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Welcome to week 3 of the Spring Cleaning Challenge! If you haven’t already, be sure to read about Week 1 and Week 2. This week’s focus is on the living room, office and playroom. For my family, this is all one room. But I know for many others, this can cover several rooms! I’m going to create the check list and organize this post around the different things to clean, rather than focusing on each individual room.
Dusting Ceiling & Light Fixtures, and Cleaning Windows, Doors & Walls
This section will be copied and pasted essentially for every room. I know, it sounds like a lot, and it is a lot. But it’s important that you do this step in deep cleaning every so often. You can adjust this however fits the room, your style, or your preference. But, for me, I think you should start at the top. Get one of those extended Swiffer dusters and go to town. I like to start with light fixtures. Afterwards, I dust off the edge of the wall where it meets the ceiling and even run it across the ceiling so that anything hanging out up on gets addressed. For the walls, there’s been a few ways I’ve seen it cleaned. You could get one of the Swiffer mops and put a rag on it that you use almost like a paintbrush, going up and down the wall. You’ll have to continue to dunk the rag in some soapy water or whatever way you’re using to clean, but it can be a seamless way to go up and down the walls. As you’re doing that, take the opportunity to clean the light switches. Nothing crazy, but for me, I like to use a Clorox or some other disinfectant wipe on those. You’ll want to do the same with the doors. Wipe the doors down the same way you’re doing the walls and use a disinfectant on the handle or even other parts of the door that tend to get touched a lot. When you reach a window, clean out the tracks when you lift the window up and then clean the glass (ideally inside and out.) We have pretty much got rid of our blinds, but if you have them clean those as well. An easy trick for this is to put a sock on your hand and go through each blade of the blinds to clean them off. Take down any window treatments to be washed as well! Finish this process by also cleaning the baseboards off the same way you’ve washed the walls.
Sort and Purge
This is probably one of my favorite phrases when it comes to cleaning. This is because, often times I find that what I’m really having to “clean,” is that fact that I have so much clutter from having so much stuff. I’m really working hard to try to adopt a lot of what I can from Montessori principles for Adalind and minimalist lifestyle practices for our household. But to simplify what I mean by that, everything needs to have a home. Seriously. If you’re trying to find somewhere to put an item, and you can’t find anywhere that makes sense AND you never use it…well… it’s probably time to donate or get rid of it. The picture above is probably going to take me several hours to address, because I need to find a home for several of the things in those cubes. Part of what I did in week 1 was find areas that I need to address in order to really baby proof, and this is a huge area for me! I’ve got to things put away so that Adalind is safe, but that I can still use them.
What’s included in that picture that is relevant for you? Frankly, A LOT. You want to go through and sort out all your old paperwork, electronics, toys, books, dvd’s, art supplies, etc. Take the time to make sure that your important documents are stored away safely, as well as getting rid of paper that’s just causing you more clutter. Don’t hold on to too many toys or books or movies or whatever! It’s usually causing more clutter for you and is making your cleaning process even longer.
You’ll want to start with your seated furniture. Pull up the cushions on the couch, if you can, and take the vacuum hose and get in between cracks. You should do this with couches, recliners, office chairs and any other type of seating that you have. After you’ve cleaned out the “pieces,” you will want to wipe the seating down. This can be a simple wet rag with water and vinegar, or you can use whatever product you like best. But, you should wipe down all the sides and the fabric as well. Take this opportunity to clean and/or purge any blankets or throw pillows that you have.
Cleaning Shelves, Tables and Decorations
It’s important to dust your shelves. But, it’s often overlooked to dust or clean the things that are on the shelves. Any small trinkets, pictures or decorative art pieces should be taken off and dusted when you’re doing the shelves. Taking everything off of the shelf or table is important to make sure you’re able to get a great clean on both of the surfaces. Anything that is hanging on the wall should be taken down to dust or clean as well. Picture frames will accumulate dust, as well as mirrors and clocks.
When taking things off of table tops or desks, it’s important to take the opportunity to disinfect those surfaces in addition to cleaning up any food or drink particles that may have been hanging out there from dinner in front of the TV or computer. Which is a great lead into the next area to clean.
Sometimes it can be really easy to forget about dusting behind the TV or cleaning between the keys on a keyboard. But, it’s important that you do. Take an inventory of all the electronics in your home, and make sure that you go ahead and just give it the love that it needs with this week so you don’t have to fool with it later on. You can get some cleaning wipes for electronics to help with the screens that you need to clean such as your computer or TV. They also sell keyboard cleaners to make cleaning your keyboard easier and more efficient. Don’t forget to also clean your phone and remotes when you’re doing this portion of the week!
Clean and Purge Toys
I know I touched on this earlier in the post, but seriously. Sort through the toys that you have and purge/donate what you don’t need. It’s also a great time to go through and clean all the toys that are staying around. We have a lot of wooden toys so it’s usually a water/vinegar clean when we get to those. It’s great to disinfect toys every so often. Adalind isn’t old enough for this, but I would totally try this strategy with my niece… You can get a big bucket of soapy water and let the kids “play” with their toys in the soapy water. They can rub it with a rag or even just with their hands. Afterwards, they can transfer the toys to clean water to rinse them off. It’s a great way to clean your plastic or silicone toys and getting your kids involved in a fun way.
That covers Week 3! Use the printable checklist below as you work your way through cleaning each of these areas! Be sure to check in next week for the half way mark where we will tackle the bedroom!