Issue 1: Spring/Summer 2022
With a little planning, you might actually enjoy this seasonal rite of passage.
First off, let’s be clear. There are levels of clean. There’s Just-getting-by-clutter-pickup clean. There’s Unexpected-company-last-minute-just-throw-it-in-the-closet clean. Then there’s Deep-almost-reach-a-Zen-level-of-inner-peace clean.
Spring cleaning is classic Level Three.
This is rarely a spur-of-the-moment event. You plan. You buy supplies. You give up sacred space on your calendar. Often, family members are recruited—often against their will.
And this idea of an annual cleaning event isn’t new. During the Persian Empire, the now century-old tradition of khaneh tekani, which literally translates to “shaking of the house,” involved an annual cleaning that would make any compulsive tidier proud. Carpets, drapes and furniture were thoroughly cleaned, and often a fresh coat of paint was involved. This was all done in preparation for Nowruz, or the Persian New Year, to entertain ancestors. So, apparently, doing this to impress your relatives isn’t a new idea either—in-laws included.
The American tradition has its origins in the 19th century, when the cleaning in March lined up with the time when the coal furnace stopped running. No matter the time or heritage, spring is now the time to clean.
Make a Plan
This is rarely a spur- of-the-moment event. Often, family members are recruited—often against their will.
Write down what you are going to do, estimate the time it will take and give out assignments to the whole clan. And if you get any static about all the attention to detail, give that naysayer a steely-eyed stare and say, “Hope is not a plan.” What does it mean exactly? Who knows? But it will confuse them enough to get back to work.
Spring cleaning is an event. And, unless you want to adjust your carefully planned schedule, having the right tools for every job will serve you well. In short, don’t put “Wandering around a big-box retailer looking for the right cleaning caddy” on your schedule. Be prepared. An entire youth organization that has lasted for over a century used it for their motto. You can too.
Here's a Quick List of Supplies:
- Cleaning Caddy
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
- Towels or Cotton Cleaning Cloths
- Wand Duster
- Vacuum Cleaner - With HEPA Filter
- Mop and Bucket
- Carpet Cleaner
- Blind Cleaner
- Scrub Brushes
- Window Squeegee
- Lint Roller
- Garbage Bags
- Dish Soap
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
- Window/Glass Spray
- HVAC Filters
Here’s a crazy thought. If you have less stuff, you have less stuff that needs to be cleaned. Yep. Very deep. But it’s valid, and there’s an entire movement called Swedish death cleaning. The idea is that if you declutter your world, your life (in this case your cleaning) will run smoothly.
This is also the perfect time to rid yourself of that old, energy-guzzling fridge. You clean up your space all while decluttering your energy bill. For a $50 reward and free pickup, visit BGESmartEnergy.com/Recycling22.
Give Mother Earth a Break
There are ways to clean up your home with a nod to the environment. When you declutter, recycle or donate your unwanted stuff. When you air out your home, open a window instead of buying chemical air fresheners. Clean with a little elbow grease instead of toxic chemicals. And when you replace a light bulb, replace it with an energy-efficient LED. We can help you out on this item with discounts up to $3.50 on qualifying ENERGY STAR® certified bulbs. For participating retailers, visit BGESmartEnergy.com/LEDs22.
Spiff Up Your Energy Use Behaviors
The final step in getting your home ready for spring is to make sure you’re running it as energy efficiently as possible. Switch your ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise to create a cooling downdraft effect.
And the easiest thing you can do to get your home ready for spring? Get a Quick Home Energy Check-up. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s included with your BGE service, at no additional cost. All the details are available at BGESmartEnergy.com/Quick22.
Following these tips could just save you enough to pay for next year’s spring cleaning extravaganza. And, maybe, you can even splurge and upgrade your cleaning caddy. We know. Crazy, right?