Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Rental Home
Go in with a plan
No, “I’m going to clean this entire house” is not a plan. What rooms are you going to do? In what order? What are you going to do first in each room? Starting without this plan is going to stress you out more than it’s going to help you.
Have all your tools ready from the beginning
Broom, mop, rags, soaps - whatever you need, have it available when you start. Nothing is going to kill the momentum of trying to clean your house like having to stop halfway through to dig something out of a closet you rarely check.
Have a timetable, but be realistic
Are you going to clean the entire house in one day? Probably not. Have a plan for about how long it’s going to take you for each room, but make sure you’re not just picturing an ideal cleaning day that’s never going to happen. Think about how long it actually took you when you cleaned before. If it took you 4 hours to clean the last time, why do you think you’ll do it this time in one?
Purging is cleaning
Is this cheating? Maybe, but it still works. If part of the mess is clutter, and it probably is, then getting rid of them will make the house cleaner. Just don’t feel overly attached to things that do little but make more clutter for you to clean up.
Make it a game
How fast can you clean this room? Set a goal, and try as hard as you can to beat it. Look for where you can multitask, mixing actively cleaning with times that you just let something soak. Finding a way to make it a game may not make you like cleaning, but it’ll help you see it from a different perspective and make the tedious parts go by more quickly.
Don’t put the next one off to the spring
This is such a big ordeal because you probably put off any deep cleaning until now. Spring is a good time to clean, but not the only time you can. Schedule the next deep clean for sooner than that. And we do mean schedule it - write it down on a calendar and you’ll feel the pressure to actually have it done by that next time.
Specific spring cleaning tips
There are a lot of little things you might not remember or even think of. Here are some surprisingly simple things you might not think of or need a gentle reminder of.
- Rotate your mattress, replace the pillows and pillowcases and change the sheets: When was the last time you did either of these? New, clean bedding will immediately make your room feel so much better.
- Dust the ceiling fan: Dust on the ceiling fan will eventually make its way to the floor. Keep that from happening by getting up there and dusting now.
- Pay attention to nightstands: Your nightstand is where clutter builds up. Clear it off completely and only put back things that need to be there. You won’t even consciously notice, but it’s where a lot of the mess in the bedroom really builds up.
- Wash and replace shower curtains: The shower curtains get just as messy as the shower itself. Clean or replace it occasionally.
- Wash down the mirror: You look at yourself in the mirror, but how often do you look at the mirror itself? It’s probably quite dirty, so take the time to wipe it down now.
- Don’t be intimidated: The bathroom is intimidating. There are so many messes that you don’t even want to think about being made in there. Keep in mind that you can clean it and just get it done. It’s not nearly as bad as you think.
- Open the windows to let the air out: Right after washing them, of course. Airing out the living room will help it feel much cleaner.
- Take special care of couch/anything else with fabric: Make sure not to use any chemicals that might stain or otherwise mess up the fabric. Sometimes, all you really need to clean it is a good lint brush.
- Don’t forget clean smells: This applies to everywhere, but your living room is where you and guests will spend a lot of time. Add in a clean smell and even if there’s still some mess, it’ll feel a lot better.
- Don’t be intimidated: Like the bathroom, the kitchen can be intimidating. Go into the kitchen with the same approach: you’re going to clean it, it’s just a matter of putting the work in.
- Check your fridge coils: Do you think about these? Probably not, but they’re a big thing you should clean. It’s not just about things looking good, either. Dirty coils mean your fridge needs to use more electricity, so it saves you money.
- Check your smoke detector, fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide detector: At least a couple of these should be in the kitchen. Even if your landlord is responsible for these, you want to make sure they’re working for your own peace of mind.
- Clean your cleaning supplies: How clean is your mop, really? What about sponges? If you don’t properly clean your cleaning supplies, all you’ll do is spread old germs all over the place.
- Wear gloves and a mask: This applies to everyone, but especially if you have allergy issues. You don’t want to touch or breathe in most of the messes in your house.
- Clean top to bottom: At risk of stating the obvious, gravity makes things fall down as you’re cleaning. Dust and any other particles fall down, so start at the top of a room and work your way down. If you started at the bottom, you’d just have to clean the bottom of the room again once the dust settles.
- Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels: When you’re working with dust and other particles, microfiber cloths are really helpful. They do a better job of trapping those particles so you don’t make a mess while trying to clean up a different mess.
Spring cleaning is intimidating but manageable. With the right approach and some simple tips, you can keep it from being a daunting task you never actually complete.