Typically, spring is a time of renewal, and we are excited to open our home and get it sparkling clean in time to invite over guests and enjoy the sun. Spring cleaning has always been a refreshing way to prepare for brighter days ahead, figuratively and literally.
However, it is hard to get excited over spending another spring in “lockdown,” (even if we do understand why it’s necessary). Sure, the vaccine is here, but it will be months before enough people are vaccinated to end this thing. So, spring cleaning probably doesn’t feel like the top priority at the moment, but there’s plenty of reasons to still do it.
Why You Should Do It Anyway
One of the toughest psychological effects of COVID-19 on our lives is the sense of loss of control that it breeds. Cleaning won’t fix that entirely but think of that satisfying feeling you get when you’re in a cleaned home. That feeling of “I did that” is powerful. It is not surprising then that scientific studies have shown that thorough cleaning is associated with reducing anxiety and increased creativity.
And let’s face it, we have never been home this much. We are far more likely to notice the messy and dirty parts of our home. There is also a lot more debris piling up. We eat all of our meals at home, creating more garbage and way more dishes than ever before. A pleasant and clean environment is just what we need to maintain our sanity.
How to Do It
For some of us, getting motivated to clean during the pandemic doesn’t pose any unique problems. We are home anyway, and there isn’t much else to do anyway. But for others, it isn’t so simple. They may be experiencing depression which saps the motivation necessary to get things done. Meanwhile, we may be working at home and parenting simultaneously, draining what little energy we do have.
So how do we get into that cleaning headspace? One way to get there is to clean in small doses. After all, we are trying to create more peace of mind. A massive stressful cleaning list is not going to get us into the Zen zone.
So, use 15 minutes here and there on your down-time to accomplish your most important cleaning tasks. You may gain momentum over time and begin to clean more consistently. But if you don’t, it’s ok! The increments will add up, and your home will look better for it.
If that sounds like too much, you can break the work down into even smaller increments. For example, you can spend a minute cleaning the bathroom every time you use it. Trust us; even those increments add up! Especially when you are working from home.
Where to Start
The bathroom is one of the essential rooms to maintain during the pandemic. It will not surprise you to hear that bathrooms can quickly become a cesspool of germs and bacteria when they are not cleaned regularly. If people are slowly starting to come over your home, typically they will go to the bathroom.
A big part of keeping your cleaning sanity when working at home is through regular maintenance. One important way to do this is by keeping the flow in the sink going steadily. Try to reach the bottom of your sink every day to keep the mess from ever getting overwhelming. We believe that the dishes and area surrounding it are the keys to keeping the entire kitchen clean and tidy.
A significant part of any spring cleaning is the annual wardrobe cleanout, and this year should be no different. We may not be going out as much, but that doesn’t mean we need those oversized winter coats in July! So, put away those bulky winter items. And if there is anything you haven’t worn in a year; it may be time to toss it.
If you have kids, the chances are that your living room looks like a warzone. It may be unrealistic to have everything all tidied up and perfect all the time.
Another part of maintenance is keeping your workspace tidy. You spend a large amount of your day at your desk (or whatever you use as your workspace, no judgment!), and that is where the mess can pile up.
Ideally, the workspace will be pleasantly comfortable while inspiring you to get things done. Studies show that a tidy workspace also leads to more productivity to have more free time!
Cleaning and the Virus
It is no secret that cleaning helps disinfect shared surfaces and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. Any part of your home that is frequently touched should be cleaned more often. That includes the major surfaces and doorknobs and light switches, and electronics that are often in use.
The good news is that SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the infection, is relatively easy to kill. To do so, use FDA-approved disinfectants or a mixture of water and bleach on the main surfaces in your home. One of the simplest ways to fight COVID-19 is with the simple use of soap and water.
If someone in your household has the virus or may have it, cleaning takes on greater urgency. The surfaces in the room and bathroom used by the infected individual should be disinfected regularly by the sick person, if at all possible. If others who are not infected are cleaning the room, they should go in only when necessary and wait as long as possible following last use. In these cases, it is best to follow the recommendations of the CDC closely.
A clean house helps us feel in control of our lives again and reminds us that there is hope at the end of the dark pandemic tunnel. Just remember to do it at a pace that increases your peace of mind. A thorough spring cleaning won’t take away those pandemic blues, but it sure can make them more manageable.
If you’d like to find out more direct spring cleaning hacks, check out The Vacuum Experts for more info.