Lighten the load: Low energy ways to give your home a spring clean 

We’re well into spring but you’ll be forgiven if you just haven’t been able to muster the energy for the annual clean synonymous with the season. There might be renewal in the air but most of us are racing to get a million things done before the end of the year, which means that The Big Clean has fallen by the wayside. 

Add the inconvenience of rolling blackouts to the mounting load and cleaning your home suddenly feels like a mammoth task. 

But worry not, because we sought the advice of SweepStars, the efficient domestic workers who, via the SweepSouth app, are booked to clean thousands of homes every week. They share their top tips for getting on top of the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

No power, no problem 

That feeling, or rather that sound, when the power goes out at exactly the same time that you push the “start” button on the dishwasher is one that South Africans are all too familiar with. But load shedding is part of our reality and so rather than allowing the dishes and the laundry to pile up, it’s best to just accept that you have to work around the load-shedding schedule. 

With the exception of the laundry and the ironing, most cleaning tasks can actually be done manually – dishes can be washed with soap and water, and sweeping, rather than vacuuming, carpets can actually be a more effective way of cleaning them.

It also works to reframe the challenge. Rather than commiserate the fact that there is no power at certain times of the week, think of the energy you’re using while washing dishes, sweeping floors and hanging washing up outside, opposed to just bundling it into the tumble drier. Every cloud has a silver lining and this one is that using less electrical power is kinder to the planet. 

Konmari the clutter 

Clutter has a nasty way of making a space look dishevelled and dirty even when the real problem is simply that things are out of place. Start by walking through your space and removing the clutter, either by putting it on a discard or donate pile, or returning it to its original home. While you’re at it, consider organisational guru Marie Kondo’s famous Konmari method and ask yourself if the item in question sparks joy, through purpose or for pleasure, and if not, make a plan to get rid of it immediately. 

Speed clean, rather than spring clean 

Cleaning needn’t be a long and laborious process. In many instances a “speed clean” can achieve exactly what a spring clean would. Set a timer for 25 minutes and move around your space wiping, dusting and tidying as fast as you can. You’ll find that your efforts build momentum and that most cleaning tasks take far less time than we imagine they do. And that’s not to say you’re doing a poor job of it, it just means you’re prioritising in order of clean, cleaner, cleanest!

Tools of the trade 

Abraham Lincoln famously said that if he were to chop down a tree he would start by sharpening the saw. The quote refers to the importance of planning as well as the need to have the right tools for the job. Cleaning is no different. 

Before you start, set out a plan for how you want to go about it and to what extent you’ll be cleaning. Next, make sure you have all the right “tools” on hand, including a broom, dustpan, rags for wiping and whatever else helps you get the job done. Same goes for cleaning products like all-purpose cleaner, tile cleaner or whatever your space requires. Opt for eco-friendly products where you can.

Outsource entirely 

And if you’re still not inspired or energised to do any of this, that’s fine too because services like SweepSouth specialise in exactly this – home cleaning when you need it. A SweepStar makes quick work of all the cleaning, and it’s super easy to book the service for a time that suits you best. 

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