Spring cleaning: Top-down, inside-out or outside-in?

    10 Oct 2016

    With the longer days and brighter mornings comes a skip in our step at the thought of summer – and in some, an unaccountable urge to clean! Sweeping under beds and in forgotten corners, throwing open the windows and cleaning the loo are all part of the change of seasons for many.  This urge is well-documented in history, with ancient cultures as rich and diverse as the Jewish, Chinese and Iranians all having traditions attached to cleaning ahead of the new year – so we asked Earthwise fans what jobs they tackle first when the cleaning bug bites.

    As spring cleaners, we seem to fall into three broad ‘types’: top-downers, inside-outers and outside-inners. Top-downers are methodical types who start at the highest point in the house and work down. Outside-inners are ‘big picture’ people who start with the windows, go through the joint family areas (kitchen, bathroom, living rooms) before drilling down to the nitty gritty and finishing up in the bedrooms.

    Inside-outers tackle life in the opposite direction, starting in their own bedroom first to create a sanctuary of clean before widening their mission to the rest of the house. “I like to start in my bedroom, great to go to bed in a clean, refreshed room! Gives me motivation to get through the rest of the house,” commented one ‘inside-outer’.

    Clutter crackdown. Many of outside-inners start by getting rid of the clutter spread across the house first. Once everything is in its rightful place, cleaning can begin in earnest. When asked where she starts, one fan commented: “Our spare bedroom because it has become the dumping ground for all things random!”

    Windows and curtains. Maybe the urge to throw our windows open is followed closely by a realization of how grubby they’ve become! Some choose windows first because it’s the biggest job and everything else seems a breeze once it’s done – for others, just seeing the sparkling glass and frames gives them a great feeling of job satisfaction. As one fan comments: “Everything always looks cleaner when the windows are clean.”

    Bathrooms. The bathroom is another favourite ‘first up’ because of the sheer amount of use. We didn’t ask whether little-boy households tend to hit the bathroom first, but we suspect that could be the case. Enough said.

    Kitchen. This is another high traffic area that screams out for attention on the spring cleaning list. Cleaning out/reorganising the cupboards and scrubbing the oven are two of the most likely suspects here.

    Beds and bedrooms. Airing mattresses in the sunshine, vacuuming forgotten corners and sorting out broken toys and outgrown clothes are all on the bedroom hit-list. One fan has a cascading approach to passing on pre-loved clothing: “I always spend half a day moving clothes from my oldest son down to his younger brother and then from the middle one to the youngest. Once you start this job, you can’t stop half-way because there’s no drawer space to move clothes into! Clothes that number three has outgrown go to neighbourhood friends, the op shop or the clothing bin!”

    We’ll leave you with two of our favourite comments. We just love Earthwise fans!

    “The kitchen and bathroom are always my go-to firsts! Mind you so are my kiddies room. Or maybe just my whole house, a little here, a little there… I then think I'm super woman and start to reorganise cupboards in those rooms only to begin back where I've started.”

    “I start (and finish) with my husband doing it!”

    Whether you tackle your spring cleaning top down, inside-out or outside-in – we always find the job easier with some great music turned up loud! So fling open the windows and welcome in the summer.