Part of getting my home in order for spring, involves spring cleaning. This includes decluttering — and grudgingly tossing out those craft and soap making supplies that have hung around a bit too long. While spring cleaning is probably one of my least favorite chores ever, it doesn’t have to be a full on gladiator challenge. Get your home in order this spring with these easy spring cleaning tips and tricks. Plus discover ideas for decluttering your home and utilizing natural cleaners. Following are my best spring cleaning tips and homemade cleaner recipes to help you get your butt in gear and start the new season off right!
Spring Cleaning & Decluttering Your Home
Although it’s been a mild winter thus far, I’m still looking forward to spring. As the weather gets warmer, the birds start chirping and the flowers and trees start to grow. I also prepare for a new beginning and growth in my home. It’s definitely an inspirational time for me. Not only do I get excited about getting outdoors again, but I’m also always stoked to start on new projects. However, a clean space — without the clutter from the previous year — is paramount to both my productivity and creativity.
With the stress of the holidays gone, along with all those crazy commitments, I’m finally recharged and ready to tackle spring cleaning in my house. Spring cleaning isn’t my favorite chore, but the reward is well worth it. Knowing that everything is clean gives me a sense of peace and calm. And, of course, it grounds me better than any other activity out there. (Sad, but true. If only I had the patience to meditate.)
I used to dread spring cleaning. Now I look at it as a time to get organized and start fresh, which helps improve my mood and motivates me to get it done.
Easy Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks to Get the Job Done
If you dread spring cleaning, here are some helpful, spring cleaning tips that will aid you in getting your home clean and organized naturally. All without having to turn it into a huge production resulting in weeks worth of memes on your Facebook page and no actual progress.
Declutter Your Home
Weeks before I begin the actual cleaning, I start decluttering. Why waste my time cleaning things that I don’t want? And to be honest, you can clean anytime. I mean, you do it all year long anyway. (Well, I hope you do. There are some single dudes I know that are just flat out gross. Their kitchen floor literally requires a blow torch, not a mop.) Therefore decluttering tops my list of spring cleaning tips.
To get started decluttering my home, I go through each room with two baskets and a trash bag, one at a time. Trash goes in the trash bag, things that don’t belong in that room go in one box, and things I want to get rid of go in the other box. You’d be amazed at how much stuff you don’t need anymore! (And while I know you haven’t used all that shea butter up yet, it’s hitting the end of its shelf life and has got to go. Because seriously, while you could throw it into a soap recipe this weekend, are you really going to 100% make that happen?)
The things I don’t want I take directly to my car to drop off at a thrift store that benefits charities. Other things, like ingredients on their last leg and those spices in my cabinets that are basically flavorless dirt granules at this point, get tossed. I have less clutter, and other people benefit.
Although sometimes I think people benefit more from me tossing the “garbage” in my pantry (I mean, if I don’t want to eat it, do they?) than the clothing I drop off at the thrift store. The same, of course, can be said for that ever growing stash of soap making supplies that stretches on to infinity. The last thing you want to do is invest the time it takes to make cold process soap only to end up with dreaded orange spots at the end of a cure because you held onto that olive oil too long.
Decide How to Clean
Once you declutter your home, then decide how you’re going to clean. I clean room by room. This helps me stay motivated because I can finish a room and feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s done. It also keeps me from getting overwhelmed. After all, no one wants to see me sheltered in a corner talking to myself anymore than I usually do. (I’m self employed, dammit. It’s called a staff meeting!)
I have a friend who does one chore all over the house. She cleans every window at the same time, then she cleans all of the floors. This saves her the time and hassle of getting out the same cleaning products over and over.
Make a Schedule
I would love to get my all of my spring cleaning done in just one or two days. However, I can’t do that without risking a fibro flare. Although I take supplements that help me manage my fibro, I have to respect my daily limits. (Self care, while important for EVERYONE, matters even more when you have a chronic illness. Because literally it can put you out of commission for days to weeks.)
Whether it’s your health or your work schedule that dictates how much you can do in a day, it’s helpful to make a plan. Sometimes it takes me up to two weeks to spring clean. That’s okay! Take your time and it will get done eventually. You’ll find that trying my spring cleaning tips as well a developing your own spring cleaning tips and tricks that fit your lifestyle and personality, really does help.
I make a plan for a room a day and skip some days so I don’t overexert myself. You don’t have to get everything done in one day.
Work Top to Bottom
When it is time to start spring cleaning, always work from the ceiling to the floor. Any dust that you move around will fall to the floor, so it’s important to clean your floors last.
I’m no seven foot NBA player, so getting cobwebs from the ceiling or cleaning the walls is a nightmare. I love this Compact Mop and Broom Kit for dusting the ceiling and walls, however. I use the microfiber mopping cloth dry or slightly damp to dust the ceiling and walls. It makes it so quick, and I can finally reach them without risking falling off of a chair.
Not only is it made from recycled materials, this makes multi-tasking a snap and the collapsable handle saves on space.
Tips on Spring Cleaning Your Home with Natural, Non-toxic Cleaners
Another of my favorite spring cleaning tips is to steam clean. I don’t want to use chemicals when I clean, so my preference is to clean with steam for those extra dirty jobs. I have a portable steam cleaner that I use for surfaces, including the microwave, sinks, bathrooms, and more. Not all surfaces can be steam cleaned, so check the manufacturer’s instructions before using it.
Steam cleaning removes up to 99.9 percent of bacteria and other germs. It’s a great way to kill germs with just water and no chemicals.
Of course, if a steam mop isn’t part of your doomsday arsenal, you can always make your own DIY all purpose cleaner with essential oils to disinfect floors and other surfaces. (Just be sure to sub the tea tree oil if you have pets in your home.)
Alternately, if you’re in the market for a steam mop, the PurSteam Thermapro Steam Mop is truly multi-surface and multi-functional. It can be used on hardwood floors, tile, laminate, carpet and even clothing. In addition, it’s also pet friendly. And the small size means it doesn’t take up half my utility closet.
All Purpose Cleaner
The all purpose cleaners that you find in stores can be toxic and not healthy for you, your family, or your pets. So choosing the right cleaning products for your home is important. Products such as Mrs. Meyer’s all purpose cleaner, which is made from plant-derived ingredients, as well as Aunt Fannie’s cleaning vinegar are the perfect natural alternatives for cleaning your kitchen and bathroom.
In addition to buying non-toxic, commercial cleaners, you can also make your own natural cleaning products. If you’re new to making your own cleaners, I recommend starting with an all purpose cleaner because you’ll use it often in the kitchen and in the bath. Here’s a very easy and basic all purpose cleaner recipe with vinegar, water and essential oils.
Alternately, if you significant other has threatened maiming, torture or death if you ever use vinegar to clean the house again, here’s a vinegar free all purpose cleaner that uses Sal Suds to clean instead. (It’s pretty crazy awesome. It got an old wine stain off my laminate countertop.)
All purpose cleaners are great for general cleaning, but they don’t work well on stuck on dirt or dried food spills. Therefore, I recommend making this natural cleaning clay recipe. It works like a soft scrub cleanser and is perfect for cleaning your stove top, tile floors or glass. It requires just three simple ingredients and is ready to use in just 5-minutes.
Liquid Castile Soap
I also use liquid castile soap to clean my home. Typically, I’ll use it in the mop bucket and dilute it to clean surfaces. I’ve tried making my own liquid Castile soap, but it always separates. Therefore, I usually just pick up Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap instead.
Not only is Dr. Bronner’s a quality liquid soap, it’s also safe enough you wouldn’t feel completely terrible about washing out your teenager’s mouth with it. While not something I condone, I certainly won’t play innocent and balk over thinking about it a time or two. Even the most perfect children can drive you up the wall. Especially during that “no” stage. And the one where they question everything… “But why?”
If you’re short on cupboard space like I am, here’s how to make a liquid castile soap concentrate for cleaning. This won’t separate like a homemade liquid will and it will save you some dough if you’re on a budget.
My washer and dryer work overtime when I’m spring cleaning. I always make sure to wash my curtains, bedding, and pillows.
I wash them in the hottest water possible for the fabric to kill germs. I also like to hang them outside in the sun to kill more germs and make them smell like fresh sunshine.
Making laundry detergent is also easy and saves a lot of money. Here’s my easy, homemade laundry soap recipe. If you have tough laundry stains, then be sure to treat them with a laundry stain remover recipe. (This stain remover stick also works great for hand washing delicates.)
Don’t like grating the soap? Here’s how to make laundry detergent without grating.
Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tips
I think spring cleaning the bathroom is at the bottom of everyone’s favorite things to do list. If you clean your bathroom weekly, there isn’t much left to do for spring cleaning except declutter the cabinets and give it a thorough cleaning. (And if you have little boys running around your bathroom, then you’re likely cleaning a lot more frequently. Because, boy pee. Am I right?)
To make cleaning my bathtub quick and easy, I use my homemade shower cleaner weekly. It not only makes my bathtub sparkle, it also works great on grimy toilets and sinks! Overall, it’s just an easy way to keep my bathroom clean without a lot of effort. My Dawn and vinegar shower cleaner is also great for a no scrub deep clean on shower doors and soap scum, and requires as few as two ingredients. (This is by far one of my most popular bathroom cleaner recipes!)
Then, for daily maintenance, use an after shower spray to keep your shower clean for longer periods between cleaning. This easy bathroom cleaning hack also works on windows and mirrors, and is made with a simple, 2-ingredient essential oil blend that naturally freshens your bathroom as well.
Cleaning Hacks for Naturally Freshening the Air
I think opening the windows helps clear the air and makes the house smell so fresh! However, if the temperature isn’t warm enough in your neck of the woods, try one of these easy ideas for natural air cleaners instead.
I use my diffuser to kill germs in the air during the winter. Essential oils like tea tree oil, eucalyptus essential oil, lemon essential oil, and clove essential oil can kill germs in the air when diffused. You can find a ready made, Purify essential oil blend that’s perfect for this task here.
You can also try my rosemary fir room spray to freshen the air or my lavender eucalyptus DIY air freshener with essential oils to freshen both the air and fabrics. It’s great for smelly kids rooms as well as pet odors.
Looking for Eco-friendly Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home?
For eco-friendly spring cleaning tips, check out this post for healthy homemaking ideas. This collection of spring cleaning tips will save you both time and money! And they’re perfect for anyone who wants to create a non-toxic home using eco-friendly cleaning products.
Or give Grove Collaborative a try and score a free sustainable, spring cleaning starter bundle for your household chores when you spend $20 on any of their natural cleaning products, essential oils or cleaning tools. (Offer good for first time customers only.) Sign up here.
If the sustainable starter kit isn’t really something you need, they also have an offer for free laundry detergent as well as a free home bundle with Mrs. Meyer’s products. (Sadly, you can only pick one. I know, bummer. But it’s still a sweet deal regardless.)
For more spring cleaning tips and homemade cleaner recipes, be sure to visit my Natural Cleaning Products & Homemade Cleaner Recipes Pinterest board here. You can also find and follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebook, twitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter.