Spring cleaning this weekend? Here are some tips

·3 min read
Pick up those cleaning tools and pace yourself, says entrepreneur Charlotte Brown, owner of Unique Cleaning Company in Greely. She offers tips on how to tackle spring cleaning like a boss. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images - image credit)
Pick up those cleaning tools and pace yourself, says entrepreneur Charlotte Brown, owner of Unique Cleaning Company in Greely. She offers tips on how to tackle spring cleaning like a boss. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images - image credit)

Is old-fashioned spring cleaning just something your parents and grandparents did? Do you start out strong, only to be distracted by sunshine and the newly-launched baseball season?

Maybe it's something you'd normally outsource, but what about during a worldwide pandemic?

CBC Ottawa reached out to entrepreneur Charlotte Brown, owner of Unique Cleaning Company in the rural Ottawa community of Greely, for tips on how to tackle spring cleaning like a boss.

"I have a cleaning problem," said Brown, a 38-year-old mother of three. "Some people like to cook, some people like to do hair — I like to clean."

Small bites

Pace yourself to avoid being overwhelmed.

Brown's advice is to set aside a couple of hours each day of the Easter long weekend to tackle spring cleaning. Then give it a rest.

"You have family. You have kids. It's sunny outside," said Brown.

"Then the following weekend do the basement."

'Some people like to cook, some people like to do hair. I like to clean,' says Brown.
'Some people like to cook, some people like to do hair. I like to clean,' says Brown.(Supplied by Charlotte Brown)

Baseboards and windows

"Baseboards and windows … are the things that we don't do all year round," said Brown. Start by dusting or vacuuming the baseboards and window sill, then wiping them down with a microfiber cloth dipped in water and vinegar.

"It's not harsh on the skin, the kids, or the pets," said Brown. "It actually takes no time."

Brown uses Windex on windows, but vinegar works, too.

"Instead of throwing out an old T-shirt, cut it up and use that on windows."

<cite>(CBC)</cite>
(CBC)

Heat vents

Use a vacuum attachment to help get the dust out of the heat registers.

Behind the fridge and stove

"A lot of people don't go there," said Brown. She suggests waiting until the fridge is nearly empty, just before grocery shopping, so it's easier to haul it out from the wall.

If pulling out your fridge is not what you had planned for the weekend, Brown has this to say: "You'd be surprised at what's behind there. You've probably been looking for some stuff and it's right there."

There is an added benefit to excavating the charred food inside the oven — cleaning it will help your food smell better, she said.

The other side of that coin is that you'll know when it's time to tackle this job.

"[It's] when you turn [the oven] on and you smell something burning," said Brown.

And don't forget the drawer beneath the oven, "something that everybody misses," she said.

<cite>(CBC)</cite>
(CBC)

Ceiling fans

Brown suggests getting a telescopic duster. Failing that, use a ladder to get up close. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the dust off.

<cite>(CBC)</cite>
(CBC)

Brown's advice is to not sweat the small stuff when you're tackling spring cleaning.

"Don't focus on the vacuuming. Just focus on the things you haven't made time for throughout the year. Those are really, really important."

And if you'd rather focus on chocolate bunnies rather than dust bunnies this weekend, that's OK too.

But just imagine the sun shining through sparkling clean windows.

"You'll feel better," said Brown. "My reward when I'm finished cleaning … is the transformation of the house."

Spring cleaning for Brown means baseboards and windows at a minimum.
Spring cleaning for Brown means baseboards and windows at a minimum.(Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)