Spring is here! I love sharing spring cleaning tips. And it’s been fun to share so many different ideas of how to uplift your home during this season. But when it comes down to it, there really are only three best practices for me in my home that are must-do’s each spring, to shake out the old and welcome in the new.
These ideas will help you to get down to the nitty gritty in your home. If you try them, be sure to let me know how it goes!
1. Clean Your Greens
Houseplants take a real beating during the dry winter months. Years ago, my mom, who has the most amazing green thumb, told me to put all my plants (including succulents) in my sink or bathtub, and give them a good soak to liven them up for spring. We also talked about how dusty indoor city plants get from being inside year-round. She told me not to worry, as the water would wash the dust right off, like a good soak in the rain. She was right! It was the simplest trick, and I couldn’t believe the results.
What I love about this ritual is that it’s like a gift for my houseplants, which give so much to me year-round. It’s a chance to check their health, so during the soak I pick away dead leaves, and also replenish any depleted earth by adding a fresh layer of top-soil. The entire process is invigorating (check out my video!). And as a bonus, it smells heavenly. These days, the process makes me miss my sweet girl cat, Marlaina, who used to come running as soon as she got her first whiff of wet soil in the air.
As a best practice, use room temperature water for watering, and the spray feature on your shower head or sink faucet, if you have one. And if you apply fresh soil, sprinkle it over the entire top surface of the pot. If soil spreads as you work, use the spray feature to gently wash things back down.
Last week I gave my green beauties a bath, and they are all the happier for it!
2. Let There Be Light
As windows, mirrors and framed pictures take a beating during winter months too, my second best practice is to clean dirt, dust and grime off of all glass-based items and products in my home.
This inspiration for this ritual comes from my first year living in New York. I walked into a friend’s home one spring to find it lighter, brighter, cleaner, crisper and larger looking than ever before. I couldn’t put my finger on how, but his home looked as if it had popped off the pages of a interior decor magazine. When I asked what changed, my friend said with casual ease, “we had our windows washed.”
Well, I can do that! They had a pro come in, but this was a job easy enough for me to do on my own. That day I launched an annual ritual to wash my windows each spring, both inside and out. It’s become my favorite feel-good move of the year.
With my windows done, I turn next to mirrors, then to glass on framed artwork, pictures, on furniture, and on any decorative items in my home. Like with my houseplants, cleaning glass surfaces makes me feel as if I am giving back to important members of my household.
My home thanks me with glimmering surfaces that make my home sparkle and pop. Add in the bright sunlight of spring, which loves to bounce off clean, shiny surfaces, this tiny ritual packs a punch in my home and on my mood, a little something I fondly call #lighttherapy. I invite you to join!
3. Clean Consciously
Surfaces, oh surfaces! Dirt and dust accumulates everywhere in our home: in corners, on shelves, on the items on shelves, on baseboards, even on walls. My third best practice is to get down to the bones of my home and clean consciously, looking for hidden grime and dust (and dust bunnies) in the nooks and crannies of my home.
Seek and ye shall find! I care-take my home weekly, but even so, there are spots that I do not get to, or that I cannot easily see. One day I opened a closed bookshelf to find a nice layer of desk settled on top of a photo cube, with one of my favorite childhood photos nestled inside. And another day I peeked behind a bookshelf to find a tiny area of fine dusty mess nestled in-between cable wires.
Cleaning consciously is easy, just take a look at your home through a fresh set of eyes. Look for areas you make frequent contact with (like light-switches or door knobs or door handles), and look high (tops of bookshelves), and look low (beneath beds and furniture). I began to do this in earnest as my home aged. Just like me, as it gets older, it deserves more tender, loving care.
A best practice is to use cloths, micro-fibers, or any dusting sprays or tools of your choice (I love Swiffer products, they are truly designed for this stuff) and then just play a little game of hide-and-seek in your home, searching out hidden pockets of gook waiting to be sleuthed out. I use Q-tips as well, for tackling tiny spots (like sink drains), and occasionally steel wool to sparkle up surfaces that are brass. Conscious deep cleaning is like restoring your home to factory settings. Your home and health will thank you for it.
Do you have a spring cleaning best practice? Share in the comments below!
Photo Credits: Maeve Richmond