Years ago, our grannies and mamas knew that spring and summertime were a busy time of the year, so they got ready for gardening and animal caring by doing a good sweep of the entire house. While many of us may not put in a huge garden or help animals give birth, we do love to take advantage of the wonderful weather for other things besides cleaning the house.
Now is a good time to get a head start on the season by de-cluttering and giving our homes a good scrub down. If you’re a caregiver, having a well-ordered house can be a lifesaver. Removing the extras can also make your home much safer to live in.
Removing the Clutter
Getting rid of unwanted and unneeded possessions can make it much easier to keep our homes clean. No one needs a hundred knick-knacks, yet somehow they seem to multiply while just sitting on the shelves. And why do we keep socks without matches, clothes we haven’t worn since the 1980s and enough coffee mugs to furnish a huge diner? (I’m really just asking these questions for my own consideration!)
Experts suggest (strongly) getting yourself a number of good boxes. Mark them as “Throw Away,” “Give Away” and “Donate.” You may want to have others marked “Put in Storage” to decide on what to do with them later. Your giveaways will make someone you know happy. Let the kids and grandkids go through those boxes and you’ll be very popular with the family.
Start with just one room at a time. De-cluttering, just like cleaning, goes best when you start at the top and work your way down. Have your boxes handy and at the end of the day — load those boxes in the car! Don’t ever lift anything too heavy. Get a teenage grandkid or grown child to do the heavy lifting. Some charities will actually come out and take away your donated items. Check out what’s available in your vicinity.
If you’re still the keeper of your adult children’s possessions — call them up and tell them to come and get ‘em or it’s all going to Goodwill!
Windows and Walls
Once you get all the extra items out of the house, you may want to take down your curtains to be washed or taken to the cleaners. Get your Webster out and invite all spiders to leave the premises. My mama just uses a broom with one of daddy’s old t-shirts wrapped around the end. For areas the spiders seemed to just reappear on a whim, she’ll spray a little bug spray on the t-shirt while she gets down her webs.
Cleaning your windows will be much easier once the curtains, drapes and cobwebs are down. Old newspapers work wonders on windows and you won’t have to spend so much on paper towels. I like to take a trip to the dollar store before window cleanings. They have great squeegees and cheap window cleaners. While you’re there get one of those sponge mops to use on the walls. It’s much easier to use those sponge mops than go up and down a ladder which can end in a fall.
There’s nothing like clean windows to make the whole house seem so much cleaner and brighter.
Bed Linens and Blankets
Are your linen closets stacked to the rafters? Chances are you could change every bed in the house once a day for a week and still not use all the sheets, blankets and pillow cases you’ve accumulated. As long as you have a change of bed linens in the closet and one set on the bed — that’s enough. Get rid of the rest.
Floors are Always Last
After the closets are cleaned, the windows are shining and the clutter is gone, you can at last do the floors. Put on some music and enjoy your work. Move what you can out of the area you are cleaning. Vacuum very thoroughly and then it will be easier to mop. This is the time to rearrange furniture if you want to and re-hang your clean curtains and drapes. This is also the time to order dinner out, put your feet up and enjoy your clean home.
We’d love to hear from you on your best cleaning tips! What did your mama teach you that has stood the test of time?