Monday, May 19, 2014

Do You 'Spring Clean' Your House?

Spring cleaning was necessary in our great-great-grandmother's day. The sources used to heat houses back then were oil, coal and wood. Burning these fuels coated everything in the house with smoke residue. Hence. the need to clean come spring. 

The easiest way to clean a room was to take everything out if it. Then, the women of the house would start by washing the ceiling, walls and floors. As the furnishing were brought back into the room, they were also cleaned. Winter rugs and drapes were cleaned, then stored. The lighter summer ones were brought out to freshen up the room and keep it cooler in anticipation of the summer heat.

In our lives today, we don't have many of the cleaning issues our ancestors had. The efficient ways we heat our homes today only require that we perform periodic dusting and vacuuming (that is if you HAVE a vacuum!) Yet, when I am asked if I 'spring clean' my house, I answer "Yes, I do!" I don't spring clean in the way I mentioned above, but I do perform cleaning chores that I don't normally do the rest of the year. 

Spring cleaning to me is yearly cleaning. It is all the chores that I do once a year. I tend to do them in spring (and summer) because that is the time I think about them. They are completely off the radar the rest of the year. So yes, I spring clean. For me, it starts with the spray washing of my house. That is scheduled to happen in a few weeks. (In the South, mold grows on everything. That includes the exterior of your house - both brick and siding. Spray washing with a soap/bleach mixture is a must every year. Otherwise, the exterior paint only lasts a few years.)

Then it is on to other annual chores, accomplished room by room. That strategy ensures that I am not overwhelmed (I do not hire cleaning help). It would also be possible to enlist the aid of the entire family and accomplish it all in one day.

 Spring cleaning chores in modern times would be things like:
  • Washing the windows and blinds
  • Cleaning the refrigerator coils (as well as behind/underneath the appliance)
  • Replacing the filters in the furnace
  • Dusting all 'top shelves' that require a ladder to reach.

I also include 'other' chores such as:
  • Washing my dining room rug at the laundromat (It is too big & heavy to wash it at home by hand!)
  • Dusting/cleaning Christmas items that I am going to put away for the rest of the year. (In the picture below, you can see a Christmas tin sitting above the kitchen cabinets - along with other decorations that live there permanently. When I dust up there, I will put the Christmas tin away.)
Between my garden, church and any work projects I take on, it doesn't leave a lot of time for 'spring cleaning'. Normally, my list of yearly cleaning chores take me all summer to accomplish. No matter, slow and steady wins the race!

Spring/yearly cleaning isn't just something our ancestors had to do. I believe yearly cleaning chores are necessary now too! Its even more important if some one in your house has asthma! In addition, your appliances will work more efficiently if they are cleaned yearly. That can save you lots of money!

It all helps in making what you have last longer - and that is living a frugal life!

No comments:

Post a Comment

To help eliminate spam on this blog, your comment will be moderated.