House cleaners share advice about spring cleaning (w/video)
By BY J.R. ORTEGA - JRORTEGA@VICAD.COM
March 20, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 20, 2014 at 10:21 p.m.
After a frigid South Texas winter, blue is once again painting the skies and the sun is beaming bright, making many feel a sense of renewal for the spring season.
For many, Friday marks the turning of a new leaf, and this often comes through a deep spring cleaning of your home.
And while spring cleaning sounds refreshing, undertaking projects at your home or apartment can be quite the opposite, said Rhonda Wagner of Rockin' Rhonda's Cleaning Service.
With a combined 30-plus years under their belts, Wagner - along with her friend, Anita Staffeldt, who runs Sparkles Cleaning Co. - have some tips as you embark on your living space's rejuvenation this season.
Take it one room at a time
"Conquer one room a day," Wagner said.
Oftentimes, homeowners and renters grow overwhelmed when they view the entire house as needing to be cleaned, she said.
People have the most trouble cleaning bedrooms and personal closets, says Staffeldt; this is because people struggle not knowing what to throw away, what to keep and what to donate.
By doing one room a day, each area of the house or apartment can get the special attention it deserves.
Planning, organizing is key
"Instead of running and taking out everything, make a list," Staffeldt said. "It can become so overwhelming."
Sitting down, writing a list, mapping out a game plan or even drawing how you would like to transform a room is helpful. Staffeldt, who finds herself cleaning anywhere from two to three houses a day, said taking these initial steps can make the entire process more digestible and enjoyable.
For instance, part of her organization includes having grocery store plastic bags on hand. She hangs two bags on the knob of each room's door - one for trash and another for rags and used-up cleaning supplies.
She also suggests getting three large boxes: one for items to throw away, the other for items to donate and one for storage or for later rummaging. People often begin moving and piling objects, and this adds to the frustration of spring cleaning.
Wagner has similar advice. For her, deep cleaning a home is almost like math or science. Think about if how you're cleaning is the best approach. For example, you want to clean from top to bottom. Trash and floorboards should be the last to be cleaned.
This is because the dust settles hours or days after a cleaning.
Staffeldt said she has even seen people start off with a carpet cleaner and then begin dusting, which is not efficient.
You don't have to break the bank
Staffeldt suggests starting your cleaning off small.
"Anywhere from $30 to $35 should be more than enough," she says. "You already have some things, like your glass cleaner, dish soap and oven cleaner."
Staffeldt recommends starting with the basic cleaning supplies needed to make your living space deep clean.
All the fancy stuff, like high-end polishes and finishing products, can be used at the end of your deep cleanse.
Wagner always has supplies on hand because they are in the back of her car.
She has all her regular supplies, such as Ajax and other chemical-products, as well as a vacuum, mop and broom.
This is enough to get the hardest part of the job done, she said.
If you're looking for more eco-friendly cleaning supplies, those can cost a bit more, Staffeldt said.
Staffeldt offered up using a combination of baking soda, vinegar and warm water as a less harmful substance that still can get the job done.
It's a group effort
Spring cleaning on your own can add to the stress of the situation.
If you can hire a house cleaner to help, that's great, but Wagner suggests if that's not an option, make a party out of it.
"You can invite some friends over and have some wine and food, and each clean a bit," she said, laughing. "And then the next week, you can do another friend's house."
The more people you have, the better, because less needs to be done by each person, she added.
More time enjoying your new, clean environment rather than cleaning it is the goal, Wagner said.
"It's like a canvas," Wagner said. "Finish it like a work of art."