It’s spring, and that means it’s time for Spring Cleaning. When I was growing up, both Grandma and my mom would really make spring cleaning a big deal. It was a thorough top to bottom cleaning, and it was always REALLY cold. For some reason (fresh air being good for you, I suppose) the windows were open and being April-ish in Minnesota, it was probably only 40-50 degrees outside!! We also lived on a lake and this time of year (or when there’s still ice on it) the wind blowing off of the lake is COLD!! Most years this was probably the first fresh air let into the house since October, and even though it was cold, I loved the smell of that first blast of cold, fresh air let in. I also remember the smell of lemon – as in lemon furniture polish. Everything just seems more clean if you smell lemon.
When we went on our trip to Sweden and Norway, we found out in Sweden that the cleaning bug is not a family thing, it’s a cultural thing. When we were driving in the country in Sweden, you would see a little cottage in the woods and there someone would be sweeping off their porch or shaking a rug. People seemed to be cleaning everywhere. Yep – that’s where we get it from!
I’ve decided to include a recipe that someone gave my mom for Glass Cleaner years ago. I’ve used this ever since – just put it in a spray bottle and get to it. It’s cheap, it’s easy, you know what’s in it, it works very well, and it makes a big enough batch to keep some in a jar on top of my pantry for later use. I have seen some recipes with vinegar and/or lemon juice in it, but this one has rubbing alcohol and that helps dry the glass fast.
Here is the recipe as I made it:
1 pint rubbing alcohol
2 Tablespoons dish soap
Add water to make 1 gallon.
Pour into a squirt bottle and use a paper towel, newspaper, or microfiber cloth to dry.
You can find Spring Cleaning checklists all over the internet if you need a guideline. I try to do a room or two at a time so this chore doesn’t get too overwhelming. This is what I like to keep in mind, and do in the order given:
- Declutter – I like to go through, room by room, and reorganize and reassess. We live in a fairly small house, and things can really start to accumulate if we don’t stay on top of it. Sometimes we don’t even know what we have anymore, which is dumb and expensive when you end up with 3 bottles of bathroom cleaner because you bought another one when you couldn’t see that you already had 2 under the kitchen sink. That means it’s time to declutter. It also looks good and takes up less space when you reorganize after decluttering, and there’s nothing wrong with things just looking tidy.
- Clean – This is the time to really clean. I mean REALLY clean EVERYTHING. Do all of those out-of-the-way places that get overlooked the rest of the year. You have to do this with an objective eye and try to see things that just seem to fade out or don’t seem that important when doing your weekly cleaning. For me it’s things like: the top of ceiling fan blades, the top of the trim around doorways, scrubbing the outside and top of the kitchen cabinets to get off accumulated dust and grease, cleaning the glass on our front door (now that it’s warm enough to do it and the glass cleaner won’t freeze because the ice and snow are melted and gone for the year – we hope), washing all of my glass vases, containers, and picture frame glass set around the house so they look nice, etc. Use this recipe for glass cleaner, use the lemon furniture polish, and make sure that everything is sparkling and ready for summer.
- Freshen up – Like I said above, my mom and grandma always opened the windows and let in the cold, fresh air in the spring and so do I. There’s nothing like the smell of that fresh spring air after being closed up all winter, especially if we’re lucky (like we are this year) to have had a fairly mild winter and there is grass growing already when doing the spring cleaning. The lemon furniture polish will only get you so far in the freshening department. Fresh air is where it’s at.
Get those windows open and let the fresh spring air in!
This is seriously the most difficult part of my spring cleaning – the mirror that lives on the wall above our entry/stairway. Don’t ask me how it happened or what it is, but this year something was sprayed up there and made spots on the mirror!! My husband cleans this by climbing up on our big ladder propped up on the second step so he can reach! My part in this particular cleaning project is to get him to do it!!!! I’m not gonna lie – sometimes my part in it is harder! You can see that my hydrangea wreath is still “hanging” in there! Ha!
It feels so good to have everything clean and sparkling!
A bouquet of fresh flowers can’t hurt!
Spring cleaning really is a chore, but it feels so good when you’re done. I love how the house looks all tidied up and reorganized, and I love how it smells clean and of lemon and fresh air. It feels like it has good energy. This is a good thing to get done early, so you can go outside and start some other chores, like gardening, and landscaping, and lawn mowing, and house painting. Oh yeah – and those other chores like boating, and fishing, and grilling, and picnicking. Those are really important to get done, too. Happy spring, everyone!