath those things. Use a soft cloth damp with water, or add some vinegar for extra cleaning power. 

Wood Furniture/Cabinet Cleaner:
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
Mix in a glass jar and use to dampen a soft rag. Wipe onto wood surface and let dry. 

Saturday Sweep
Clean out refrigerator and freezer. 
Organize kitchen cupboards.
This can be a big project if you have a large kitchen. But it is easy to break it up into smaller tasks: throughout the week you can organize two cupboards at a time, or start tossing things from the fridge as you seen them. Saturday's task will then be much easier.

I don't know about you, but it is easy for my cupboards to get cluttered. Some days I just toss lids on the shelf or stack bakeware haphazardly because I am in a rush. It's time to get them back in order! Oh and those shelves that are bowing from years of weight...it might be good to flip them over and reconsider what goes back on them.

When cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer, be sure to remove all items. Then wipe down the sides, shelves and doors with an all natural disinfecting solution. 

Cleaning Solution:
2 tbsp baking soda
1 qt warm water
Use a cloth and this solution to wipe down entire fridge, follow with a clean damp cloth.

Quickie Purge 
This week we are going through all the kitchen cabinets. There is bound to be a few things you don't really need somewhere in there. If not, take a look around the house. By the end of the week, let's have a pile of  5 things to purge.

Peaceful Pause
Pick any day that you can set aside 30 minutes for you. Talk a walk or soak in a bath; read a good book; enjoy some tea outside. Whatever refreshes and replenishes you. Enjoy!