Why I Don’t Do Seasonal Cleaning

Did you know that the purpose of spring cleaning was to undo a winter’s worth of heating with coal, wood, and of lighting with kerosene? Apparently, houses would be covered in soot and ash, and when heating was over, it was time to clean. But somehow the tradition has stayed alive.

Now we are made to feel guilty every spring because we do not pull out the fridge and vacuum the coils, or remove the window screens and power wash them.

Yes, deep cleaning is horrible. We all know this. Even people who like keeping a tidy home and perhaps even like laundry, hate to deep clean. So why do we make lists of things like “quarterly tasks” and save them up for some terrible day in March? Or worse, that day never comes…and the list haunts us.

Because there will never be a convenient day, or week, to deep clean the entire house. You have dinner to make, and laundry, and maybe kids, or a full time job, and it is just not realistic. That is something a team of house cleaners comes to do. It takes multiple people and costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It’s a ton of work, not fun, and makes you feel like a servant. Yes, that spring cleaning printable checklist is cute but not really helping.

There is a better way.

Stop saving up your list, and do it bit by bit.

So. We all know there are daily tasks like sweeping, counters, whatever. Then there is dusting and vacuuming, which I do once a week. Not talking about that here.

Then there are bathrooms, which need regular cleaning of tubs, floors, and such. The medium clean, because things shouldn’t really be that dirty.

Kitchens, same. The medium clean. Cleaning sinks, trash cans, organizing cabinets.

Then there is everything else. Living rooms, bedrooms. Not as dirty, doesn’t need as much attention, but can get neglected.

Here is what I do:

Every day, do one deep or medium clean item from each category.

One kitchen, one bathroom, one everything else.

For example…

I am brushing my teeth and notice the mirror should be cleaned. I do it.

In the kitchen, I see that the vent hood could use a scrub. Run the baffles through the dishwasher and wipe down the outside.

In the everything else category, sometimes nothing jumps out at me. So I wipe down the hardwood floors in the dining room.

And that’s it. Done for the day. Every day, if you keep it up, there will be no deep cleaning that you have fallen behind on. The house will always be clean enough. Not always neat, but always clean.

Sometimes you will be reacting to a messy cabinet. Sometimes everything will look great and you will proactively do something like clean out the freezer. Sometimes you will be busy and won’t do anything.

No lists, no guilt, no overthinking.

Speaking of lists, guilt and overthinking, here are some ideas for each category:

Bathrooms:

-clean the tub

-clean the shower (do it while you are already in there showering!)

-clean the counters and faucets

-clean the windows and windowsills

-wipe down the floor and baseboards

-organize under bathroom cabinet and wipe it down

Kitchen:

-scrub the sink and soak with water and a splash of bleach

-take out one shelf on the fridge and wash it,

-quickly rearrange the whole fridge

-polish stainless steel appliances

-wipe down floors and baseboards

-clean windows

-wipe outside of kitchen cabinets

-organize pantry, or just a shelf if it is bad

-clean glass door

Everything Else:

-dust and organize one bookshelf, one single shelf if it is bad

-clean windows in one room

-clean out under one bed

-organize a dresser drawer

-clean out a closet shelf or hanging rod

-organize china cabinet

-organize one nightstand

Just one per day from each category and the house will be lovely in a few weeks time.

And what about vacuuming the fridge coils? I think that is the husband’s job.

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