Spring Cleaning the House - How I avoid it

Spring time often feels like we are bears crawling out of our caves into the bright sunlight....my eyeballs hurt!!! It is such a lovely time of year, and then we notice all the winter grime that has built up in the house due to us being depressed by seasonal affective disorder, or just surviving the cold!. So out comes buckets, cleaners, brushes for a good old scrub down...the old "spring clean"  ........really is that what you want to be doing! wouldn't you rather be outside enjoying the sunshine! I certainly do so I actually try and avoid spring cleaning.  

Relaxing_springtime.png

 

The Secret 

The honest truth, avoiding spring cleaning actually takes planning and organising and most importantly routine! So don't think you can avoid spring cleaning by doing nothing...well you can of course but you will be living in filth! 

So what is the secret to avoiding spring cleaning? Is it very simple, all you need to do is to have a regular and consistent cleaning routine. This means a daily, weekly, and monthly routine which you follow. The good news is that it is actually just a small amount of cleaning needed to be done on a regular basis. Essentially you can just build it into your normal daily routine and it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes each time.

If you are still with me, then read on McDuff and I`ll take you through my cleaning routine.

The Routine

First up this is my routine and so it is perfect for our house and family, you will need to work out what is best for you and your family.  I'll explain how I developed the routine and this should help you to develop your own.

Break it up baby! This is the key to developing the routine, breaking up all the cleaning jobs into tasks that you can then spread out over your time frames.  This is often what it referred to as zone cleaning.  I do not following this method exactly however it is a really good approach to developing a routine. There are really good blogs and videos all about zone cleaning. I have some blogs posted on my pintererst page here . A good You Tube channel to watch on zone cleaning is How Jen does it

This is my routine which I find works best for me. It did take some trialling and changing to get to work really well and just become part of our daily routine.

Daily

Morning 

  • Make the beds
  • Wipe down and clear kitchen benchs

Evening

  • Clean kitchen sinks 
  • Clean and clear bench tops
  • Clean and wipe front of fridge, microwave, dishwasher
  • Clean and wipe cooking hob and backsplash
  • Wipe around bathroom sink

Weekly

  • Monday - wash all towels and sheets/ dusting and mirrors
  • Tuesday - clean kitchen rubbish and recycle bins/refill all essential oil scent bags/wet floors
  • Wednesday - toliets/bathrooms
  • Thursday - vacuum
  • Sunday - fridge and pantry (I clean this when we do our shopping)

Monthly

I just extend my weekly routine to include

  • Cleaning of window sills and frames
  • Dusting of all window blinds
  • Window cleaning - kitchen
  • Skirting boards 
  • Stair hand rails
  • silver and brass cleaning

Six monthly

  • Windows 
  • silver polish
cleaning_caddy.jpg

 

Tips and Tricks

When cleaning in a room always wipe the door and door handles. e.g when I clean the toliets and bathrooms I include cleaning down the doors and handles.

Include wall hanging, picture frames etc in your dusting routine. Also dust along the tops of the walls and corners to capture cob webs.

Get yourself a cord free, hand stick vacuum. I have a Dyson and it's the best thing since sliced bread!

Be flexible as your life is busy and things change so adjust the routine as you need to. I always weekly plan and so make any changes to the cleaning routine that I need to. 

Try and try again. Getting the best routine will take some working out, so be prepared to adjust and change the tasks in the routine to get it working for you.

Biggest tip of all is to get into the routine of cleaning often and consistently. It just saves so much time because the cleaning itself takes little time as it is never very dirty! 

Document the task list and routine so you can share it with the family and "delegate" task to other members. 

Cleaning the windows is a half day job in my house so generally we do them six monthly, normally at the end of winter and summer. So yep, it's window cleaning time now...

window_cleaning.png

 

The only actual spring cleaning chore I do need to do is to clean the washing machine. Ours is a front end loader and they can get a bit grimy around the rubber seal. See this link from Clean and Sensible which has a great blog on cleaning a front end loader.  

See avoiding spring cleaning isn't that big a deal, just breaking the cleaning into tasks and spreading them out. Actually you can apply that method to any thing you want to achieve. The key is doing each task and sticking to it as it will save you time. I promise you that!

So off you go and enjoy spring with no spring cleaning!

Stayed tuned for more from Tidying with Tania by simply subscribing to my newsletter. Just pop your details in below, love you to join us.

email signature mock up.png

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest by clicking on the icons below

Getting my garden ready for spring

Spring time in the garden is the best!!! Beautiful blossoms out on the trees and the scent of fresh blooms and newly cut grass...hmmm just take it all in. Spring time in my garden has to be the busiest time in the garden all year and I love it. This year spring has been somewhat wet and I am feeling very frustrated at not being able to get out into the garden. However this weekend wet or shine will have me in the garden getting the garden ready for spring and the coming summer. So let me take you through how I "spring clean" my garden!. 

Twiggy, My little helper in the garden.

Twiggy, My little helper in the garden.

 

the Lawn

Now I am no expert when it comes to lawns and I don't even mow the lawns, however I hate weeds in my lawn. Over the years I have used a few different approaches to the old lawn weed issue, nothing actually beats digging out the weed root and all, however it's very labour intensive. So I simply just spot spray the weed with a natural weed killer .  Sprinkle a bit of lime over the lawn to help balance the ph level and replenish the nutrients. A quicker and easier option is to use Weed n Feed which I have used before and works well.

It's also a good time to sew some lawn seed if you have patches to repair. We have had a bit of damage to the lawn on the west side of the house that we have landscaped, so it just needs some seeds sown around. When doing lawn patch repair try and make sure you get the same grass seed as the exisiting lawn, otherwise your lawn might look a bit patchy. A good way to do this is to take a close up photo of the grass and take it into a garden centre, they will be able to match you up with the right seed.

the edges

There is nothing like a tidy and neat lawn edge. I am a bit particular about my lawn edges and this time of year they can get away on you, so giving the lawns and garden path edges a good trim can make a big difference. It's good to do this now to prepare for the the spring and summer growth. 

I also do some trimming and light pruning of bushes and trees, mainly my roses. Here in Auckland you do not get the cold frost so the roses tend not to go dormant, so I wait until September to give them a good prune and stake them in preparation for the rapid expansion of size with the spring and summer growth.

the garden Weeds

A good old dose of Round up on paths and driveways is needed at this time of year. I just make up a concentrate mix and use a spray applicator and walk around the house attacking these little blighters!.

It's also a perfect time to weed your garden beds. I do not use any weed sprays on my garden beds, just dig them up with my trusty trowel. Over the spring and summer months you do have to regularly weed the garden other wise the weeds can get out of control, but hey it's a great work out. A good weeding job once a month should be sufficient to manage the weeds.

the food

All plants get very hungry in spring with all their new growth so it's really good time to provide as much food and nutrient to your plants now to prepare them.

In my vege patch I add in my home grown compost mix, it smells really good and the vegetables love it. I also add in sheep pooh pellets as the vegetables plants start to produce. Make sure that you have a good watering system also set up. This year Pete is putting in some water tanks so we can use the rain water off the roof to the vege garden in summer. 

fresh compost on the vege garden

fresh compost on the vege garden

 

My citrus plants get a good dose of fish compost, any organic citrus fertiliser is good and pea straw around the base to keep the moisture in over the drier summer months.

Last winter I planted out a Hydrangea garden, two plants so far and will be adding another one soon. Over the flowering months, the flowers changed colour from blue/white to a pink/red.  I have read that you can actually change the colours of the flowers by changing the ph levels in the soil. My research has identified that I have a more alkaline soil and therefore a high ph level, probably over 7. Therefore I need to add aluminum sulfate to bring down the ph levels, ideally to 5. I could also try adding in coffee grounds and or fruit and vege scraps as this would also help to bring the ph levels down. To fertilise the bed I need to add low phosphorus and high potassium. As we produce a lot of coffee grounds I will give that a go and see if this can help and add in the appropriate fertiliser, fingers crossed

my white flowering hydrangea

my white flowering hydrangea

 

New plants

Early spring is a good time to plant out any new plants that you want in your garden. This year I will be adding another Hydrangea and some Hostas, so I am on the hunt for these in the garden centres.

Other Spring chores

Besides the actual garden, there are a number of spring chores we also do around the outside of the house;

  • Clean the outside windows and walls
  • Wash down patios and outside furniture
  • Spider spray around the external doors and windows

Although it sounds like a lot of work, it is not really, generally with two days of solid work in the weekend you will tick off most of these chores and have your garden and outdoors space all ready for the arrival of spring and summer...so you can sit back and relax and enjoy your beautiful outside space.

Happy Gardening everyone! 

email signature mock up.png

 

If you like this post , check out my post this time last year on creating a seasonal vegetable garden. 

Make sure that you subscribe below to get my regular newsletters, where you get even more awesome tips and ideas on organising around the home and garden.

And don't forget to follow me on social media, below, where you may well see more Cat pics!