I don’t know about you, but my entire life feels better when my home is clean.
I get anxious living in a dirty or grimy space so I prefer to take on a deep cleaning project in the fall AND the spring, as opposed to only the more traditional “spring cleaning”.
(although, I’ll be honest—as you’ll read later on, I’m living in a bit of a pickle when it comes to keeping things my definition of clean!)
Fall Cleaning Feels Amazing: 3 Reasons Why It’s my Favorite
I also happen to be a messy person. (I can handle a mess if I know that things are actually clean underneath it).
The blankets may not be folded and there may be a bunch of dishes in the drying rack, but those only require a quick and easy tidying up.
There are two times of year when I am most inspired to clean; in the autumn and in the spring. Fall is my favorite cleaning seasons for three big reasons:
1. The Holiday Season is Around the Corner
The holidays are just around the corner and at Christmas and Thanksgiving I bring out a bunch of fun decorations.
I love dressing the house up. It’s definitely not as fun if I move the couch to make room for the Christmas tree only to find a pile of dust, dirt, and who knows what else.
Doing a thorough cleaning in the house in the fall means that the house is prepared to shuffle around a bit during the holiday season. It also means that it’s easier to prepare when friends or family stop over for dinner or a night of tree hopping.
2. Fall Weather Inspires Coziness
In the fall the birds fly south and many other animals prepare themselves for a long winter tucked inside a cozy burrow. (anyone else immediately think of Harry Potter when you read the word burrow?).
We may not get to sleep through the winter months like a bear does, but we all spend quite a bit of time stuck in the house.
Sitting on my couch for a movie night or cooking a pot of chili for dinner is certainly more pleasant when each space has been organized and cleaned at the start of the chilly season.
A cozy home in the winter brings to mind the phrase, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Cleaning in the fall helps me to start the winter months with an organized living space.
(plus feeling better about my home can also help to lessen the winter blues!)
3. More Space for Baking Holiday Treats
The third and most delicious reason that I like to do a thorough fall cleaning is to prepare for the months of baking and cooking that I’ll be doing in my kitchen. In the summer we LOVE to use the grill to cook. Winter has us all huddled indoors craving cozy, warm meals and comforting snacks.
Cooking in my teeny kitchen (a picture for your imagination) is a challenge on a good day, but if the grime levels are high, I am even less motivated to enjoy the activity.
A deep cleaning of my kitchen in the fall means that I am organized and ready for whatever culinary adventures I decide to take on. (At the end of the day it really just means more cookies, cupcakes, and treats!)
Spring Cleaning: The Big Purge & Scrub
As much as I prefer to clean my house in the autumn (you know, when it’s chilly outside and I want to make my house feel cozy), spring cleaning after 6+ months of being stuck indoors is pretty much a necessity.
There are bound to be leftover holiday decorations that need to be put away. (and we all know the cold and flu season left some of the house a little neglected over the course of the winter.)
Basically, my spring cleaning routine is a purge and scrub.
I get rid of what we haven’t used in the last year and then I clean and organize whatever is leftover. My husband is a bit more sentimental than I am. So we tend to hold onto things like mementos longer than my de-cluttering instincts would prefer.
Spring cleaning is our biggest yearly opportunity to ask “do we really need/want/use this?” before tucking things away.
In the end, spring cleaning shouldn’t be skipped completely. However, I still think that the fall season has a more “cozy home preparation” feeling to it. And that makes it my favorite cleaning spree of the year.
Confronting Cleaning: Living in a College Apartment
I live in an apartment that hasn’t been fully cleaned in several years. Yes, years. It’s a crazy affordable, old college house that saves us money while we pay off student loans.
College students generally don’t spend a lot of time worrying about grimy-looking walls or the crack of floor that shows between the cabinets and the fridge. SO it can be said that nobody has taken the time to deep clean this house between tenants.
I find myself in a constant internal battle between scrubbing off the years of grime (and probably repainting) to make myself feel better, or waiting it out so as to avoid the weeks of work it would take to make it feel clean enough.
At this point, I have decided to try and fight off my grime anxiety and use that energy as additional motivation to pay off loans more quickly and get a new place as soon as possible.
It’s worth it to us to live somewhere so affordable, but if you find yourself in a similar situation at some point — at least know you’re not alone!
Here are the four most important cleaning tasks I perform to maintain my mental sanity:
- Sweeping, wiping, and vacuuming the floors & under furniture
- Cleaning and wiping out the inside of the refrigerator
- A weekly wipe-off/dusting all the hard surfaces and furniture
- Regular cleaning/sanitization of the toilet and sinks
Who Else Cleans Better Home Alone?
Maybe I am alone in this. Isn’t it just SO much more enjoyable and productive to clean the house when nobody else is home?
I am not even referring to other house members making a mess as you clean. (them simply being home makes the project seem to take longer).
I personally like to listen to music and sing along while I am cleaning. So, maybe it’s feeling a little bashful that makes the project less enjoyable.
However, there is something truly satisfying about cleaning your space all by yourself and knowing that it is done, and was done by you. I’ve never lived on my own (went from living with my family, to a college roommate, to living with my husband), but I have always imagined that living alone would make every cleaning day feel like a “home alone” cleaning day. How fun!