Ask Angie’s List: How should I plan for spring cleaning?
Spring cleaning may seem to be an overwhelming job at first. But whether you hire out for the job or take care of it yourself, you can make the job easier by breaking it down into chunks and tackling it in order.
Hire a Professional
Professional housecleaners are masters of the trade. They know all the ins and outs of housecleaning, and they work efficiently. Most importantly, by hiring a cleaner, you’re freeing your own time for family, friends, hobbies — anything other than scrubbing. And, you get to come home to a space that sparkles and shines!
A one-time deep cleaning costs most and will take more time, but if you spring for this service, you can expect them to take care of details you may never have considered. The details vary from cleaner to cleaner, but generally a deep clean addresses things like the inside of the range hood, behind or under furniture and appliances, extra attention to tile grout and windows, and even mini-blinds and ceiling fans individually cleaned.
Once you have your space polished to a deep clean shine, consider hiring the service to return for regular maintenance cleanings.
When hiring a cleaner, make sure they’re licensed, bonded, and insured, and ask them the specific services they offer. Ask about details such as whether they provide their own supplies, their cancellation policies, and whether the same person or people will clean your house every time. You can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for a one-time deep cleaning, depending on house size, and between $60 and $180 for a biweekly maintenance cleaning.
Doing it Yourself
If you want to clean your own house like a professional, think like the pros do. “Front to back, top to bottom” is the housecleaner’s mantra. Start at the back of your house and work your way to the front (so you don’t backtrack over your cleaning). And within each room, start at the ceiling and work down (so dust doesn’t fall on the surface you just cleaned).
To plan a DIY clean, consider all of those nooks and crannies and hard-to-reach areas that you always put off. Under your bed, under your oven, the cobwebs in high-up places — all these things need to be addressed during a deep clean.
Create a realistic schedule of activities for your cleaning plan, and make sure you can devote yourself fully to it. Split your cleaning plan into sections and tackle them one at a time: shared areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, private areas like bedrooms, and the main living areas. That way you won’t be overwhelmed all at once. Get your tools and whatever backup team you’ve assembled organized and ready to go, then get to it!
Once you’ve done your spring clean, don’t let things slide. The best prep for housecleaning is the cleaning up you do every day to keep smaller tasks from snowballing into big ones. Things like wiping down the counters after cooking a meal and hanging your coat in the closet every evening will make it easier to get straight to the cleaning when it’s time — and help you change your habits for the better in the process.
Paul F. P. Pogue is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.