Spring Into Action! Put the Clean and Organize into your COVID plan!
Feeling uninspired to tackle top-to-bottom spring cleaning of your home? Even while self-isolating due to COVID-19, it’s still easy to come up with countless reasons (translation: excuses) for avoiding even everyday housework. So whether you’re feeling anxious or unmotivated, I’ve come up with this handy list to tackle one task at a time.
Especially if you’re not accustomed to working all day at home, make a daily or weekly schedule that incorporates essential housework. Especially if you loathe domestic chores, each time you complete a task, be sure to reward yourself with something you enjoy doing – anything from knitting or reading to a soak in the tub.
Rather than being overwhelmed by all that needs to be routinely disinfected throughout your home, focus on one thing at a time. Coronacleaning goes beyond wiping things with a damp rag: use either household disinfectants or diluted bleach (1 part bleach with 9 parts water).
These are tasks that you likely need to do as part of your spring cleaning anyway – you just need to do them a lot more frequently, some daily or even several times a day:
1. Phones: Clean all phones, including cell phones. Remember to remove cell phones from their protective cases to wipe clean, too.
2. Door Knobs and Handles: Go from room to room and wipe all door handles clean with a disinfectant. Pay particular attention all door and cupboards in the kitchen and bathrooms. Don’t forget about exterior doors and, if applicable, garage doors and doors leading from the garage into your home.
3. Switch Plates: With either Lysol wipes or a bit of diluted bleach on a clean cloth, go from room to room carefully disinfecting switch plates. Repeat as often as necessary, depending on how frequently they’re touched by yourself and others in your home. While disinfecting for coronavirus, spring clean by also wiping off dust, sticky guck and scuff marks.
4. Mail Box: If you’re a homeowner, it’s likely your mailbox is covered with a thin layer of dirt from the winter. Clean it off and then, as requested by Canada Post, wipe daily with Lysol wipes or other disinfectant.
Dirty work: Because it’s encouraged that we limit trips to the grocery or hardware store to once a week, sort through your cleaning supplies and make a shopping list so you can get everything all at once. Be sure to shake spray cans – you don’t want to think you’ve got a can of oven cleaner only to discover it’s practically empty.
You can’t expect to properly clean with dirty equipment. So start spring cleaning by first washing your gear:
5. Cleaning Rags: Wash all cloth cleaning rags together as a separate batch of laundry. If they are all white, add some bleach to the load. If on hand, use detergent with extra cleaning power. Some washing machines have “sanitary” settings.
6. Waste Bins: A great chore for doing on garbage night: after emptying all waste bins, wash them! Fill plastic garbage cans with hot water and some all-purpose antibacterial cleaner, such as Mr Clean. Let sit in the bath tub for a bit, scrub clean, then empty down the tub drain and rinse. Leave in the tub to dry. You may even want to spray with some Lysol before putting back in place.
7. Vacuums: If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned out your vacuum – beyond just emptying the dirt bin – it’s likely overdue. This can be a dirty job, so time this task before you plan on jumping in the shower. Rinse or wipe and dry the dustbin before putting back in place. Clean or replace the filter, if applicable. If you’re like many of my clients, you may not even realize your vacuum has a filter until you clean it. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth (with a disinfectant!) to remove dust, including from the extension hose and power cord. Clean attachments in the sink with hot soapy water and give them a good scrub. When in doubt, check the manufacturers booklet or web site for specifics on care and cleaning your vacuum.
Quick and Easy Chores
8. Mirrors: Go from room to room cleaning all mirrors – from the foyer to the bathrooms and bedrooms.
9. Walls: Got a box of Mr. Clean magic erasers handy? Go from room to room removing scuff marks from painted walls, doors and baseboards.
10. Light Fixtures: This is a job best suited for two: if you’re alone, be careful or wait until a friend can visit to spot you while you’re on the ladder. It’s also best to do on a sunny day – so you can keep the lights off while you’re cleaning the fixtures and dusting off light bulbs. In need of some fresh air? Don’t forget about your porch lights.
11. Air Vents and Radiators: Look up! Using a Swiffer Duster on an extendable handle, remove dust from all bathroom ceiling vents in your home. Then clean all floor vents – circulating air to and from your furnace. If your home has radiator heaters, wait for a warm day when the heat is off and wipe off all dust.
Because It’s Spring…
12. Snow Gear: Take snow shovels and sidewalk salt down to your basement, putting away in a dedicated storage spot until next winter. And should it end up snowing enough that you need them brought back upstairs, blame me.
13. Bedding: Now is also the time to swap out winter bedding, wool blankets and heavy duvets for lighter weight sheets, cotton blankets and coverlets.
14. Throws and Pillows: Gather up one room at a time and give them an airing out, either shaking on your back deck, using your vacuum or popping into your dryer on the steam setting.
Once you see all your decorative pillows and throws removed off your couch, chairs or bed, you may decide you prefer the more minimalist look and realize your don’t even need them – or at least not as many.
15. Cold-Weather Outerwear: Put away winter clothes, mitts, gloves, etc. While you’re doing so, set aside anything that needs to be repaired (broken zipper, missing button, etc.), needs to be washed or not longer fits. Start a pile to eventually take to the dry cleaners and/or for donation.
Apply Your Cleaning Efforts To Appliances
16. Toaster: Unplug, remove the crumb tray and empty into the garbage. Next turn the toaster upside down over the sink, waste bin or out on the back deck and gently shake to empty out any remaining crumbs. Then with a damp cloth, wipe the exterior, removing stubborn food guck. Buff up with countertop cleaner or even a spritz of Windex.
17. Oven: If you’ve got a self-cleaning oven, plan to set it to clean when you’ll be home but not in the kitchen. Anyone sensitive to smells may be bothered by the fumes. The last thing you want it to give your kids a reason to not do their homework at the kitchen table because of the noxious smell.
18. Washing Machine & Dishwasher: Most front-load machines have a water gasket that needs to be emptied and cleaned once a month. Also, if you can’t remember the last time you did it, clean your machine with a laundry machine cleaner, available in puck and powder form. Just like washing machines, you can also buy pucks to clean build-up inside your dishwasher. Doing so can help extend the lifespan of your machine.
19. Dryer: Clean your dryer inside and out. Pay particular attention to the lint trap in the machine, as well as the vent leading to the outside of your home. Also, if you have a stacked washed and dryer, get on a footstool and wipe off the top of the dryer.
Once you’ve checked everything off this list, you can reward yourself for 19 jobs well done! Treat yourself to a month of Netflix, order in dinner or go to bed early (in your bed with fresh, clean sheets!). Need help? Call, text or email me to schedule a Virtual Organizing session via Facetime, Skype or Zoom! Even though I can't be there in person, I can still help you get organized.