Spring-cleaning is a job that few people enjoy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and you don’t have to do it alone. Working together, your family can get it done in a weekend. Consider these suggestions to help pace yourself.
- List what you need to do and buy the needed cleaning supplies and equipment.
- Arrange for a charity organization to pick up discarded items you want to give away or take them yourself.
- Assign cleaning tasks to family members according to age and ability.
- Stock plastic buckets or totes with cleaning supplies. Have trash bags handy.
- Attach an extension cord to your vacuum cleaner so you can move quickly through rooms.
- Spray the oven with oven cleaner Friday night. Put the drip pans from your stove and the ventilating fan/hood filter in a sink full of hot soapy water. Let them soak overnight.
- Get up early Saturday morning and have family members strip bed linens (including mattress pads) and remove curtains that need washing.
- Vacuum cobwebs from ceilings and corners, light fixtures, ceiling-fan blades, shutters, or blinds, door and window moldings, lampshades, pictures, windowsills, and baseboards.
- Dust and polish wood furniture and shelves.
- Clean mirrors and glass furniture tops.
- Flip mattresses and put clean linens on beds.
- Sweep floors and vacuum rugs or carpets.
- Defrost freezer if necessary. Wipe off refrigerator shelves.
- Clean inside microwave.
- Finish cleaning oven and stovetop. Replace drip pans.
- Vacuum, mop, and wax floor.
- Remove shower-curtain liners. Wash for five minutes with a bath towel on delicate cycle; hang on a line or shower rod to drip-dry.
- Spray shower, tub, and toilet with cleaner. (Be sure to open a window or turn on exhaust fan first.) Let solutions soak in, then wipe off and rinse clean.
Then, when the day is done, order up a great dinner or take the family out to celebrate a job well done.
This article originally appeared in American Profile.