If you are a homeowner who’s planning on selling your Chicago house, this year’s spring cleaning efforts can merit some extra attention. For most of us, the past year meant a lot more time spent indoors. With potential buyers soon to be among the visitors, the regular airing-out and straightening-up procedures might not be sufficient.
It’s useful to examine the difference in the ways that professionals approach spring cleaning— something the American Cleaning Institute makes possible via its industry-sponsored website. In addition to the expected Quick Spring Cleaning Tips and the less seasonal ABC’s of Cleaning, the ACI offers a section that promotes stepping back and organizing an overall operational approach—especially useful for Chicago home sellers whose spring cleanup this year will become an integral part of their selling campaign. The Strategies for Spring Cleaning section is broken down into four “strategies”:
Strategy 1 is Clear It Out:
getting rid of “things that are needlessly filling up your home.” Recycle, Sell, or Donate as much as you can— then organize small containers to store what needs to be preserved.
Strategy 2 is Inventory Your Supplies:
a “strategy” you’d expect from a cleaning industry-sponsored website. But the basic wisdom is unquestionable: by having on hand the spray cleaners, abrasive and non-abrasive cleansers (for easily-scratched surfaces), glass cleaners, and others you’ll need, your efforts won’t be delayed by running out of supplies—a familiar frustration for most of us.
Strategy 3 is the 3-parter, Make a Plan.
- First, decide on your cleaning style: will it be one room at a time or tasks grouped by type (like cleaning all the windows at once or waiting to vacuum until the end)?
- Second, prioritize: decide which areas or tasks need the most work or get the most traffic. That makes sense in case further efforts somehow get derailed.
- Third, consider the big stuff: if curtains need to be laundered, slipcovers or shower curtains cleaned, or area rugs sent out for professional cleaning, once they’re gone, it will be easier to “tackle the rest of the space.”
Strategy 4 is Recruit Help.
It’s usually not practical to do everything yourself, so enlist family members to help, swap sessions days with friends, or (if the budget allows) call in professionals to “even do the majority of cleaning” once the clutter is gone.
Thinking strategically about spring cleaning—a project most of us tackle without much forethought—can ultimately save effort and produce sterling results. It’s really part of the greater strategy for selling your Chicago house—call me for more about that!