Hello again! Let me start this off with an apology for the delay in content… I am new to this whole thing and was expecting to have more time to write and edit during the week. Apparently our clients didn’t get the memo that it is usually the slow season after the holidays. Either way, I will work on posting more often. Thank you for being patient with me.
To me, January is the worst month of the year. I have fewer projects to work on and I have to de-Christmas my house, which is so depressing to me. Also, it’s usually cold and gloomy out so there is nothing fun and exciting to do. I already set up my 2016 calendar back in December and I know that I have the first of two big cleans of the house coming very soon.
Today is day 1 of de-Christmas-ing the inside of my house. It’s usually a full weekend project because I start my spring cleaning at the same time. So not only am I cleaning all my awesome decorations and putting them away but I am also dusting, wiping baseboards and walls, and all that spring cleaning entails, minus the window cleaning, since it’s freezing outside.
I usually do two deep cleans of my house every year. I clean every weekend, but not like this. There are only two holidays that I decorate for, so I do a hardcore clean at the end of August before I put up Halloween decorations in September. Yeah, I said September, and then again in January when I take Christmas down.
There is no gap between Halloween and Christmas decorations. I take down Halloween the first weekend in November-ish, depending on the date of our annual party and then Christmas goes up usually the next day. I LOVE having my house all decorated for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Thanksgiving, I just don’t have anyone at my house or any events during that time, so I go straight into Christmas mode. Also, this way there is no climbing on the roof with snow and ice everywhere when I decorate outside.
Anyway, there are a couple positives to this first major cleaning. One is how awesome the house smells once I’m done. I make my own cleaners so there is no chemical smell that I have to deal with the whole weekend. There are SO many cleaner recipes out there for people to make, but because I have a major sensitivity to smell, I have to be careful with what I use. The main cleaner that I use in my house for just about everything is plain old vinegar and water.
I purchased one of these empty spray bottles from Menards (I probably bought like 10 actually, I use them for everything) and I filled it about a quarter of the way with white vinegar and the rest of the way with water. You can add 1-2 drops of an orange or lemon essential oil if you want it to have a scent. I have not personally tried that yet because of my smell sensitivity. Without the EO it will just smell like vinegar till it dries completely and then there is no scent at all. I have exact measurements and a recipe at the bottom of this post.
The second plus to my first deep clean of the year is, it usually inspires me to start another organization project or to start another one of our many, ‘To Finish Before We Sell’ Projects. With the goal of putting our house on the market this fall, we have many things to get done. Most of them are time consuming projects that you never really want to do, like painting trim.
Ugh, let me tell you, I cannot STAND painting trim! You are usually in the most uncomfortable positions, you have to be super careful not to hit the walls, floor or ceiling, and it just takes FOREVER! I really wish we would have painted it as we were putting it up but we had so many projects going on at the same time and we really just wanted to move in so we just powered through thinking we would do it later. That was in 2010…
Having 4 dogs and 2 cats means the amount of hair in my house is intense at all times. We vacuum regularly but it seems like the tumbleweeds of hair never end. The first deep cleaning of the year focuses more on living spaces. I move the bed and furniture to clean behind and under them. I wash everything that can come off of them and then steam what can’t.
Here is a very basic breakdown of my Post Christmas Cleaning list:
- De-Christmas bathrooms and kitchen; wash and dry all Christmas rugs and towels.
- Clean, remove batteries and box up all Christmas decorations and move boxes into the basement.
- Dust, wipe down walls, throw couch pillows, blankets, dog beds, and our bedding down to be washed.
- From here I start upstairs and vacuum everything. Baseboards, corners of walls from floor to ceiling, ceilings and ceiling fans, vents and returns.
- Deep clean both bathrooms.
- Move all rugs and furniture and steam floors.
- Put everything back and put out all normal décor.
- Once all the extra laundry is done, clean out dryer vent hose.
This all usually takes about 2 full days. The most time consuming stuff is the laundry. Waiting for everything to wash and dry takes forever. It’s a great feeling once this is all completed. It’s a lot of hard work all at once. What are some things that you do for your spring cleaning routine? Do you have any other tips or things you do that I missed? I would love to hear from you!
All Purpose Cleaner:
- 32oz spray bottle
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 1-2 drops citrus essential oil
Mix all ingredients in the spray bottle and start cleaning!
* Add essential oil if you want a fresh scented spray.