With spring under way, it is the opportune time for a spring clean. Zizi Sparks asked the new owner of Maid to Clean for 10 tips to supercharge a clean. With help from the former owner of the Rotorua business, Janet Elder provided the 10 tips. Shelley Toy, owner of Mount Maunganui-based Mums for Hire, also weighed in.
According to United States-based research published on Statista this year, 69 per cent of the 1005 respondents did a spring clean every year. Twenty-one per cent did one less frequently and only 10 per cent never did any spring cleaning.
A big spring clean can seem like a daunting task, but if you don't know where to start, the first step is to lay it all out.
1. Make a schedule
Plan out your house, Elder says.
What areas need the most work? Where do you normally skip during routine cleaning? Those are the best places to start. Regardless of where you start, having a plan will keep you focused. Just go room by room.
Toy agrees going room by room is the best method and you don't have to do everything at once.
A disorganised home adds to your stress level, Elder says. It signals to your brain that work isn't done.
"We're all spending more time at home and in our home offices specifically - keeping a neat workspace is more important than ever," she says.
Elder suggests setting aside time to dust and organise your office, look through your junk drawer (and desk drawers) and organise your closets.
Toy agrees sorting out makes it easier to clean, but says it is not always necessary.
"Sometimes as you go you realise do you need stuff or don't you. But decluttering makes your housework easier."
3. Give your house a thorough vacuum and if needed, get it commercially cleaned
Elder says a high-quality vacuum is key and recommends a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum. Vacuums with HEPA filters trap the dirt you can't see.
She says you can remove more than just dust buildup when you vacuum. A high-quality HEPA vacuum can catch tiny airborne particles that can stir up allergy symptoms even if you can't see them.
Toy says it is a good idea to get behind furniture and along skirting boards with the vacuum and hire a rug cleaner or commercial carpet cleaner if needed.
4. Think green when you clean
Elder says you want to start spring off on a clean note, so don't expose yourself to chemicals and toxins.
Use eco or natural cleaning products, she says. One of the best natural combinations for cleaning is white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water. These ingredients are affordable and non-toxic.
5. Always work from top to bottom
It's important to start from the ceiling down. This will force debris downward and keep you from having to re-dust or reclean your space, Elder says.
If you have a vacuum with an extension hose, use it to get cobwebs and dust from your ceilings and fans first. Then dust your furniture and other items before vacuuming all the dust and debris off your floors. It will save you time.
6. Walls and windows need cleaning too
People almost always clean their floors, but they typically forget about walls and windows, Elder says. Use a damp towel to wipe down walls and blinds (starting from the top). Remove and wipe down the window screens outside.
When it comes to the actual window, Elder does not suggest using chemical cleaners. Eco-products or a steam cleaner with a squeegee are a great way to clean windows, she says.
Toy adds door frames are often forgotten, and also suggests removing blinds to clean them.
7. Kitchen and bathroom
When it comes to the kitchen and bathroom there are a few common trouble areas people forget about, Elder says.
Wipe down your cabinets.
Go through your pantry and refrigerator. Wipe down the shelves, and throw away any old items.
If you have stainless-steel appliances, use gentle cleaners or a steam cleaner to avoid scratching or other issues.
Toy adds the oven is also forgotten about, as is inside the dishwasher. Dishwasher cleaners are sold at supermarkets and do all the hard work for you, you just have to run a cycle with them inside.
Change your shower curtain.
Go through your cosmetics drawer or medicine cabinet and throw away any expired items.
Spray down your shower at the start and give it time to soak while you clean the rest of the bathroom.
Toy says other forgotten-about areas include the shower drain and extractor fan.
8. Use microfibre cloths
In the cleaning world these are the best things since sliced bread, Elder says. Microfibre cloths come in a variety of styles for different jobs. Invest in a set of these and you won't regret it. Just make sure you research how to wash them properly.
Toy weighs in.
"I actually tend to use microfibre cloths more than anything. They catch the dust, not move the dust.
"Only wash them with themselves because they attract fluff. When I get home I do a load of only microfibre cloths."
9. Put old sheets or towels down before you move furniture
Moving furniture around when spring cleaning is a given, make sure you don't scratch your floors, Elder suggests.
Toy says this is most important on hard floors
10. And finally, if items one to nine on the list sound daunting ...
Hire a cleaning company like Maid to Clean, Mums for Hire or others.
Mums for Hire has about six staff and two cars.
"People have got such busy lives, we go in and change beds, do ironing. People don't want to spend weekends cleaning," Toy says
Elder says hiring a professional cleaner means coming home to a clean house.
"They have the right knowledge, tools, equipment and products to do the job. In our case all our products are eco-friendly, so they not only do a good job, but they care for your surfaces and your environment."
Maid to Clean is on the hunt for more staff, she says.