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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How to Spring Clean the Inside of the House

Beautiful Light Pink Spring Blooms
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I work from my home and I love it when I can open my office window, let the fresh air in, listen to the birds and watch them as they eat from the bird feeders (yes, I do manage to get work done).

Spring is also one of the larger cleanings we do around our house. I want my house as fresh on the inside as it is smells on the outside.

Spring Cleaning 101

Here are some of the basics of any large cleaning. These will help you keep track of all you are doing, what’s already been done, and so forth. 1.    Make a list of all the areas in the house you want to tackle and what you hope to accomplish. I type everything on the computer in columns with checkmarks. This makes it so much easier to cross things off the list, and I have a copy for my next spring cleaning that I can easily add to if needed. Here’s a sample of what a section of your list could consist of, let’s use the kitchen as our example:

Cleaning the Kitchen

  • Dust and wipe down the walls: Dust then wipe down all walls and baseboards. Be sure to get behind the refrigerator and stove. Take down pictures and dust. Don’t forget to clean light fixtures.
  • Clean windows: Clean all glass, windowsills and tracks. Wash curtains.
  • Clean cabinets: Remove all items and wipe down shelves and doors. Throw away old, expired, and stale items. Remove chipped plates and bowls and throw away. Don’t put back kitchen electronics that are unused or broken. Reorganize when replacing items.
  • Clean drawers: Remove all items and wipe down the inside of drawers. Replace and reorganize. Pay special attention to junk drawers so nothing gets tossed that shouldn’t be tossed.
  • Clean light fixtures: Dust and (if necessary) wash light covers.
  • Clean appliances: Wipe down inside and outside of appliances. Remove everything from refrigerator and toss old foods before cleaning. Wash drawers.
  • Clean the sink: Give sink a good cleaning and clean under the sink.
  • Clean the garbage can: Scrub inside of garbage can, and replace the can if necessary.
  • Clean floors: Sweep and mop floors.
You would create a list like this for each room in the house you plan on cleaning. 2.    Get the whole family involved. It’s best to give everyone some advanced warning so they can get their grumblings out. On the day before you plan to start your spring cleaning session, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a quick family meeting. Give everyone the list of the things that need to be done in the area you’ve assigned them (I always have my kids start in their bedrooms and then assign the older kids the upstairs bathrooms). This way they can ask questions and you can clarify instructions where needed. 3.    Be prepared to take a break and order pizza for lunch. This is called bribery--I mean, a reward for a good job. When you’ve finished for the day, a trip to the ice cream parlor might be called for.

Have the Supplies you Need before you Start

Don’t be unprepared, have all the supplies handy beforehand.

Boxes and Garbage Bags

When it comes to these bigger cleaning jobs, there are sure to be some items found that are garbage, unwanted, not touched, etc. that do not need to go back in closets or shelves after cleaning. Of course the garbage bags are for trash, but the boxes can be used for the following:
  1. A box for unused things and outgrown clothing that can be donated or make a little money on by having a garage sale.
  2. A box for things you’re not sure about.

Cleaners

Bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners, glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners, etc.: Have enough of each of these cleaning supplies so that you can leave a tote upstairs and downstairs.

Cleaning Tools

Cleaning rags, dusters, mops, and vacuum cleaners – Keep enough cleaning rags available and in each room so you don’t run out and if you have a couple of vacuum cleaners, leave one upstairs and one downstairs.

On the Day of the Big Clean

On the day of the big clean, eat a good breakfast and get ready to go. Pick a channel on the radio that has some good upbeat music. Most cable companies have channels dedicated to music with a variety of styles and genres. Get everyone started in the rooms you’ve assigned to them and get going.

Filling the Boxes

Everyone has their own cleaning style and knows what works best for them. You might want to have each person assigned to a room go through closets, under the beds, cabinets and cupboards first and start filling those boxes and throwing away the trash. Set those aside in the garage.

Work from Top to Bottom and Back to Front

Start at the top and work your way down through a room. Dusting and cleaning light fixtures up high, dusting the pictures frames as you work your way down, cleaning walls and baseboards where necessary. Vacuum last, starting in the back of the room towards the door. When you’ve finished a room, close the door so you know a room has been finished.

When the Spring Cleaning is Finished

When all is said and done and you’re left with the boxes of stuff you filled before you started cleaning, you can either donate these items or have a garage sale. Spring cleaning is not something that only takes an hour or two. I won’t sugar coat it, it’s going to take up the day but in the end it will definitely be worth the time you spent cleaning the house. Here are more cleaning tips that might help you out. House Cleaning Tips Homemade Cleaning Products

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