We know that six weeks ago we were waxing poetic to you all about the joys of early spring cleaning and how if you did that, you’d be enjoying the outdoors right about now. But here we are, and things have changed (to say the least) – now spring-cleaning means something different altogether. And whether or not you got a head start, we’re all spending an unprecedented amount of time in our homes – our homes which are now our workplaces, restaurants, and movie theatres – and keeping them clean is important for our health and for our sanity.
What does this mean? Well, think about it. We’re spending an additional 40-60 hours more at home each week. That means more trips to the bathroom and more meal prep/cooking – and this to say nothing of keeping the kids occupied and getting any work done. So, let’s just start there.
Bathroom. It’s always easier to keep things clean once they are clean, right? Sounds a bit circular but we’ll explain with a personal example (and a photo!). Last week, we looked at the grout on our bathroom floor. It looked dark, but we couldn’t remember, was it just a gray grout? We thought we’d take a closer look. We got a bucket, our Grunge Buster and Tough Stuff, and gave a quick but vigorous scrub to the tile. Then, horror. Beneath the muck, perfectly white grout. We’d been stepping on that floor every day with our bare feet, straight out of the shower – worse, we put our daughter there when she was an infant to roll around and crawl with her toys. We’d cleaned that floor regularly but clearly not well enough so we were never really cleaning it, just sort of superficially running the mop across it. We spent a good hour scrubbing that floor (a substitute for the workouts we fail to do regularly) and now, when we go in there to clean the floor, it takes all of five minutes – even with the bucket and brushes. And we feel how clean it is.
Kitchen. Bacteria builds up when we leave wet things lying around and don’t allow them to dry. Keep your brushes upright and able to dry and allow your reusable paper towels and other dish cloths to hang dry so that they stay clean. One less thing to worry about, right? We’re all keeping more food on hand since we are cooking more often, which means our refrigerators are quite full. Keep your fridge clean and sorted (if you need tips on how to clean or organize your fridge, see our blog called “Refrigerator Clean Out” from November 2019) so that you can find things easily and nothing gets lost and goes to waste. This makes meal prep easier too.
In general. Be sure to wipe down your surfaces if you’re bringing in things from the outdoors and always wash your hands first thing (we know that you know this but we’re writing it anyway). Soap and water are your best friends right now – they are the most effective (and safe) way to keep things clean. According to Jane Greatorex, a virologist at Cambridge University, using bleach on coronavirus “is like using a bludgeon to swat a fly.” Which means, probably effective but certainly causing a lot more damage than necessary. It’s certainly a personal choice on whether you feel the need to clean your groceries. The CDC and other agencies advise washing your hands and disinfecting your shopping cart as well as contactless delivery wherever possible.
In all of this, try not to drive yourself crazy. It’s a tough time and you’re doing your best. Just remember that. You don’t have the time or energy to scrub the floor today? That’s okay. You’ll do it when you can.
We’re in your corner.