Ready, Set - Time to Clean
Every year as the days get brighter and the birds come back singing, we are ready to shed our winter coats and shed the dirt and grime that has collected in our homes over the last few months.
Things you Should Have on Hand
Some of the things you’ll want to have handy are:
- Cleaning supplies – of course!
- Cleaning rags and soft clothes for polishing
- Vacuum and hard surface floor cleaners
- Garbage bags and boxes
You might need to consider the possibility of renting a carpet cleaner or calling a professional.
Declutter and Remove the Unwanted Stuff
Because spring cleaning is a good time to remove clutter and discard items that are no longer used we need to do a few things before we actually start to clean, after being cooped up all winter; we need to prepare for this marathon cleaning.
- Start by going through all rooms and toss the broken items. Look for the things you haven’t used for a while and you can live without. Put these in boxes or bags, maybe a box for donations, garage sale and one to pass things on to someone who might enjoy or need the item, it will be a win-win situation. Oh – and get the kiddoes involved.
- Gather and take out the trash so you don’t have to deal with it as you are cleaning.
This applies to all rooms: dusting, vacuuming, clean lighting, fixtures, and switches, cleaning sinks, counters, etc.
Now Let’s Get to the Actual Cleaning
Get your cleaning supplies and tools together, put them in a caddy so you can carry them with you as you tackle different areas of the house.
Cleaning the Living Room, Dining Room, Formal Rooms, Office
- Cleaning the windows is one of the best things I like to tackle for spring cleaning. Let the sunshine in, right. (Cleaning windows applies to all rooms in the house.) Also, clean whatever is covering your windows; drapes, shades, or blinds and don’t forget to wipe down the window frames and tracks.
- Take a look at your bookshelves, switch it up and rearrange your books while giving them and the shelves a good dusting and polishing if necessary. If you have knick-knacks on your shelves, move them around, or maybe swap with ones in a different room.
- If you have area rugs, wash those that can be washed and dust the ones that can’t be washed. Dusting a rug is vacuuming. If possible, move the rug to a clean hard surfaced floor so you can vacuum the back and get the embedded dirt out. After vacuuming the back flip the rug on a clean surface and vacuum the top. If you have a really nice rug and are concerned about damaging it, call in the professionals.
- Move the furniture and vacuum (furniture as well), polish the furniture, dust the base boards, remove cobwebs, clean and dust fixtures and clean any wood floors.
Something else you may want to check is the heater and AC filters. The following article will walk you through the steps to get this done if you want to do it yourself.
Cleaning Air Filters
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen
Besides your regular cleaning there are a few more things that can be done to spiff up the kitchen.
- Stainless steel appliances always seem to have smudges and streaks. Never use abrasive cleaning products and make sure to clean in the direction of the grain. Most grime will come off with just water and a good microfiber cloth.
- Your coffee pot is a necessary tool that gets used daily, but when was the last time you cleaned it? You can put the carafe and other removable parts in the dishwasher, but use a vinegar/water mixture (2 parts water to 1 part vinegar) to clean the inside of the coffee maker. Simply pour the mixture into the water well and turn on the brew cycle until all the water/vinegar mix is gone. Then run another full cycle of plain water to remove any lingering vinegar residue.
- Defrosting your freezer isn’t nearly as tough as it used to be, but we still need to do this once or twice a year. Take everything out of the freezer, throwing out anything that you can’t identify or that looks like it’s more ice than food. Use warm water to wipe down the shelves, drawers and sides and put what you’re keeping back in the freezer.
- This is also a good time to go through the pantry, toss old foods, clean shelves, and put the remainder back in a nice organized way.
Bedrooms and Closets
Your bedroom is supposed to be a relaxing sanctuary, so take a look around and remove any items that don’t give you a feeling of peace. After you’ve gotten rid of the clutter, you can focus on some areas that might not normally get attention.
- Clean your headboard. If your headboard is wood, dust it with a rag and your favorite wood cleaner, if it is made of fabric; use your vacuum attachments to vacuum the dust and hair away.
- Cleaning your mattress a few times a year will help prolong its lifespan. Remove all bedding, vacuum the mattress, including the sides, then flip it over and vacuum again. If you are concerned about mattress odors, sprinkle some baking soda onto the mattress and let it sit awhile before you vacuum.
- Don’t forget about your winter clothing, as it gets warmer outside, you are probably using your winter coat less often. Take it to the drycleaner along with any sweaters you may have. Now when you store them, they are clean and ready for next year. Wash and pack away other cold weather clothing you won’t need and start unpacking your warm weather clothes.