We don’t always have time for a full-blown down-and-dirty spring cleaning, but something about the season just makes us crave freshness in our homes. What to do in the time we have?
Here are ten quick tips that will make a big difference: they only take a few minutes but they’ll make your home feel more fresh and spring-like. Find out what they are here:
1. Do a quick pick-up-and-put-away. Anytime we clear out a little space, it gives us some breathing room–and that feels really refreshing. It’s like the early-spring raking we do in our yards, getting rid of fallen leaves and debris so new life can grow: when we get rid of clutter, we create some growing room in our home. You can start small, maybe with just one corner, but if you make a daily or weekly habit of it, room-by-room, eventually your whole house will be done! (For help, see Eight Easy Steps to No More Clutter.)
2. Vacuum rugs/sweep or damp-mop floors. If you only have time for one chore, cleaning the floors is usually the one that will make the most immediate difference in how fresh a room feels.
3. Open a window. Let a fresh breeze blow through your home and get rid of lingering winter staleness. If it’s still cold where you live, try opening the window in your bedroom just a little, and sleep with an extra comforter.
4. Wipe pet hair off upholstered furniture. This only takes a minute, but it really makes an impact!
5. Consider color. Try bringing in more light, airy spring colors to your home. A new slipcover for that tired sofa (in a bright lemony yellow or fresh spring green), or a pastel throw rug, or even a couple of pretty pillows will make a refreshing difference.
6. Try moving a piece of furniture or two. Sometimes the new perspective we gain when we change something around is all we need for a sense of spacious freshness.
7. Fresh flowers help. Our eyes and spirits are enlivened by the sight of pretty spring flowers blooming on a table or countertop. Bulbs are a great value since after they have bloomed you can plant them outdoors to bloom again next year.
8. Follow your nose!. If something smells “off” in your home, find out what it is. Rotting compost, moldy drains, a neglected pet bed–all these can contribute to a sense of winter stuck staleness. Be sure to empty compost daily; try pouring 1/2 cup of vinegar down your drain to freshen it; and give that pet bed a washing. And once you’ve eliminated the causes of bad odors, place shallow dishes with a tablespoon of vanilla extract in each one around your home to keep it smelling fresh. See Let Your Nose Guide You to a Healthy Home.
9. Simplify your knick-knacks. Try the “Take-Away Half” plan: take away half of your knick-knacks and put them in a box. Then when the seasons change again, switch them. It will feel like you have all new decorations!
10. Use old things in new ways. Try putting rolled-up napkins in a clean flowerpot, or placing candles on a mirror for the dining table, or using a pretty wicker basket to hold your magazines. Sometimes freshness is about allowing our creativity to take flight! Look around and see your belongings with new eyes. What possibilities exist for you?