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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Winter Cleaning Checklist

Wintertime is just around the corner and it's time to prepare for those cold days and nights and winter snowfalls.

For many people winter is a time spent in the warmth of your home gathering with family and friends and enjoying the holiday season.

Winter cleaning is basically preparing for the cold weather and is holiday specific.

Here is a winter cleaning checklist you can follow to make this upcoming season clean and organized.

Cleaning the Chimney

This type of home upkeep is just too challenging to be done by yourself, plus the dangers are great if not done correctly. A chimney fire can destroy your home and its entire contents. So before you light your first fire in the hearth, get a professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney.

An expert will check for such things as a buildup of dirt, grime, creosote, and other chemicals that can be a hazard. Don't rely on cleaning logs; they can't do the job a professional can do.

If you have a wood stove in your home this should also be inspected by a professional chimney sweep.

Inspect the Furnace

The furnace in our home works just as hard as the fireplace during the winter months. Have your furnace checked by a professional so it doesn't end up working harder than necessary.

They can tell you specific cleaning and/or maintenance steps to take for your make and model of furnace. A properly maintained furnace runs efficiently and doesn't break the bank.

Change or clean the filters monthly throughout the cold winter months. Vacuum vents and registers with an attachment every time you vacuum the floor.

Snow Blowers and Snowmobiles

If you live in an area that gets regular snowfall, you should clean snow blowers and snowmobiles. Hopefully you cleaned them at the end of winter last year but if not now's the time to get it done.

If they have salt build-up on them, go to a do-it-yourself car wash and use the power wash wand to get them clean. If any rust is on them, you can clean it off with fine steel wool.

If the climate you live in is a harsh winter environment, and you need a heavy duty snow blower change the oil, and check the air filter, and spark plugs following the manufacturer's instructions.

Sort the Pantry

This is a chore that is done at the beginning of summer and winter is another good time to sort through your pantry. Clear the shelves and throw old expired foods away and items that have gone bad or won't be used.

If items are missing labels or are dented, these should also go in the trash. This doesn't have to be a big job. Just drag the trash can over and get started.

After you've gone through the shelves and taken everything out, wipe down all surfaces with a clean damp cloth and wipe dry. When this is done, put all your pantry items back in an organized, easy to find manner.

Cleaning Mattresses

Twice a year during the summer and winter months, you should clean all of the mattresses in the house to keep dust mites under control.

Vacuum the top of the mattress, move the mattress and vacuum the box spring then flip the mattress and vacuum the other side.

For further protection from dust mites, add an allergenic mattress pad and wash your sheets in hot water.

Cleaning the Computers

With the colder weather coming, for some it may mean more time spent on the computer so take this opportunity to clean it.

Before cleaning turn off the computer, unplug it, and start with the keyboard and mouse. Turn the keyboard upside down and dump out any crumbs and dirt particles. Then carefully use of can of compressed air to get in between the keys.

Follow by wiping your keyboard and mouse with a damp cloth. Special electronic cleaners are not usually necessary for these items. Now open the actual computer unit; if you don't know anything about computers; don't touch anything inside.

Get your can of compressed air and spray away all of the dirt and dust. Hold the can at least four inches away from cards, chips, and cords so you don't unnecessarily damage anything.

Vacuum Furniture

Vacuum your upholstered furniture. Using the proper attachment, clean all areas of the furniture not forgetting to get under the seat cushions. It's amazing how much you find under the cushions and if you have pets then you know how much pet hair is left behind.

If you have leather furniture, use the appropriate cleaning method to revitalize your couch or chair for the holiday gatherings.

Prepare For the Holidays

There will be gifts to wrap, cards to sign, decorations to put up, and cookies to make. A good workspace will be needed for these activities.

Whatever space you choose, make it a rule to keep this area clean until the holidays are over.

Holiday Cleanup

When it's time to take down the holiday decorations make sure to organize them logically. Dust off the ornaments and decorations before storing them, this way you don't need to do when you're unpacking for next year's holiday season.

If you use and artificial tree and it's dusty, give it a shower. Stand it in the tub and turn the shower on and give it a light shower. Let it dry in the tub then store it away.

All those fancy table cloths you used - don't put them away dirty, send them to the dry cleaner before storing, same goes for the special holiday outfits.

Below are more cleaning tips that may come in handy and enjoy this beautiful time of year!
Dishwasher Cleaning Tips 
Bathroom Cleaning Tips

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