Grandma had the right idea! At the first rays of warm spring sunshine, she would throw the doors and windows open to air out the house.
From dawn to dark all week long, she would beat the rugs and mattresses, scrub every floor and wash all the windows till they sparkled. Today we would love to make our homes shine as Grandma did every spring, but life is more complicated now and there never seems to be enough time. There is a way , however, to accomplish that well maintained, clean and welcoming home even with today’s hectic family schedules.
Think of your home as a business
Just as you do in business, your home has certain periodic needs to keep it running smoothly. Attending to these needs on a well thought out schedule means less chance of having to deal with unexpected issues and a more efficient environment overall. First, take the time to write down a detailed list of what needs fixed (such as a loose shingle, or chipped window pane), what needs maintained (changing filters, cleaning gutters, sealing decks ) and what needs periodic cleaning ( ceiling fans, walls and baseboards, carpets, behind the fridge).
Make a plan and work it
The list may seem overwhelming but now that we know what needs done, it is far easier to address it with a workable plan. A good place to start is by breaking down the long list of what needs done into smaller, more manageable bites. For each item on your list decide how often it really needs to be done – annually, quarterly, monthly or weekly.
Rethink major jobs. Most homes today have somewhere between eight to twelve rooms. From an efficiency standpoint, it is more effective to spend an hour or two each month on one particular room, rotating through the house over the calendar year. All the rooms will still get their “spring” cleaning chores completed, but it will be accomplished easily, a little per month, instead of a back breaking two day marathon of spring cleaning.
Organize and let go
Clutter has become known as one of the biggest drains on our time, and the positive emotional energy of our homes. Documents, photos, records, recipes and receipts can easily be scanned and filed digitally, eliminating piles of paper throughout your home. And clear surfaces are much easier to keep clean, too.
Have family members keep clothes, shoes and personal items in their rooms, or at a common staging point near the door. Assign family members a particular color of laundry basket and make them responsible for getting their laundry to and from the laundry room. Better yet, let each person do their own laundry, it’s a great skill for them to have.
There will always be times when you just cannot get it all done. Freeing up your own time by having professional help can be well worth the investment. Large jobs, or jobs that require specialized equipment, like repairing a cracked window pane, cleaning carpets, power washing decks, and washing exterior windows can often be more efficiently done by skilled professionals.
Now that you have a battle plan, keeping your home in tip top shape will take a lot less time, and your old buddy, procrastination, has left the building. So take some time to just breathe in the spring air and relax!
Kaufman’s Home Maintenance is a unique service to homeowners in the Willamette Valley — from Corvallis and Albany to Salem, Wilsonville and Portland. Kaufman’s delivers handyman services and scheduled home maintenance programs. Homeowners subscribe to a service plan that fits their need for changing air filters, dryer duct cleaning, heating and air conditioning, air duct cleaning, carpet cleaning, window washing, pressure washing, cabinet repair, painting, roof maintenance and much more. Call 503-798-4357 or e-mail us at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.