After a winter where the house is closed up, there is the urge to clean out and let in the freshness of the season. During the winter it is easy to simply let things pile up and cleaning chores go. When you look around, the need for a deep cleaning may seem overwhelming. A maid or cleaning service sounds very tempting, but is not a feasible plan for saving money in the budget. Here are some tips to help you clean without breaking the budget.
Buy the Basics
While you can buy expensive cleaning products, saving money means using white distilled vinegar, baking soda and rags made from clothes no longer used. Even newspapers can be recycled to clean windows and mirrors. These are inexpensive, safe and environmentally friendly.
Vinegar cleans, sanitizes and kills most bacteria, germs and mold. Baking soda cleans and shines and can be used to remove stains, shine surfaces and deodorize. Baking soda removes crayon marks, wax and eliminates pet stains and odors as well as shines up things like chrome.
Divide and Conquer
Cleaning can be overwhelming. If you have others in the family, assign jobs to different members. If alone, consider the jobs that need doing, the time they will take and how this will fit into your schedule. Then make a list of tasks to be completed each day. Do enough to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something, but not so much that you are overwhelmed.
If you do a little of this and a little of that, you may not see immediate results. Instead, start with piles and clutter. Put books on shelves, file papers, put clothes and toys away. The difference provides motivation for further cleaning.
Think it Through
Clean with purpose. Dust. Then clean floors and surfaces. You don’t want to send up a cloud of dust and dirt to settle on something you already cleaned. If you clean the shelves and then dust the overhead fan, you’ll end up cleaning the shelves all over again. To deep clean the carpet, you’ll need a machine and cleaning fluid for that purpose. Clean entire carpets at least once a year. In between those major cleanings, all that needs doing is to simply clean the high-traffic areas.
Keep it Up
Once the house is sparkling clean, commit to keeping it picked up and clean. Schedule time each week to dust, vacuum and do a quick clean. Some chores can be rotated as needed.