Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Cleaning Savvy

I (Stephanie) am taking a much needed break today. I am extremely thankful to Liss for providing this excellent post of tips and motivation to do a little spring cleaning (or fall cleaning as the case may be.) I definitely will have to try her cobweb tip!

Last Spring, I set myself a challenge - I wanted to do a 'real' spring clean of my house.  With 3 sub-six children in my care, it's not always easy but I enlisted their help and let them enjoy the weather warming up.  I got all the way through it and it is so satisfying I'm doing it again in Autumn!  Here's my tips:

Tackling the Cleaning
  • Pick a sunny day - it doesn't need to be warm, but sunny is great for the mood and motivation!
  • If you have them, involve the kids -give them a bucket and sponge and let the wash the outside of the house or a bucket of water and paintbrush, let the 'paint' or 'clean' it. They will feel useful and have fun!
  • Finsh your outdoor spring cleaning before moving indoors
  • Clean outside of windows, outer of house, gardens, clear out garages. If you still feel motivated in the evening, you can do jobs inside then.
Here's some outdoor cleaning tips

Cobwebs - how to minimise
Cobwebs are so annoying to me, so I follow Shannon Lushs' (Australia's clean queen) advice and after using a housebroom to remove the majority, and a dustbrush/damp cloth to rid the residue, sprinkle a few drops of lemon oil on the broom and brush around the places that spiders congregate - they don't like lemon oil, so won't return! Hoorah!

 Cleaning windows:
1. Brush off cobwebs as above, remove flyscreens and clean dust off with combo of dustpan brush and old teatowel.
2. Mix a window washing solution of :
  • 10 litres warm water  
  • 2 tb dishwashing liquid  
  • 2 tb cloudy ammonia  
  • 2 tb white vinegar  
  • 1/2 cup methylated spirit  
  • 1/2 cup cornflour (cornstarch)

 3. Wash on with sponges, squeegee off - rub any stubborn bits with added solution on paper towel.

Got a lot of stuff to clear out?
  • Have a yard sale or go in with people in your street for 'street sale'- or this is the time to get onto Craigslist and Ebay to SELL not buy! 
  • Donate toys to your local hospital/library/womens' shelter
  • Donate books to your local library
  • Donate women and childrens' clothes, blankets etc to your local homeless charities or womens' shelter.
Don't say you'll donate it later, offer it to a friend ra-ra.. get rid of it, and commit to doing it -whatever you don't sell at the garage sale - give to charity!

You can find more domestic adventures at my blog, Frills in the Hills - the fabulous life of our family of five - the fun, the food and the frugality.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips. Helps me get in the mood, thinking about it early is good since it'll take me a while to build up the needed motivation.


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