Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Spring cleaning: it's own kind of “insurance”

No, we haven't failed to notice the anything-but-spring conditions that our neck of the woods has been graced with in the last week: it's as wintery as ever here, we know. But it is March, a popular time of year for people start thinking of giving their homes a little extra TLC. This isn't a superfluous task: maintenance of our properties is every bit as important as the financial investments we make in them—whether by means of insurance, or upgrades, and so forth. In fact, maintaining your property is a kind of insurance: it protects your home from undue harm and deterioration which may cost you a great deal to repair. You know the old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So get preventing! To get the most from your efforts, streamline your work with a plan:

Set goals. Make a list of each area in your home that you plan to address...but don't stop there: organizational gurus say that task lists in and of themselves aren't enough for us to meet our goals. We have to assign a specific time to each of those tasks in order for them to actually get done. When we treat those assigned times as appointments, we are far more likely to accomplish those items that made it onto our lists to begin with.

Check your arsenal. Before you launch your attack, ensure that you have all of the supplies and equipment you will need. Nothing spoils a morning begun with good intentions like the inability to follow through with those intentions, simply because you can't find a replacement bag for your vacuum. One way that you can plan your supplies effectively is to go back to the task list you initially drew up; beside each task, jot down the items required for its completion. Once you've done this for every task on the list, check for all of the supplies you noted, and acquire whatever is missing.

Purge. In the interest of efficiency, resolve not to waste time cleaning around clutter. The easiest room to clean is a sparse one—or at least one where there are no knick-knacks and tchotchkes for you to dexterously dance around with your duster. There is no room for clutter in the clean-o-sphere. The point here isn't simply to find a nice little box to hide it all away: rather, get rid of as much of it as you can. The less you have to maintain, the more likely you are to do this kind of maintenance regularly, keeping your home in tip-top shape.

Work top-down. To avoid having to re-address an area you just cleaned, start at the highest elevation of the room you are working on, and continue downwards. This way, you won't have to re-sweep your floor several times, as you knock dust onto it with every shelf you clean. Start with ceilings and high shelves, and finish with floors and baseboards.


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