Spring cleaning season is upon us. Even though it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet in the Upper Midwest and a few other parts of the country, the season is most definitely here, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning, which will likely cause some people to undergo despair. Spring cleaning can present some difficulties for people with a hard time staying on task, but thoroughly cleaning your home is worth it after a season of closed windows and letting things pile up during the holiday time. So here are some tips for thoroughly cleaning your home.
Get Advice From The Experts
The Internet is a wonderful resource to organize and execute your spring cleaning checklist. Personal organization tools can make the difference between a successful cleaning and a hot mess that ends up with more problems than when you started. Finding a clutter advisor who you can vibe with can help make the mess feel more manageable before you even put a single thing in the trash or take out your first duster.
Checklists and survival advice to make spring cleaning feel more like a refreshing ritual and less like an ordeal to survive can help you clean extensively. You might feel overwhelmed looking at all the clutter that’s built up, especially if you have a hard time initiating and prioritizing. But a few basic principles can make it feel more manageable and less like you’re engaging in a death battle with procrastination to clean extensively.
Hire Out Where Possible (and Finances Permit)
If you have a large family and no problems in that regard, you can probably get by by using your family’s internal resources to help you clean extensively. But if you’re a couple with no or small children and a large house, it’s probably going to be more helpful for you to hire services to get your house care taken care of. If you have trouble with your executive function (the ability to initiate and regulate tasks – executively challenged people including people with attention dysregulation hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum, people over 55 in general, or parents with small children), a service for the tasks that most task you can be a lifesaver.
The national average cost of housekeeping services is about $40-50 per hour per cleaner. For a two- to four-hour job, you can expect to pay between $200-360 to clean extensively and this can make a huge difference in the quality and cleanliness of your house when you start cleaning.
Clean the Outside of Your Home
A gutter cleaning service can be a true godsend. Gutters are one of the worst parts of the home to clean extensively: They have not only gross things like decaying leaves and former-leaf sludge but if you’re truly fortunate, you can find such wonderful presents as a drowned rat while cleaning them. A gutter cleaning service can not only save your hands from finding such wretched presents and your mind from having to deal with them, but you can also leave it to the professionals and avoid such wonders as metal cuts and trips to Urgent Care to get treated for potential tetanus and other medical maladies that result from dealing with your gutters.
TIP: Always wear heavy gloves when you’re dealing with high-intensity cleaning of the outside of your home. Your house’s exterior is made of materials that are not necessarily hand-friendly and can carry disease-causing bacteria. Infections are not your friend!
Clear Brush And Debris
After the gutters, the outside of your house needs to still be cleaned. Making sure that your land is cleared will make it easier to use more of your home since you’re no longer routing your space around features like clusters of brush that can be interrupting where you play and work. A land clearing company is quite a bit more expensive than gutter cleaning or housekeeping. They can cost up to $5,000 per cleared acre, especially in areas where your acreage is heavily forested. Clearing brush and debris from your home is a difficult task, but one that the professionals can handle with relative ease, as they will bring in gas-powered wood chippers that can make quick mulch of even the densest and most difficult debris and brush. Lawn care services are often offered by the same companies that do land clearing. If you have more lawn, lawn care services run about $33 to $70 per hour for mowing and higher for other services, up to $170 per hour for dethatching.
Yard Cleaning Tip
The less time professionals have to spend doing minor tasks, the more effective they are at what you hired them to do. Pick up small sticks before the professionals arrive so they can focus on the lawn care tasks you hired them for. You’re hiring services so you can reduce the amount you clean extensively, not so you don’t clean at all.
Fix Your Garage Door
If your garage door is having a hard time fighting the pull of gravity, it’s completely possible that your garage door spring might need replacement, or the track might need cleaning. A garage door repair service can be a cheap and effective way to get your door pulled up and pushed down. You can certainly clean extensively the garage door track yourself, but the repair service will have to take care of the electrical motor and the spring. Costing on average around $175 to $350, garage door repairs are one of the more affordable home repairs available.
Dumpster Rentals Help Carry It All Away
Your spring cleanup is going to be less of an all-out assault on the senses if you know what tools you’re going to be using to get it done. You can start with dumpster rentals. Your dumpster rental service has the biggest importance for a full-on inside-to-outside clean of your home. Dumpster rentals are a great way to get that extra hauling capacity that you need for your spring cleaning project. A 10-yard dumpster starts around $550-650 including hauling the debris away from your home, according to ZTERS.com. You must understand that for spring cleaning anything above the size of a small apartment, you will need a dumpster. It’s simply not feasible to expect that city waste disposal services can handle the extra waste you’ll generate.
Cleaning the Great Indoors
Once your home’s exterior is well in hand, it’s time to turn to cleaning the space where you spend most of your time: The inside of your home. This can be a serious struggle for anyone, but especially for the executively challenged among us. Your home is a major nexus of minor tasks, with a few that are truly major, and people often balk at the idea of turning their home inside out for a few weeks while they get it in order. But with a little work and a lot of trust in the outcome, you can make your home a place of refuge and sanity once again.
Triage your Belongings!
Triage is a simple word for a difficult process. Your job when you’re sorting your belongings is to start with three piles: Things you will never use again and have no belief that anyone else will have any use for, the throw pile; things you will never use again but believe someone else could use, the garage sale pile; and things that you will continue using, the keep pile. The best idea for this is to minimize the size of the keep pile wherever you can. Your life will be easier to handle and simpler in general if you can minimize the amount of stuff that you have in your house, and the easiest way to do that is to throw, throw, throw! Make sure that everything you keep is something you’re going to be using again soon, too. Except for winter clothes, any possession that won’t be used again in the next two to three months should be ruthlessly discarded. Either throw it away if it’s too damaged to be useful for anyone, or clean it as appropriate and put it in a box for garage sale season.
Get Your Plumbing Cleaned
Winter is a time you spend a lot of indoors. As a result, your plumbing goes through a lot more strain during the winter than at any other time of the year, especially during times like winter break. Pipes freezing and breaking are often a real hazard of winter break, which is why underground pipes in northern areas are normally placed below the frost line, the average depth in the ground below which the temperature usually doesn’t go below freezing in winter. The frost line is only an average. Because of this, piping that’s placed just below the frost line can experience freezing temperatures during a particularly cold winter. If you recognize symptoms of leaking or frozen sewers in your home, the time is now to call the plumbers before the spring thaw results in a disgusting situation in your front yard. A main sewer line leak averages $150-300 for a quick drain service to clean extensively and patch the problem if it’s caught early.
AC Maintenance Plan
The best defense against the heat is a good offense, and an AC maintenance plan can make a difference. While you’re getting your AC maintained, also contact local electrical companies for other money-saving tips that will reduce your reliance on your AC, even if you can’t cut it out entirely.
Make sure that you have filters on hand and change them every 3-6 months. Your AC filter is hard at work. Its role is to clean extensively the air and to do that, it sucks every cubic foot of air in your home, strips out dust and other particles, and returns it to you, cold and fresh, all summer long. That’s a lot to ask of a tiny box of fiberglass filaments! Make sure that you’re checking its status once a month – all you have to do is open your AC housing and take a look.
Especially if you have a hard time remembering the stuff you have after you stop looking at it – and there’s no shame in this game – you can short-circuit that by clarifying your organization, literally. Clear bins and cabinet services installing transparent cabinet fronts are not only attractive, but they can give you an at-a-glance look at how much stuff you have and where it is, giving that memory of yours a much-needed boost. Out of sight doesn’t have to be out of mind. If it’s not feasible to install translucent cabinet fronts, consider posting a list on your cabinet doors of what’s in each cabinet, so that you can tell at a glance what’s supposed to be in there. It’s up to you to update that list every week, though.
Spring Cleaning and Moving
If you’re moving from an apartment to a house or a house to a bigger house, congratulations! Spring is the most popular time of year to move, with more moves taking place in March, April, and May (in the Northern Hemisphere) than in other months. Movers do their biggest business during the spring and often have competitive sales. An average move will cost $20-50 per mover per hour for a total of about $200-400 for a move, according to Forbes. Make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of your move, too.
With these tips and more, you’ll be able to clean extensively during the spring months and create a home you can enjoy all summer long. Make sure you have the right podcasts and the best music, and your spring cleaning will fly by. Just remember to keep up with your decluttering and cleaning efforts. A week of laziness can undermine a month of cleaning.