Ready to leave winter behind? If you felt that warm, spring breeze that swept through Calgary, then your thoughts may already have turned to spring. You might be throwing open your windows and saying goodbye to winter. And with the arrival of spring, you might even be thinking about starting to tackle your spring cleaning checklist.

This year, we want to help you take the headache out of spring cleaning. Not by providing you with yet another checklist, but rather with some tips to help you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes of so many spring cleaning attempts.

Here’s what to avoid:

Mistake #1 – Not Getting Organized

You probably already have a list of what needs to be done, but do you have a game plan? It is unrealistic to think that you can magically transform your house from disarray to clean within a morning or a weekend. Instead break it up into smaller more manageable daily or weekly tasks.

Mistake #2 – Look Up

Part of creating a plan of action is to start at the top and work your way down. If your floor is sparkling and you haven’t tackled that stunning light fixture covered in dust, then all that effort will have gone to waste. Before you start in a room, look up and start on those jobs first.

Mistake #3 – Not Having The Right Equipment

Cleaning with the right tools makes it easier, simpler and quicker. Two must-haves are: microfiber cloths and a vacuum with attachments. Use microfiber cloths to quickly remove dust from all your surfaces. Use the crevice tool on your vacuum to get into hard to reach places like the folds of your couch and remove dust from baseboards. Remember to also clean (or replace) those cleaning tools when they get dirty so that you don’t spread the dirt around.

Mistake #4 – Avoiding the Difficult Deep Cleaning

It (literally) stinks! However, if your goal is to have a truly clean house, then you’ll need to do the dirty work. This means scrubbing away at the stuck-on-grease until your cabinets, stovetop and other nooks and crannies are clean. The kitchen and bathrooms often take the most ‘elbow grease’ so grab your heavy-duty cleaning tools, and get to work. Or, if you’re not up for it, then hire someone to do it for you.

Mistake #5 – Forgetting Your Mattress

Especially for allergy sufferers, cleaning the mattress is key to clearing out the millions of dust mites that have taken up residence with you throughout winter. Take your spring cleaning ritual as an opportunity to clean your pillows, mattress and covers of dust mites and other allergens. This will not only rid your family of them, but also help you breathe easier by reducing respiratory conditions such as sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.

Mistake #6 – Going it Alone

Delegate some of the work to other family members. There’s a lot of work involved in doing a thorough, deep clean. So, let everyone help out. Give some of the simpler jobs like dusting and shaking out the rugs to the kids. What may take you days or even weeks to do, can be accomplished in less time with more hands. After all, once the work is done, then everyone will benefit from living in a clean house.

Mistake #7 – Waiting Until Spring

When the warm weather finally arrives for good, the last place you’ll want to be is inside cleaning. If you start your spring cleaning now, then you only need to add a couple of tasks each week to get it all done. By spreading out the tasks and asking other family members to help, the job won’t be as big and everything will get done – this year.

Instead of dreading spring cleaning when the weather improves, you’ll already be living in a clean home, breathing allergy-free air, and feeling great!