Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I can barely contain my excitement at beginning my spring cleaning today! I have been waiting patiently for what seems like months to be able to begin this process! Traditionally this occurs at the very beginning of spring around Easter but our April travel schedule is not conducive to beginning a project of that magnitude. I like to be finishing our school work so that I can fully enjoy the process without to many interruptions. Another benefit to waiting just a little bit longer into spring is that the days are warm enough to allow for me to dry sheets and heavy blankets on the clothesline. Here I am, nearing the end of April just beginning my spring cleaning endeavor.

Spring cleaning is not just about cleaning. While I like to keep my house well tended to during the rest of the year, keeping a weekly cleaning routine as well as the few odds and end things that happen throughout the year, spring cleaning is the time to get into the crooks and crannies that are easy to over look and take extra effort to get to. More than that, it is a time to evaluate your house room by room. Spend extra time surveying the surroundings where you and your family spend your time. What things are working in that room and what, if any changes could be made to make the rooms more purposeful, useful and beautiful. As you are straightening what things do you no longer use in a room and could be given to charity or donated. Purge items that you no longer consider to enhance your environment. I love this quote by William Morris which says, "Do not keep anything that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful!" What items need to be replaced because of wear or damage. What things just need a little tender loving care to really make them shine? When we look into a room there is always that one big thing whether a picture or piece of furniture that makes an initial impression but it is all the little details that really make a room into an area that shines.

To make your spring cleaning a success have supplies on hand. If you are making your own cleaners have all of the ingredients as well as application containers like squirt bottles. Aside from my regular cleaning supplies there are a few extras I like to have on hand such as newspaper for the windows and a special furniture polish that I buy at an antique store. I am disappointed that I did not get my own furniture polish made. Maybe by next year I will have that figured out! Don't forget to have your toolbox and paint for each room on hand as well.

To really make your spring cleaning a success make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time. It can take an entire day for me to do one room, especially if it is a bedroom! Don't forget that your family still needs three meals and chauffeur service to various activities while you are working! Even under ideal conditions I am interrupted frequently. Aside from the practical aspects, rushing through spring cleaning takes all of the enjoyment out of it. I love to just focus on and really work in a room. That takes time and energy. If want I really want to achieve takes a day and I only give it an hour I will not be satisfied with the room and all I will focus on are the things that I did not get to. Don't forget to budget for your spring cleaning. Extra cleaners will be needed yes, but you also might want to make a few changes, replace worn items, or add a new touch to a room.

For the next week we will be going room by room seeing my spring cleaning in action. Hopefully, I will remember to take before and after photos! Those are always fun to see and I never remember them!