Cleaning the house can be a bloody nightmare, particularly if you’re one of the 99% of young people who experience trauma-induced flashbacks to afternoons ripping clothes off the line while your mum screams about rain clouds through the phone. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of tips 'n' tricks to help make this year’s spring cleaning experience one you won’t have to walk your therapist through in twenty years.
#1 Spray Up.
First things first: stop watching vintage Grey’s Anatomy on your laptop, rinse your dirty Easy Mac bowl, and put on clothes that say ‘I enjoy long walks down the confectionary aisle, and pretending I’m in charge of my future’, because we’re helping you clean up your house, not your life—so it’s time to hit the shops for cleaning products.
For a standard ‘spring clean’, you should invest in the following items:
Mars Pods, Allens Strawberry Creams, a twenty-four pack of Fish Fingers, a multi-surface disinfectant spray, a pair of gloves, window spray, floor cleaner, three microfiber cloths, a broom, a mop & bucket, a brush & shovel, a duster, a newspaper, a regular bucket, two sponges, a standard oven cleaner, and a pack of Chux wipes.
#2 Drop It Low.
Make a kick-ass playlist of phresh tunes that’ll distract you from the fact that you’re about to do a whole day of housework without getting a single cent from your mother.
#3 Start Up High.
Start from the top of the house and work your way to the front door. I don’t mean get on the roof and buff the tiles, but if your house has more than one level–start from the top floor. If it doesn’t–just start from the room at the back of the house so you finish at the front door.
Another hot little tip–have your wallet and keys ready at the door so once you’ve finished spring cleaning, you can blow that popsicle stand and make it to the pub for happy hour.
#4 If It’s Got A Surface–Clean It.
I mean it. If you can pick it up or stroke it or lock your cat in it–wipe it down.
This includes bench tops, walls, cabinets, mirrors, shelves, windows, cupboards, dining table centrepieces, and photo frames. Use a window spray and newspaper on glass and mirrors to avoid streaks, half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of warm water with a Chux wipe on the walls, and a microfiber cloth on almost everything else. If you encounter any blinds as you go, give them a good fondle with the duster.
#5 If It Can Be Seen–It Can Be Organised.
Now is a great opportunity to make sense of your plastics cupboard–throw out all the containers that don’t have lids. And that unruly bookshelf–order all your Jodi Picoult books in degree of plot twist shockingness, or alphabetical order. Same goes for CDs and DVDs.
#6 Apply Attention To Appliances.
When you get to the kitchen, take a break, have a Kit-Kat, have seventeen, put off cleaning it as much as you literally can. After that, pull everything out of the fridge. If it’s past its use-by date/has traces of mould/is not anything you recognise–throw it in the bin.
Soak all removable trays and shelves in warm soapy water (throw your oven racks in there too) and then wipe out the inside with a combination of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Once both the inside and outside of the fridge are dry, reassemble it and replace all food.
Use the warm soapy water to then wipe down the microwave, kettle, toaster, oven exterior and dinosaur-shaped waffle maker. Then clean the oven following the directions on the back of the oven cleaner bottle.
You can’t pretend you don’t have a bathroom for much longer. Clean the mirror and glass as previously instructed, use warm soapy water to wipe down the bath, shower and sink (use a bathroom spray like Jif for a more polished finished) and then a dash of Duck Toilet Cleaner on the toot because according to your resume you’re a mature professional who doesn’t shy away from a challenge.
#8 Be Ruthless.
The key to a good spring clean is throwing away all the shit you no longer need, not only does it cleanse the soul but it also gives you more room to store your growing collection of Law & Order SVU DVDs.
Pick up that purple sequined boob-tube, have you worn it in the last twelve months? If the answer is no–bin it. If the answer is yes–get in the bin. Repeat this process for every article of clothing in your wardrobe, and then on the contents of all those boxes you keep at the back of the wardrobe. Have you read that July 2003 Girlfriend magazine in the past year? If there was a fire and you could only save one complete box set of Harry Potter DVDs, which one would you choose?
#9 …But Don’t Be A Stone Cold Bitch.
As important as it is to cleanse your soul of all the shit you’ve been hoarding since you got your pen license, there’s also some things you should definitely keep. Photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, journals, letters, limited edition Beanie Kids that could support your inevitable addiction to expensive coffee table books, to name a few.
#10 Floor It.
Once your cupboards have been de-cluttered and organised, your white goods wiped, walls spot-cleaned, bathroom disinfected, blinds dusted, wardrobe halved and windows wiped, the only thing left is the floors.
For those with carpets, it’s not a bad idea to get them professionally steam cleaned because according to forty percent of ads on television, there are tiny animals and smallpox strains hiding in your underlay.
If you have floorboards or tiles, start from the back of the house and sweep every single inch of floor, moving furniture as you go. Then mix a standard floor cleaner with warm water and follow with a comprehensive mopping wherein you finish at the front door.
Congratulations; your house in clean, your morale is low, and you haven’t lost a single primary school headshot in the process–get the hell out of there for a sneaky savvy b, you’ve earned it.
Image Credit: Gabrielle Stjernqvist for The Urban List