Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy People

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Although we love the idea of spring cleaning, in our home we don’t really do the whole shebang. It’s not that we don’t clean in spring—it’s just rare that we get around to all those extra jobs like deep-cleaning the refrigerator coils and vacuuming the ceiling vents, but we do try to check a few small tasks off the list to mark the season.

This is pretty much our modified, CliffsNotes version of the Apartment Therapy Cure, a more comprehensive, eight-week program that moves you toward a healthier home. We’ve done the whole program before, but as we pare down and simplify our stuff, we’ve continued to repeat parts of the Cure in small, seasonal cycles.

  • Weight loss. Homes are like people—they tend to gain a few pounds over the winter. Around this time of year, we spend an hour or two scanning our home for anything we can donate to the Salvation Army—the bigger, the better.
  • Window treatment. In spring, opening the windows reminds us that they need a good cleaning. We don’t do them all at once, but take on just a couple whenever the mood strikes. For an effective, cheap window cleaner, mix one cup of white vinegar per gallon of water. To cut the vinegar smell, we sometimes add a dash of lemon juice.
  • Quick fix. New Year’s may be the traditional time for resolutions, but spring cleaning is a second chance to start over. To get that “hey, I actually followed through and finished something” feeling, fix one thing in your home that’s been driving you crazy. A broken doorknob, a leaky faucet–whatever it is, it should be small enough that you can fix it yourself. For repair tips to get you started, click here.

Got any fast and easy spring cleaning rituals? Share them in the comments.

Photo: Chiot’s Run used under Creative Commons license