Finally – finally! – spring has arrived. The flowers are blooming, the trees are turning green again and – hey, how did those baseboards get so dusty?
Amid all the joys of spring comes something not quite so inviting: spring cleaning. Done right, it can breathe new life into your home and free your spirit from the weight of clutter, soap scum and dog hair.
“Spring is new beginnings,” said Beth Dannenhauer, owner of the Maid in Heaven cleaning service in Charlotte. “It kind of transcends into the house: ‘Let’s just give this a good cleaning.’ It’s good for the soul.”
And, she points out, it’s also good for the body. Accumulated dust mites, airborne allergens and dust particles can make us sick, especially in today’s nearly air-tight homes.
“Healthwise,” said Dannenhauer, “it’s very important to get that house clean, get it disinfected, do those chores that you maybe don’t do but once a year.”
But while most of us feel at least a tiny twinge of that spring-cleaning bug this time of year, not everyone actually rolls up sleeves and gets it done. We like the idea of a tidier, healthier home, but we don’t really like scrubbing baseboards.
Geralin Thomas, owner of Metropolitan Organizing in Cary, says there are ways to make all those deep-cleaning chores feel less like, well, chores.
“Sometimes it’s easier to do things in a group, surround yourself with people who are motivated and will keep you motivated,” she said. If your family members don’t quite meet that standard, enlist some friends or neighbors and create a traveling band of spring cleaners. One person’s house gets the deep clean one weekend, then it’s on to another group member’s house the next. Bring some snacks, play some music and be sure to indulge in a reward when it’s all done, maybe a night out or a glass of wine, Thomas said.
If you find yourself grumbling, instead of whistling while you work, keep in mind all the benefits a clean house offers the mind and body.
“It’s very much like exercising,” Thomas said. “A lot of times you have to talk yourself into it, and then while you’re sweating it out it’s no fun. But the minute you’re done, you think, ‘I feel so much better! I’m glad I did it.’ ”
Starting a spring-cleaning project can be overwhelming – so much grime, so little time. So we asked some experts, including Dannenhauer and Thomas, for their top five tasks and tips to inspire you to take out the mop and get moving.