Living Space: Better spring cleaning with less effort, more fun
After a long, gray winter, not much feels better than throwing open the curtains and letting in the warm sunshine.
And as ready as you might be for spring, your house may need a good cleaning after the long winter.
But spring cleaning is time intensive - and that's time away from soaking up some much-needed time outdoors.
With a little planning, you can do a deep clean and have time leftover to enjoy the spring season.
Get the right tools
Because spring cleaning is a household job not everyone looks forward to, make it a point to go to your local home center and buy new products that will make you want to clean.
Purchase a bucket and fill it with cleaning tools like microfiber towels for polishing windows, new cleaners you'd like to try and new sponges and brushes.
Let's face it, when we're motivated by fun new products, we're more likely to clean.
Another helpful cleaning item is a tool belt. Look for a sturdy nylon tool belt or a gardening belt to help you keep cleaning tools and supplies on you.
If possible, look for one with waterproof pockets. This way you can keep a damp microfiber towel or eraser sponge at the ready to wipe off spots and stains on the walls and woodwork as you go from room to room.
If you're overwhelmed at the thought of all that work, it might help to know you can often hire out for spring cleaning.
Look in the phone book or classified pages for cleaning crews who do new home finish cleaning. These crews are often called on for larger cleaning jobs and often hire out for spring cleaning.
Another option is to do a mix of your own elbow grease and a hired crew's help. When you're ready to spring clean, hire cleaning services that can clean areas you can't or are too labor intensive. That might include gutter and carpet cleaning, grout cleaning for tile floors, or hiring a pressure washing crew to make the outside of your home sparkle.
Plus, by scheduling these services, it might put a little extra pressure to help you muscle through and get spring cleaning behind you.
Get ahead of the curve
To really get a jump on clean, be thinking ahead and schedule a chimney sweep to clean out the fireplace now. By scheduling your chimney cleaning in the spring, you'll be sure to get your chimney in shape and ready to use - and not waiting in a line with everyone else come fall.
Before summer comes, schedule a check of your air conditioning system so when it's time to turn on the AC, it'll be ready and you won't be waiting in the steamy summer for a serviceman.
Take comforters and duvets to be cleaned now, and they'll be ready to go next winter.
So, when you're ready to start spring cleaning, buy some fun cleaning tools and products, a new tool belt to hold them all and schedule some cleaning services.
Between the products, your snappy cleaning tools and the hired services, your house will get cleaner quicker and more thoroughly.
Best of all, you'll have a clean house and be out in the beautiful spring weather faster.
Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information or questions, e-mail Kathryn@kathryn-weber.com or write to her at P.O. Box 531, Cuero, Texas 77954. Please include your e-mail address or a SASE for a reply.