Has the pandemic junked-up your home? Tips for efficient and safe spring cleaning!
Spring cleaning is not just a descriptive phrase because of the season. Spring cleaning is a rebirth, nature is anew all around us, life is regenerating…. it’s the earmark of a time to purge! But why? How? Let’s discuss…
Why? You’ll find it easier to focus. If you are living or working in a cluttered space, It makes it difficult to focus. A neuroscience study conducted at Princeton University showed that the physical clutter in your environment competes for your attention causing decreased productivity and increased stress.
You’ll sleep better. American Academy of Sleep conducted a study showing that if you sleep in a dirty cluttered environment you are more likely to develop sleep troubles and/or a hoarding disorder.
Safer living: Organized space is safer.
Saves time, limits stress, boosts your mood: When everything in the home is organized there is a satisfying feeling of accomplishment, you can find things and there isn’t a messy reminder lurking around your house every day.
Why? Critters love clutter! When you allow clutter and disarray into the home, you are also inviting pests like cockroaches and vermin/mice into your home. Cockroaches are an allergen source and are known to cause illness via bacteria they leave on food and in living space. Mice are very dangerous because when rodent urine, droppings, or nesting materials are stirred up, tiny droplets containing hantavirus get into the air. This process is known as “airborne transmission“. It’s why when we go into homes that have critters our crew will wear respirators and eye protection. Critters pose major health risks and keeping a clean and tidy space helps to keep them at bay.
Why? It improves air quality of your home: Part of spring cleaning should be circulating fresh air into the home, replacing air filters and cleaning ¬¬duct work. These are all things that are often overlooked but are pertinent to the well being ¬¬of you and your home. Dust, allergens, and debris can all impact your respiratory health and your immune system.
If you are now inspired to start spring cleaning, we at SERVPRO® always promote, safety first!
1) Do not attempt to spring clean in a hurry or when you are tired. This could lead to injury, improper cleaning of things thoroughly. Spring cleaning is something you should do when you have plenty of time, you’re prepared with all of the supplies and tools you need and when you are feeling rested and energized.
2) This tip is straight from the experts. It’s part of our company’s training and an absolute must. Follow label instructions. If the label says to wear gloves, or a mask, wear them. If it says to dilute the product, dilute the product. Another reason it’s important to prepare everything in advance. If you don’t have gloves and a mask, it’s easy to say “oh well, I don’t need them i’ll be quick”. The pros are not skipping this step and neither should you because safety first and always. Anything from respiratory to reproductive complications are all over labels of cleaning supplies, so there is good reason for those safety recommendations.
3) Try to avoid harsh chemicals if possible. Only use abrasive cleaners like bleach and ammonia if necessary and try not to use harsh chemicals if you have a household with pets and/or children. Also avoid mixing cleaning agents as combinations can be noxious/toxic (bleach and ammonia are an example of a noxious mixture). As I mentioned. Read the label to make sure it’s EPA approved for that specific use you’re hoping to get out of that product.
4) Another professional tip, ventilation! Even if it’s chilly or cold. It’s worth it. Also fresh air is important to dilute indoor air which can fill up with dust, gases, odors, etc.
5) Always keep cleaning products out of reach of children no matter how safe you may think they are or if the label says non-toxic and always empty buckets after use so children can’t tamper with them. Even a little bit of water is a drowning/choking hazard.
6) Let floors dry completely before walking on them.
7) Spring cleaning is better with someone else around in case you need them to help by footing your ladder, assisting with heavy lifting, etc. Many hands make light work!
8) That brings me to ladder safety. Always make sure that you are using a step ladder on a level surface and that the spreaders are fully open, before taking any steps up the ladder. Also, that top step (that’s called a cap) that’s usually yellow or black, that is NOT a step or a seat. Never, never, never step on that. This is why it’s important to know the size ladder you need.
9) Always lift with care, bending at the knees with a straight back.
Lastly, always clean top to bottom. Vacuuming should be done slowly in back and forth repetitive strokes. A 300 sq ft space should take 15-20 minutes to vacuum. However, steam cleaning is preferred because it prevents dust, debris and allergens from stirring up into your breathing air.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robyn Colajezzi is the Director of Commercial Marketing & Development with SERVPRO of Upper Bucks, Germantown, Pennypack / Bustleton. Robyn's focus is to open the lines of communication with large scale property managers, government agencies, insurance companies, and other industry specific organizations. Robyn currently serves as Chair of CAI Keystone's Communications & Content Committee. She can be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org