Just the thought of spring cleaning makes me want to take a nap. I build it up in my head into a monumental event, but it really does not have to be such a big event (although, you can make it a fun party thing, or not). Spring cleaning evokes images of to-do lists, shopping trips for cleaning supplies, aprons, gloves, gas masks, and, you know, hazmat suits. Take a deep breath. It’s just a little thing to do when you get the gumption or the coffee buzz to do it (hopefully in spring, because that’s when it’s awesome to open the windows).
Skip the Daily Cleaning
Spring cleaning takes care of the stuff we neglect all year long, such as cleaning the vents, cleaning behind appliances, and getting rid of old stuff. So, don’t put yourself out of the mood to do the big stuff by doing a good cleaning job on the rest of the house. You’ll always have laundry, dishes, and dusty floors. When you decide to do your spring cleaning, just neglect the daily stuff and jump right into the big stuff. A cool side benefit to jumping right into the dirty action is that if you have family members or roommates, they’ll feel completely restless watching you maneuver the refrigerator to bleach the floor under and behind it (oh, and don’t forget to clean the condenser coils). They’ll probably feel lazy and begrudgingly start cleaning the house too.
Let it Go
We all have junk drawers and cluttered closets, well at least the people trying to find a lazy way to do spring cleaning do. Do a quick, two-tiered clean sweep of your house to get rid of stuff. Don’t organize it. Don’t longingly smile at the one inch candle stub from an old flame that you found stuffed in the closet behind the box of jeans you wore in high school that you’re keeping because you’re going to start an exercise program any day and will need something to wear when you lose weight. Let it go. Let the jeans go too. So what do you do with all this stuff?
Throw stuff away. If it is useless (like a burnt candle), broken, moth-eaten, rotten, stained beyond repair, and most of all, you’ll never ever use it again…throw it away. Do a garbage sweep of the house. Get yourself an oversized trash bag and go from one end of the house to the other throwing stuff away. Hit the drawers, closets, floors, cabinets, counters, table tops, couch cushions, and the underside of beds. Depending on the size of the house and your disposition to keeping things, broken or not, you may want to carry a few bags with you. Once they fill up, tie ’em up and come back to them once you’ve filled up all the bags.
Get some tubs, bags or boxes and do another quick (quick is sort of relative here) sweep of your house for stuff you know you can sell, donate or give away. If you don’t want to put it in the landfill and you know no one will take it, just put it somewhere safe with all the other stuff nobody will want but you’re too environmentally aware to toss in the trash. What you’ll do some other day–and you’re totally going to plan a specific day for this event–is to do a one-shot yard sale. Whatever doesn’t sell you’ll offer to friends and family for free. Whatever they don’t want you’ll call in a donation truck to come and get. You’ll just bag up the clothing items and try to sell them at a consignment shop. If they won’t take them, put them right into one of those clothing donation receptacles. You’ll be done with all that stuff. Just say this, “If it has meaning, the meaning is in my heart and will always be there.”
Keep it Together
You’ll be cleaning behind appliances, dusting ceiling fixtures, cleaning walls, and scrubbing tile grout. Keep all the supplies you’ll need for all your cleaning in one caddy. You’ll save time by reducing the number of trips you need to go get a scrub brush or an old tooth brush (if you use an old tooth brush for cleaning, wrap some tape around it so you don’t forget you used it to clean the drain hole of the toilet). A wash bucket with water and cleaning solution helps you to clean and wipe what you need where you are instead of making multiple trips to wash out a cloth or scrub brush.
Procrastinate with style. Give yourself some deadlines, but keep in mind, spring lasts longer than just one day. Do behind your appliances one weekend, then clean out the closets and drawers the next weekend. It’s a good idea to save the yard sale collecting for last if you decide to break up your spring cleaning chores, because getting rid of all your stuff will take a little longer than a lazy (or energy efficient) person would like. Do it later, but be specific as to what “later” means.
Don’t do Everything
Being lazy is not bad so long as important stuff gets done. We do major cleaning in spring because it’s a beautiful, energetic season, and we do it on a particular season simply to remember to do it at all. In fact, no one has to do spring cleaning. If you like winter and you live in Florida or Texas, you might just do a winter cleaning. Better yet, you may just do a “season cleaning,” in which you do a bigger cleaning of your home during each new season so that you don’t have to work so hard in the spring to clean the house. In short, you don’t have to do everything: pressure washing the house, cleaning out the basement or attic, cleaning the tile grout in the linen closet, Etc. Do the important stuff that you never do and leave something for later if it’s in decent condition. Prioritize.