We’re all seeing a little more of our homes these days. In this time of COVID-19 and quarantine, many of us are left wondering what to do with so much time within our own walls. With lighter schedules, less distractions, and more time in one space, we’re being forced to face some of our most overdue tasks around the house. It’s getting harder to overlook the dust that’s been collecting on the baseboards or the clutter that’s always assigned to another day. Spring cleaning is taking on a whole new meaning right now. Not only is it something productive to do—it’s also a great way to keep things clean and organized for both your physical and emotional well-being. In this time of quarantine, our spring cleaning tips can help you make your home the comfortable, safe haven it should be—especially right now.
Start With a Checklist
Before you start anything, make a physical checklist (we’re talking pen and paper) of spring cleaning tasks you’d like to get done, both big and small. Make a separate list for each room so you can pace yourself and avoid getting overwhelmed. Be sure to take things step-by-step and day-by-day, and to check off each task as it’s completed so you feel productive and encouraged as you go. The process of making and checking off a physical to-do list can be therapeutic in itself.
Determine Your Needs
Look around your house and pretend you’ve just moved in. If your house were empty, would you still put the same objects and furniture where they are now? Our needs can change the longer we stay in one place, and we don’t often acknowledge those needs or find new solutions for them until we move into a new house with a clean slate. With this exercise, you’ll be able see your current home as a clean slate and really consider the purpose and function of each room. Would the spare sofa serve your family better in the rec room? Would the den work better as a playroom? Making these broad changes first will help you to sort, organize, and de-clutter as you go, so you ultimately have less to clean and maintain later on.
Make Your Own Cleaner
After you’ve rearranged your space to best fit your needs (and likely de-cluttered a bit along the way) it’s time to make things sparkle. Cleaning supplies are extremely difficult—if not impossible—to come by right now. Fortunately, you can give your home a thorough, deep cleaning with many of the supplies sitting in the back of your pantry. Stock up on the ingredients below, and you can find all sorts of recipes online for natural, homemade cleaners that will tackle any job in front of you.
• Baking soda • White vinegar • Lemon juice • Olive oil • Salt • Dish soap • Rubbing alcohol • Hydrogen peroxide
When cleaning, be sure to focus on heavily touched surfaces like door knobs, handles, walls, and window sills, as well as often those often neglected such as baseboards, ceiling fans, and hard-to-reach corners.
Protect What You Love Most
Spring cleaning tips often suggest you save the de-cluttering and sorting of sentimental items for a rainy day, since many can get bogged down and overwhelmed by the process. But in the time of quarantine, this is that rainy day. There’s perhaps never been a better time to dig out the things you’ve treasured most over the years, to look through old pictures, and to reflect on loved ones and happy memories.
One of the hardest parts of sorting through sentimental items is knowing what to do with them. These aren’t the things you want to throw into plastic bins and store away to collect dust. These are the things you want to keep safe and protected for a long time, while also having easy access to look at and enjoy on occasion. These are the memories you never want to forget. Consider a spacious, quality container, such as a memory trunk or a hope chest, to keep these items in. A trunk is not only an organized storage solution, it’s a beautiful, multi-purpose statement piece that can hold a special place in your home.
Take the pressure off of yourself with this task and enjoy the process of journeying down memory lane. As you work to make your home a safe haven in this time of quarantine, one of the most important things you can do is keep the things that mean the most to you safe, protected, and close at hand.