Spring Cleaning – Why I Don’t Do It

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2014

spring cleaning

Do you do spring cleaning? Or do you have more of a “whenever it needs to be done” cleaning strategy — doing projects here and there throughout the year?

My cleaning style definitely falls into the later category of “do whatever needs to be done, whenever it needs to be done”.

The whole idea of Spring Cleaning has always been a tad overwhelming to me — plus, I’m the type of person who wants to be OUTSIDE when the freezing cold Michigan weather finally starts to warm up. I find that I often do the majority of my deep cleaning from January through March — sometimes I get the deep-cleaning urge again in October and November.

This seems to works out really well since I can wait for all the holiday mess and chaos to finish and then do a bunch of extra cleaning when we’re stuck inside anyway. Then, when the weather starts getting nicer, we can spend as much time as possible doing yard work, going for long walks, and playing outside.

This year, I’ve actually made a mini goal to be finished with most of the deep-cleaning stuff by the end of February, since we all know I won’t be scrubbing baseboards or washing pillows with a newborn baby and toddler running around!

However, I honestly don’t go crazy with deep-cleaning.

This might seem a little hypocritical for someone who “preaches” cleaning and organizing… but remember, the over-arching theme of everything I do is SIMPLE. And to me, massive amounts of spring cleaning (or deep cleaning in the winter) is not exactly SIMPLE.

For me, I’m big on keeping the carpets and fabric clean because that stuff just grosses me out.

We actually had our carpets cleaned in mid-December this year since that’s when we finished the demolition work upstairs — and we didn’t want to move furniture up there before the carpets were cleaned.

I also just finished a massive laundry marathon last month — ALL the pillows, comforters, sleeping bags, rugs, blankets, etc. etc. (you know, everything that doesn’t get washed on a regular basis.)

It feels good to have those two “biggies” crossed off my list, but as I mentioned above…

All other forms of deep cleaning are done whenever I feel it’s necessary.

1. Dusting the Baseboards and Window Sills:

I can’t stand dusty baseboards and window sills. However, since we have tons of wood floors on our main floor, I often use the vacuum hose attachment on the floors weekly — and when I’m vacuuming the floors, I run the brush over the baseboards and window sills at the same time.

No it’s not as clean as if I got down on my hands and knees with a bucket of water and a rag, but it’s good enough so that I don’t see the dust building up forever and ever and it’s not nearly as overwhelming since I’m doing a little at a time.

2. Washing the Windows:

Another thing that always seems super overwhelming for me is washing windows. I honestly don’t do it very often at all — even though we have the really nice windows that just pop in for easy cleaning (no ladders or even stepping foot outside!)

Basically, if I see a spot or smudge that’s big enough to bother me, I’ll clean that and then be done. I don’t feel the need to do ALL the windows at one time just to say “my windows are clean”.

P.S. here’s a link to my homemade streak-free window and glass cleaner.

3. Mopping the Floors:

I also rarely EVER mop our hard floors (keep in mind, we don’t have pets and only 1 child). I vacuum and Swiffer them on a very regular basis, but mopping is a totally different story. To put it in perspective, I’ve probably only mopped our entire kitchen floor 3 times since we installed them 17 months ago (no, I’m not joking).

Instead, I just spot-clean as necessary. If I see a spot, spill a little food, or feel a sticky place, I just use some vinegar spray and a damp cloth to wipe up that area. I do this regularly and I honestly don’t feel the need for intense mopping.

I approach almost every form of traditional “spring cleaning” or “deep cleaning” with this perspective.

If I see it needs to be cleaned, I just do it at that time.

I don’t like thinking about things or letting relatively quick projects take up space on a to-do list or stacked up in my brain… so I just “do it now” and feel relatively confident that my whole house eventually get’s cleaned.

This might sound like a bit of a lazy approach — but it’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and it certainly takes the overwhelmingness out of deep cleaning.

I honestly don’t think anything of wiping down a window, vacuuming the baseboards, spot-mopping the floors, or any other larger cleaning project because I know that by just doing a little at a time, my house stays clean and I only spend a few minutes cleaning each time.

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming spring-cleaning season, I’d highly encourage you to try my “do a little at a time whenever it’s necessary” approach. You might be surprised how well it works!

Either that, or just put your kids to work :)

Oh, and if you’re looking for more cleaning resources, this post has MORE THAN 40!!

And here’s a link to all my cleaning posts.

How do you handle deep cleaning around your home?

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8 comments

  1. Kim

    02/17/2014

    Can I ask who you get to clean your carpets? Do you recommend a certain time if year for this?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We use TLC carpet cleaners as they were my neighbors all growing up. Usually people say to get the carpets cleaned when it’s warmer out so you can have the windows open — but I say whenever they need it :)

    [Reply]

  2. Kelly at Old Blue Silo

    02/17/2014

    I am with you, Andrea! Spring cleaning just sounds overwhelming to me. It’s so much easier to just tackle everything as it needs done. I do find it more effective to break projects down all year long.. if you try to do it all in one day or one weekend, you’re more likely to not do it as well or thorough!

    In the spring, I am ready to get out and help the boys farm, work on landscaping and just soak up the fresh air!

    I can see how some people would enjoy spring cleaning though and turn it into a ritual. It’s a good time to get the family off the couch, open up all the windows, air out the house and just clean things out!

    As long as people are cleaning………… I’m happy ;)

    [Reply]

  3. Demaroge

    02/17/2014

    I agree with you about the mopping. I have never understood why anyone would try to ‘sanitize’ floors….and then proceed to walk on them. We can walk on a lot of non visible icky stuff outside that quickly gets back onto the floors. That is extra quickly for those of us who have dogs, cats and kids running in and out. I am all for clean floors but more like your method!

    [Reply]

  4. Tragic Sandwich

    02/17/2014

    Plus, spring cleaning is an anachronism. It was essential in the past, when homes were heated by wood or coal fires, and a winter of closed windows meant that all of that soot built up inside the house. But that’s not the technology most of us are using now, so the same need just isn’t there.

    [Reply]

  5. Stel

    02/18/2014

    Refreshingly honest, so!
    And you might just change my mindset about mopping as well :-)

    [Reply]

  6. Jen

    02/18/2014

    I created a year long cleaning schedule and gave each month a couple of the larger tasks like washing bedding, washing draperies, cleaning out the garage, cleaning windows, etc. This makes spring time much less overwhelming and allows me to feel productive all year long. You can check out my cleaning schedule here if you are interested: http://www.openconceptorganizing.com/2014/01/creating-cleaning-schedule.html. I also only spot clean my floors as necessary. I hate mopping!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing Jen!

    [Reply]

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