This season is all about new-ness. Tiny buds. Fresh blooms. Clean morning rain that ushers out the dry and ushers in the … spring! And with those extra hours of sunlight can come extra incentive to refresh your space, beginning with cleaning your space(s), which is where Seventh Generation comes in.
We know too well how many undisclosed, hidden ingredients lurk around our home in everything from lotions to lampshades. While we might not be able to completely eradicate every impurity from our lives, knowing there are companies out there that take the guesswork out of the products we use is a huge help. Plant-based Seventh Generation is one such company leading the charge for the cleaning industry to honestly disclose its ingredients via their #ComeClean campaign. On top of advocating for better environmental and industry practices, their cleaning supplies provide mindful solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within our homes – all so we can clean with a good conscience.
But choosing safe, quality products is just the start. That’s why we’ve partnered with Seventh Generation to help you get the most out of spring cleaning with a no-stress schedule for tackling all those to-be-freshed-up places. Here’s to keeping it light, right … and a breeze.
“Spring cleaning” can sound like an insurmountable task. Spring isn’t over in a day, so why feel like your cleaning has to be powered out in the same amount of time? Going a week at a time, give yourself a month to set new habits, clearing out the old while keeping to a daily routine. Start where you frequent the most, so that constantly being reminded of where you’ve de-cluttered will inspire you to keep going.
Week 1: KITCHEN CHECKLIST
- Open up your cabinets and take everything out. Spray down each shelf with some all-purpose cleaner and a clean rag or paper towel.
- Decide on the number of plates, bowls and cups you actually use and put them on the shelf you reach for the most. Store additional on a higher shelf, reserved for entertaining or company.
- Sort out pans, bakewear and clunky items. Donate what you have duplicates of or won’t use. Clean the items you plan to use regularly and set to dry.
- Put heavier items back in cabinets first, swapping out the crockpot so the blender is easier to reach, etc.
- Clear off counterspace. If you have a spot that always collects junk mail, water bottles or car keys, create a landing-zone with a hook on the wall for your keys, a basket for recyclable mail, and decide on one reusable water bottle that you can take with you everywhere, reducing the need for duplicates.
- Clear off your fridge. Do you still need all those wedding invites, baby announcements, Christmas cards? Thank them for their service, then recycle.
- Clean out your fridge. Check expiration dates, toss old jars, eliminate the mystery meat or leftovers. Don’t forget to wipe down your shelves and drawers, too.
- Go under the sink. Still have a million plastic bags under there? Invest in a canvas market bag you hang by the door. Weed out and toss scary cleaning supplies, pet products or bug repellant. Corral all cleaning supplies in one, easy-to-access cardboard box.
- Clean out your garbage can. If you have a backyard, spray down with a hose and leave to dry in the sun. If inside, grab some disinfecting-wipes and get the grit off the bottom, sides, and top. If you have the space, consider getting a secondary garbage can to use for recycle-ables.
- Mop or sweep the floors. Don’t forget the baseboards and tiny crevices along the cabinets, either.
Week 2: LIVING ROOM CHECKLIST
- Coffee table, mantle, bookshelf and end tables. Notice any clutter? Go through it and decide what’s worth keeping and what’s worth tossing. What do you actually use? What should be out and what can be stored?
- Put a box together of old books and DVDs to donate.
- Use some disinfecting-wipes to dust around picture frames, art frames, lamp bases, TVs, and DVRs. Don’t forget communal items like remotes, doorknobs and light-switches.
- Are any of your pillow covers, curtains or throw blankets machine-washable? Gather for a load of laundry.
- Clean streaks off any windows or mirrors.
- Not a green-thumb? Clear out any old or dead plants.
- Toss any gone or almost-gone candles. Many contain harsh fragrances or chemicals, so consider burning white sage or cedar sticks instead to naturally purify the air.
- Sweep or vacuum rugs and baseboards.
Week 3: BEDROOM CHECKLIST
- Nightstand. Since this is usually the first thing you’ll see in the morning, make here appealing instead of chaotic. Get rid of the stack of books or magazines and only keep out the one you’re currently reading. Add one inspiring momento, your alarm clock, and a fresh bloom. Keep everything else in a drawer or in a basket underneath.
- Do a clutter check for dresser, desk and shelf tops as well. Old movie stubs, receipts, hair ties, loose jewelry? Decide what’s best and toss the rest.
- Dust or wipe down any surface, as well as picture frames, art frames and electronics.
- Clear out a drawer or basket to store all of your phone, camera and e-reader cords in one place.
- Detox your closet. Be honest about what you really wear and what you want to start wearing.
- Clean streaks off any windows or mirrors. Don’t forget to wipe down your blinds and the blades of an overhead fan, too!
- Change out your sheets and wash your bedding. Switch to organic, breathable linens if you can and consider getting an allergen-reducing pillowcover.
- Go under your bed. What’s under there? Decide what memories are really worth keeping, and either donate or toss the rest. (And especially if you have pets, you’ll want to remember to sweep under here.)
Week 4: BATHROOM CHECKLIST
- Go from the inside, out. Open your medicine cabinet and clear out old prescriptions, expired medicine, and other random trial sizes of bottles that are probably gunky, leaky or gross.
- Use some disinfecting-wipes on each shelf before re-organizing with the items you use most frequently.
- Do the same with any drawers, shelves or linen closets. Wash towels and fold; organize by size for easy-finding.
- Do you really need eight shades of red lipstick? Clean out your makeup bag, tossing what’s old, empty or isn’t good for you. Use one bag for the makeup you wear daily and keep everything else in a “fancy occasion” bag to pull from as needed. Do the same with any nail polish.
- Hit the shower. Chances are you only need one shampoo, conditioner and body wash in there. Clear out all those other bottles, old razors and loofahs. Spray down with an easy tub and tile cleaner before putting back in the bottles you truly need. If you have a plastic shower liner, replace it with one that is non-toxic and PVC-free.
- Bleach any commonly used hand or guest towels.
- Disinfect in and around the toilet (and under the seat!). Also be sure to clean in and around the sink and your windows and mirrors, as well.
- Take out the trash and wash the floor.
Have any tips to make spring-cleaning a breeze? Share below!
Images via Milena Mallory