It's officially Spring and we are definitely feeling it here in sunny California, finally! I know that as soon as the sun comes out, I want to be outside in the garden planting all of the things. I have also been making sure that we continue to purge the house of unnecessary things, deep cleaning is on the books this week for sure. One of our goals this year was to live simply, to de-clutter and to get rid of things we don't use. This makes cleaning easier because the less "stuff" you have the less you have to clean right? Right.
One thing that helps me is to make a list, I make a list for everything. A list for what to do that day, a list for things to do around the house, a daily cleaning list, and now I am making a BIG spring cleaning list. If you decide to take any advice from me let it be, go slow. We only do one room or one project at a time. For us, if we try to hit the entire house at once, it just stresses us out and seems daunting. When we write out a list for things to do in each room, it seems more manageable and we feel like we actually accomplish something when it's complete. So, start slow, do one room at a time. It doesn't all have to get done in one day. It might take a weekend, it might take an entire week, or two,and like us, it will probably take a solid month at least to go through everything in our house. Honestly, at least a month, and I say that with doubt because I know how busy we get with work, babies, school and side hustles, life is busy. That's just our reality. So don't feel like you have to get it all done in one sitting.
Here is an example of how I break down my spring cleaning list. I do a list per room so I know exactly what needs to get done.
Wash all bedding & curtains
Carpet clean entire room
Wipe baseboards and door trim
Wipe down blinds
Dust ceiling fan
Clean light fixtures
Wipe down doors front and back
Sanitize light switches, door knobs and dust electrical outlets
Dust/Vacuum air vents
Wipe all picture frames and artwork
Wipe down windows - window seals - and mirrors
Remove bathroom shower vent and deep clean
Clean vanity inside and out
Remove hard water build up
Soak shower head with thieves cleaner
Most of these items rarely get touched throughout the year like washing curtains and cleaning the bathroom vent. Those things sometimes go unnoticed until there is a solid layer of dust and dog hair on them and then you realize how gross you are and now the whole world knows it. Make sure that if you are truly spring cleaning, that you clean all the insides and outsides of everything, meaning, if there is a cupboard in your bathroom, clean it out. I have a few Clean Your Clutter posts about how to purge and organize so go check those out for inspiration and tips on how to make spaces more functional for you and your family.
We will alter these lists depending on the room, for example our daughters room we will make sure we purge any toys and stuffed animals she doesn't play with. We will pack up clothes that are to small for her and store them for our 6 month old. Anything we don't use anymore we make a donate pile and drop it off at a donation location.
Spring is an entire season guys, so no need to rush if you don't have to. Major kudos to you if you can hustle through it all in a day or a weekend. With our two babes 2 and under, we get done what we can in moments of opportunity.
For us, spring cleaning is also something that we carry on into our backyard. Over the winter, weeds grow in every single crack in the ground, the outdoor furniture gets filthy, the cement where it's shaded gets a nice green layer of moss? So, just like the inside, we make our list.
Power wash cement
Remove all weeds from cracks and spray (recipe down below)
Remove dead plants from the yard
Trim hedges and trees
Power wash the stucco and check all retaining walls and corners for leaks or damage
Repair and seal
Power wash outdoor furniture
Tighten mailbox down
Fence check, replace any broken or rotting boards
Clean exterior windows
Spring is a good time to get those repairs in that you discovered over the winter, that way, you know you will be ready for next winter without the worries of broken gutters, broken fence boards, etc. We try to get things done during the spring/summer season in preparation for winter.
Once you are making your way through your cleaning lists, add in some fresh touches of greenery. I love to add color to my house, typically I stay with blues and greens but I thought I would try out a subtle blush color. I found these super cheap little throw pillows at Ikea for $3.99 each. I probably won't buy them again as they are flat and a little lifeless but for $3.99 I wasn't going to cry over it, they are still cute. I also found this little blush pot at Ikea for only $4.99 and just plopped my little ZZ plant in there. I have some faux plants throughout the house but for the most part I try to keep it real. Not only are the plants I strategically buy hard to kill, but they are also good for cleaning the air. If you aren't a successful plant mom, you can always get faux greenery for a fair price at TJ Maxx! I was there the other day and they have some super cure faux greenery in little pots.
The pillow covers and pot are the only things I purchased for my spring refresh, I try to reuse my decor from previous years and just put them in different places and use them differently than the previous years. You can reuse anything you have to refresh your space, just move it around. Move that chair from the family room to your bedroom, move the dresser from the guest room to the entry way. Reuse stuff to refresh and if you want to get something new go for it. Our rule is, like most everything we buy, is if you buy something, know exactly where you are going to put it. It must have a place and not an impulse buy. For example, if I buy a new shirt because the elbows are dying in an old shirt, I will throw that old shirt away and replace it with the new one. Buy something new, get rid of something old, that way you aren't just stock piling items. I had green pillows on this sofa and replaced them with these blush pillows. Typically I buy pillow covers that way I can easily change them out and the covers are much easier to fold and store in a small bin.
I'll be blatently honest, I haven't started cleaning at all. Life happens, work happens, mommin hard happens. We will get to it in our own time but the plan is to knock it out before Easter rolls around. Fingers crossed.
Homemade weed killer:
1 gallon of white vinegar
2 cups of Epsom salt
1/4 cup of dish soap