Spring Cleaning or Spring Cluttering?

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That is the question that an OCD sufferer can answer with ease. We happen to love cleaning. Yes it’s strange. Yes it’s therapy-worthy.

I love spring cleaning. In fact I love it so much that I have a monthly cleaning. I am the Almighty Queen of all that is symmetrical, clean, germ-free (Dettol and bleach are my best friends), neat, white and clutter-free.

So the time has come to clean, and your Spring Cleaning Fairy is nowhere in sight (that’s me and I can’t be everywhere, Okay?!). So here are a few simple rules to adhere by when cleaning up.

First things first – you need to do this:

1) Organise: You need to decide what you need and don’t need. This includes papers, clothes and shoes and anything that takes residence in your house. You don’t need all of your dolls or jewelry, or all the ridiculous notes you had written.

2) Anything that is sentimental, make a scrapbook out of it. Create a memory box for them but don’t let them clutter and live with you unnecessarily.

3) Get rid of unused cosmetics that are more than 6 months old. Not only is it clutter, it’s also bad for you.

4) Get rid of clothes you don’t wear anymore. Pack your winter clothes and use the vacuum bags (you can get these anywhere) to put your winter clothes in and the suck them dry to shrink them in size and put them away in the attic/loft/basement.

5) Anything you own that you don’t wear but is in good condition, give to charity or take to the thrift shops. You’ll be doing a good deed for society.

6) Same applies to ornaments, music and DVDs. If you don’t need them, trade them in at the appropriate stores for credit and/or cash. Donate them; anything, as long as it isn’t cluttering.

7) Get organizing equipment: CD racks – they aren’t just pretty ornaments; boxes that look fabulous and can stash your things (Next has a huge range – in fact nearly any home ware place does).

Then the next step is: Turn everything inside out. Clean it out.

1) Assume you will need a week BECAUSE honey, there is no such thing as an overnight clean out.

2) Baking Soda is a God-send along with vinegar. Baking soda in one part with two parts water and a drop of your favourite oil scent will de-odourise anything. Think Febreeze but a better scent. Of course if you’d rather not, then use Dettol’s De-odouriser. Vinegar poured on limescale means end of limescale and if you use baking powder and vinegar together you can get rid of that ridiculous mold growing or those impossible stains that won’t get lost. Warning: don’t use on wood.

3) Floor wipes are very good. I love floor wipes. Works best with a floor wipe mop. Don’t think you dragging your feet with the wipe at the bottom will work. And start at the far-end of the room otherwise you will, literally, walk through your hard work.

4) Use a vacuum cleaner. Dustpans and brushes don’t work unless your aim is to spread more mess.
5) There are going to be stains on your floor (wooden or carpeted). If it’s wooden, then be assure that when months ago you dripped your sugary drink and though you’d wiped it up, some residue was left and dust collected. Also be assured that you scuffed your shoes and now have dark stains everywhere.

6) Carpet cleaners don’t work. Shampoo your carpet. Of course that’s expensive so get shampoo, remove all objects from your room and get your back into it, which by the way will prevent you from making a mess in the future.

7) If you have rugs. Take them out and beat them (pretend it’s that evil idiot from *insert place here*). Then wash them.

8) Be sure to get your quilts and pillows washed. They have your disgusting saliva absorbed into them as well as other unmentionables. Your washing machine won’t be able to take them but that’s what laundromats are for with their industrial sized washing machines. While you are at it, wash all your sheets, quilt covers and pillow covers and dry them with easy iron tumble dryer sheets (takes out all the main wrinkles). Iron them. Sleeping in ironed bed sheets feels great.

9) Make sure you play fast-tempo songs. They are inspiring. And it also means you do your work faster.

10) Clean your walls. Sugar soap and a sponge do wonders. It is also very cheap. Doesn’t taste good though (I tried it thinking it would taste nice – at least it looks nice).

11) The wonder of the modern world we live in, you can find wipes for every purpose. So buy them. Furniture wipes. Multi-surface wipes. Glass wipes. Hygenic wipes. All clean quickly, efficiently and effectively.

And since we are in the modern world, I may add that you might want to do something with your electronics as well (and get your dirty minds out of the gutter!).

1) Organize your wires. Dying by electrocution when you tripped on a wire is not exactly dignified. Cable wraps are wonderful things. Use them.

2) Get rid of connections, extension leads and connections you don’t need or use anymore. You can always buy more.

3) Try to minimize hazards – water and electronics don’t mix. Neither does heat nor electronics. Keep them in cool and dry areas like it says on cereal boxes.

4) While you are at it, organize your files on the computer and whatever else needs organizing. Trust me, it feels good to have everything in order. But then that could be my OCD speaking.

So there are 22 not-so-easy steps to a very clean and organized room. Your mother will love you and your father will be impressed but it still won’t mean you can come home with bad grades. You can never please them.

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