I know Spring cleaning may not be considered one of the 'perks' of the changing seasons, but you will feel soooo much better after you do it! Just keep the Fasse bldgs. credo in your head..."less really is more" (and this also means, if there is a Spring accent piece for the home, sundress, or a spring suit you may be drooling over, well now you have some space for it!). A good Spring purge & deep clean will help you declutter and simplify your life.
If the idea of spending hours cleaning makes you feel overwhelmed, you may find some inspiration in this book by Japanese organizational guru Marie Kondo, called The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up . The KonMari method, as Kondo has coined her system, is simple: keep the belongings that “spark joy,” and get rid of those that don’t.
That weird centerpiece your aunt gave you for Christmas...Goodbye! That overpriced cocktail dress you always feel guilty for never wearing? Gone. Those sad t-shirts you have had since your college glory days? Sayonara. The system leaves very little room for those excuses: 'maybe I will wear it to bed,' or 'I might wear it again one day' or 'so-and-so got that for us on a trip to Europe,' or 'I will wear that to work around the house or lounge in' and so on. We know how it goes. While you are in the decluttering process, just keep asking yourself if these items are really a reflection of you (and your family), or are you just holding on to them for your own weird reasons. And remember, you don't have to purge the whole house at one time.
According to a Web MD article on decluttering,
And let's be honest, a good playlist, a glass of wine, and even a friend or two may also make your Spring home purge a little easier!
Now that the purging is over, lets discuss the deep cleaning. You may want to keep the playlist, wine, and friends around for this part too, but let's avoid the harmful chemicals! These days, you don’t have to make a special trip to the natural foods store to seek out environmentally-sensitive cleaning products. Seventh Generation, Method and Biokleen are three companies that make full lines of household cleaners , and you can find them in just about every store. These products work just as well as their conventional counterparts. Or you can stock your natural cleaning kit with homemade cleaners—making them yourself is much simpler than you may think.
Basic supplies for green cleaners include:
Distilled white vinegar
Borax (sold in a box in the laundry aisle)
Liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's brand, found in most natural foods stores)
Microfiber cleaning cloths
Here are a few "recipes" & tips for natural cleaning:
Glass: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
Countertops and bathroom tile: Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Apply with a sponge, scour, and wipe away.
Floors: Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping the floors, the smell of vinegar will dissipate quickly, leaving behind only the scent of the oil.
Wood furniture: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive and oil. Apply a small amount to a cloth, and rub onto the furniture in long, even strokes.
Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle a toilet brush with baking soda and scrub away! Occasionally disinfect your toilet by scrubbing with borax instead. Wipe the outside of the toilet clean with straight vinegar.
Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Wipe clean.
Mold and mildew: Wipe with straight vinegar.
Air freshener: Sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball, and stash it in a corner of the room. If you have kids, make sure it is out of their reach as essential oils are very strong and could irritate their skin. Lavender is a relaxing scent that is great for bedrooms, and cinnamon, clove, and citrus oils are great for the rest of the house. You can stash a few in the car too—try peppermint, which may help you to stay alert.