This weekend was spring cleaning weekend at my house. I love cleaning – I don’t know why. I suppose I like the immediate satisfaction of cleaning. I scour this, and it’s clean. I scrub that, and it’s clean. (I’m now just realizing this love of immediate gratification has NOT transferred over to washing the dishes. Which I do not like doing.)
I never wake up planning on cleaning, it sort of takes over and results in me attacking the whole house with the vacuum, spray and paper towels. Similar to a tornado, only leaving tidy little rooms in my path. But that is regular cleaning. This weekend was spring cleaning. That means mega-cleaning.
Mega-cleaning as in going through our medicine cabinet, our extra stash of tolietries, looking through the holiday decoration boxes in the basement and even ran vinegar through my coffee machine kind of cleaning. It also means our guest bed has a huge “donate me!” pile, which I’m happy to say is growing.
I’m not sure when this came about. I was NOT a clean kid. I was the one with the messy room and my brother the one with the clean room. I had collections of trolls, Pogs, McDonald’s Barbie dolls and those funky rings that look like pairs of eyeballs covering every inch of my room.
One time I threw everything in my closet and proudly showed my Mom my new spartan room. That lasted for about 35 seconds until I laughed and opened up my closet, which was 2 feet deep in junk.
This is the thing though (and possibly a turning point?), I distinctly remember enjoying going the piles of junk and putting them away.
To this day, when I clean my bedroom, I throw everything that doesn’t belong into a huge pile on my bed and go from there. I’m not recommending that technique, but it works for me. It’s actually similar to what they do on Hoaders – move everything outside and go through the piles one by one.
I am a clean pack rat. Organized chaos is my thing.
Where am I going with this?
Most people don’t like to clean. Some people don’t care at all. But there are my tips on cleaning and how to make it (albeit slightly) more fun:
1. Bust a Move
Put on some tunes and open a window. Everything feels more fun when you have something to bop around to and there’s a breeze in the air. The aforementioned breeze will help fumes from building up. Also, buying cleaners in scents you enjoy, or that are scentless, will lessen the headache and ickiness of cleaning. Who wants to smell like chemicals? By the way, did you know you can burn up to 200 calories an hour while cleaning? Two birds, one stone!
I have these dusting slippers! The bottoms come off and you throw them in the wash. AND they’re comfy!
2. Those That Clean Together…
Find your roommate or significant other and scour together. Live alone? Tag team it with a friend and do their house next week. Long story short, you’ll feel like you’re getting twice as much done and have double the fun.
3. Make it Colorful
Purchase a few fun cleaning supplies! Marshall’s is a great place for this. If I have to be using a dustpan and broom, they may as well be bright blue and polka dotted.
Or like this fun one:
4. Slowly, but Surely
Start with one pile at a time. Don’t feel like you have to go crazy all at once. Do one pile per commercial break in your evening TV program or do 15 minutes every night after dinner. Don’t overwhelm yourself or you’ll burn out and never get it done.
5. Stash the Trash
Have a designated “junk” pile. (That would be our guest bed for the moment.) It’s currently holding our donation piles, stuff-that-needs-to-be-returned pile and plastic-bags-to-be-recycled-at-the-store pile. After you clean, your next project will be to tackle that pile! Find a donation store near you and get their drop off hours! Better yet, post it on Craigslist or Freecycle.
6. Easy Organizing
Invest in organization. It’s easier to keep things clean if you have place to tuck things away! I love having baskets or canvas storage boxes to stow away loose items. You can throw all your headbands or video game supplies or random kitchen tools or [insert your problem here] together in one place and it looks neat.
And when all else fails, don’t forget about those 200 calories an hour!