Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition and although it was always done after winter, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a practise that has had to be implemented on a more regular basis. Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate says that ‘’cleaning to prevent a viral infection, like the coronavirus, looks a bit different to a regular cleaning/seasonal toss-out’’, but the fundamentals remain the same.
Spring cleaning can be a tedious and well, rather physically taxing task and if we’re honest, not many of us particularly enjoy doing it, but we have to, right? And here’s why:
- Spring cleaning is a chance to ‘’reset’’ everything in your home.
- It’s your chance to tick all the cleaning tasks off your list that you’ve been putting off.
- A thorough clean has the ability to prevent bigger problems like mould takeover.
- You can get rid of all the dust and grime in places your vacuum cleaner can’t reach.
- Spring cleaning also makes a big difference in the longevity and overall look of your home
Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s look at the how.
How Do I Start Spring Cleaning my House?
1. Have a plan
Like everything in life that you wish to conquer, it’s essential that you have a plan. When it comes to spring cleaning your home, the best approach is an organised approach. Greeff suggests ‘’having a plan that outlines the areas you want to tackle, a flexible schedule for time allocated to each area, products you’re going to need and even, if necessary cleaning techniques or tips that could help you work more efficiently’’.
2. The correct supplies are key
The effectiveness of your spring clean depends almost entirely on the products you use. If you use mediocre products, you will get a mediocre result and all that time you spent on your hands and knees would have been wasted. Prior to cleaning day, take an inventory of the supplies you need and be sure to only purchase the most powerful detergents and cleaning products. Remember, the product is doing most of the work, not you.
3. Work your way through your home, room by room
You know that famous saying ‘’How do you eat an elephant? It’s easy - one bite at a time!’’? Cleaning your home takes the same approach. It might appear to be a huge feat before you start, but if you take it room by room, the task becomes just a little bit less overwhelming. By choosing to do one room at a time, you can see the results of your work and that will motivate you to keep going.
4. Don’t work harder, work smarter
Instead of spending long periods of time scrubbing pots and pans, rather soak it for an hour or two to make it easier to get the grime off. Another way to save time (and energy) is to let cleaning products settle down on surfaces before you wipe them down – this helps to remove the dirt more effectively and with ease.
Spring cleaning in the time of Corona
With us being in the middle of the COVID-19 storm, it’s imperative that we change the way we approach cleaning. There are certain practises that we didn’t have to do before, that we have to do now and for the foreseeable future, but at the end of the day, it’s to protect you and your loved ones.
1. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently-touched on a daily basis
While maintaining social distancing is important and limiting person-to-person contact is still essential, it’s imperative to remember that the coronavirus can remain active on certain surfaces for hours and sometimes, days. Therefore, it is recommended that frequently touched areas of the home are cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis.
Examples of areas that should be cleaned daily:
- Light switches
- Hard-back chairs
- TV remotes
2. Clean first, disinfect after
Not many people are aware of this, but disinfectants don’t work if the surface is not clean to begin with. Germs have the ability to hide inside or below the dirt of your home’s surfaces which means that any disinfectant you use, will not be as effective.
Prior to cleaning, have a look at the surface and if it appears to be dirty or if it feels grimy, use an all-purpose cleaner or even soapy water to give it a quick clean before you hit it with disinfectant.
3. Bleach and alcohol work just as well as commercial disinfectants and it’s easier on the pocket
Cleaning products in general can be pricey and given the economic climate, we all would like to save where and when we can. One way of lightening your load is by using bleach and alcohol when cleaning surfaces and floors.
If you’re using bleach:
- Avoid mixing bleach with anything other than water
- For optimal results, dilute 1 part bleach (1/3 cup) to 1 litre of water
If you’re using alcohol: - Make sure that the sanitizer you’re using contains at least 70% alcohol. - Remember that when you buy sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, it is already diluted with water so you can use it as is.
4. Glove up!
Prior to COVID-19, it was a staple to wear gloves when cleaning, but even more so now. It’s imperative that you wear rubber gloves while cleaning and disinfecting areas and that those gloves are only used for cleaning so they should not be used for gardening or cleaning dishes.
Once your cleaning is completed, it’s suggested that you wash your hands immediately and lay the gloves in disinfectant.
Spring cleaning is always a chore and let’s face it, it’s not exactly fun – but the good news is that once it’s done, you can sit back, relax and enjoy a clean, fresh home. Not only is it good for your health because your home will be 99% germ free – but it’s excellent for your psyche too.