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Spring is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about the dreaded “S” word: Spring Cleaning.  If you’re like me, you’ve been hibernating most of the winter, with all your free time spent curled up on the couch binge watching your favorite Netflix shows.  You’ve turned a blind eye to the dust bunnies that slowly creep across the floor as well as the science experiment that used to be your refrigerator.  But in the back of your mind, you know the day is coming.  You even cursed that wiry rodent for predicting it will come six weeks early!

I’m here to help.  I’ve been in the house cleaning business for 15 years and I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to mentally and physically prepare yourself for….Spring Cleaning Day!

Pick a date and stick to it

This is the foundation on which all else lies.  Pick a date and write it on the calendar.  Make it big and bold.  It could be a week from now or a month from now, but you want to schedule it like you would a doctor’s appointment or an oil change.  That way you are committed.  And make it a day that you can commit the whole day to, no distractions.  If you don’t nail down a day it’s easier to put it off.  Then before you know it, the dust bunnies have assembled an army under the book shelf and your science experiment has grown legs.

Assemble your cleaning products beforehand and put them in a caddy

You wouldn’t go to work without having your laptop, phone or spreadsheets would you?  And you probably have some nice bag to put them all in.  It is the same for the big day.  A few days beforehand you’ll want to inventory all your cleaning supplies and buy what you are missing.  On this list, if you don’t have one already, should be a large but manageable caddy to put them all in, like this one from Target.  This makes it easier to carry your supplies from room to room without having to run back and forth.

Create a cleaning day playlist

I have to listen to music when I clean.  It makes the task at hand go by faster and I swear, when one of my best jams comes on, I almost forget that I’m cleaning at all.  I suggest making a playlist or putting on your favorite Pandora station (or your favorite CD) and cranking it up!  Try to pick songs that are upbeat and get you moving. Of course this tip is purely subjective.  If Yanni gets you moving than more power to you.

Create a reward system

I have a confession to make.  I don’t really like to clean.  I do it because I’m good at, and the money isn’t so bad either.  So when a friend of mine offered me a job cleaning his office building for double what I charge, I jumped on it.  But after the first cleaning I swore I’d eat Ramen Noodles to never have to go back there.  It wasn’t that it was hard work.  It was just that the job was late at night when I wanted to be curled up on the couch watching my stories.  So, feeling obligated to my friend, and not liking Ramen too much, I decided to create a reward system for myself.  On the way down to the office, I’d stop at my local doughnut shop and get my favorite doughnut.  I’d eat half when I got there and the other half when I finished.  After a few weeks I was salivating like Pavlov’s dog on the way down.  So pick something that you absolutely love, whether it be food, or a spa treatment, or a pedicure and look forward to rewarding yourself on a job well done.

Map out a plan of attack

When you go on a road trip, you like to map it out beforehand, right?  Same thing with deep cleaning.  If you go in blind you’ll be overwhelmed and eventually give up.  Write down a list of all the rooms in the order you want to tackle them.  I like to start with the hardest rooms first.  This is usually the kitchen and the bathrooms.  That way, at the end of the day when you’re worn out, you’ll just have the easy stuff left.

Limber up!

On the big day, you’ll want to do some stretching exercises before you start, especially if you are not accustomed to a long day of physical labor.  Cleaning houses, especially deep cleaning, is hard work and physically demanding (that’s why I can afford to reward myself with doughnuts).  Getting your muscles warmed up beforehand will reduce fatigue and save you from being sore the next day.

Spring cleaning can be a daunting task but if you follow these tips, you’ll be ready for it.  And you can look forward to literally breathing easier knowing that your house is clean from top to bottom.

Happy Cleaning!

The Cleaning Lady

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