Our routine is pretty simple. When the Spring Cleaning bug comes over us, we crank up the music, open the windows, and let the games begin! While we don't have a rigid, bullet-pointed list, we definitely don't stop until we conquer our main cleaning and organizing goals. Once we have chosen the best time to embark on a pretty intense clean for the season, the key for us is to find a good soundtrack, and to ensure that we have lunch or snacks on-hand. We often will get on such a tear that we don't have the time or inclination to stop, so an easy to grab sandwich comes in handy. One small ritual we have is to light s few fragrant candles when we start, so that by the time we're done cleaning the aroma has permeated the air.
For purposes of our routine break-down, let's presume that the house is already tidy, and that we're simply getting down to the nitty-gritty. We've already done the dishes, hung up the clothes on the chair, and filed the random bills that have piled up. Now we're going deep.
Since we usually cover the whole house at once, we start with a thorough dusting of all of the surfaces. We love our swiffer duster, and make sure to get every top shelf, the insides of empty vases, the tops of books — all of the dust-accumulating spots we may not always cover, normally.
Our next step is to strip the bed and put them in the wash. Once the bed is bare, it's time to rotate the mattress, which gives us the opportunity to vacuum thoroughly under the bed — dust bunnies are made much worse with a dog that sheds a lot!
Once we've vacuumed under the bed and put the mattress back on we continue vacuuming the rest of the house. For our super intense clean, we really get the baseboards, move any furniture that we can, and get all the cracks and crevices. We also do the floors of closets (which usually requires moving shoes and things out first), blinds, and window sills.
We'd like to say that we move very efficiently on to our next task, which is the cleaning the remaining floors. But if you really want to know the behind-the-scenes routine, we usually get sidetracked at this point sorting our shoes. (See closet cleaning above.) We rationalize the delay of the "cleaning" portion of the day because decluttering is just as important a step in our routine. Once we're done with the shoes, we often continue with our clothing. Once we've covered these two, we're ready to get back to business.
At this point we'll sweep and mop all of the hard flooring in the house. We're motivated by the fresh smell of Murphy's Oil Soap, so that keeps us going strong. This usually leads us into the bathroom, where we do an intense clean of the toilet, sink, and shower. The whole room should be shining before we're out of it.
Next comes windows. If possible, we often tackle the outsides of the windows, as well as really getting down on the sills. Since this brings us outside, we often end up sweeping the patio and tidying our outdoor area. No intense yard work, though — that's for another day.
This is when we start to wind down, at which point we will often pare down our knick knacks, straighten and adjust art on the walls, and get caught in the occasional micro-clean (computer keyboard, for instance!).
For a grand finish, we usually run the vacuum once more to catch any dust that has settled in the process. We'll re-make the bed, Febreeze any reasonably fabric-y thing in the house, twirl around in the middle of the room like a caricature of a 50s housewife, and collapse in the nearest cozy spot to revel in the cleanliness!
Our Spring Cleaning routine even makes us feel rejuvenated just talking about it. What rituals do you have for your home? Any tips or hints to make the process even more rewarding?