The calendar says it’s spring and let’s hope the weather soon reflects that! But while still chilly outside, this is a great time to get some spring cleaning done, especially if you’re thinking of selling your home this year. Here are 10 steps to a great spring cleaning!
If you don’t use it, lose it! This is the most important tip I can give you. Take inventory of your belongings and evaluate what you really need. Clean out your bedroom, linen, and front hall closets - if you haven’t worn it, used it, or re-gifted it all year, you more than likely won’t in the future. In the kitchen, toss old spices or other items in your pantry that are outdated. Get the kids involved and have them donate old toys to the needy. This is a family project that will make the biggest difference in your home!
Wash windows inside and out. Use a the traditional mild soap and water or try 4 parts water, 1 part white vinegar with a splash of lemon juice. Squeegee dry to prevent streaking. Don’t forget about the sills! Wipe down or even vacuum if you need to. Once you finish, open up and air the house out! This is great to do if you will be using chemicals to clean elsewhere in the home.
This is refuge for old and germy! When it comes to hidden food, out of sight is out of mind. Clear it out! Make sure to get all the way into the back. Then wipe down all the shelves and drawers to ensure everything is sparkling clean. To avoid using chemicals where you keep food, abrasive salt and soda water make a great cleaner.
Get rid of all half-used beauty products that you don’t use anymore. That eye cream that never worked, the fish oil pills that taste like a seafood market floor, expired makeup - they should all get thrown out. And for heaven’s sake, bring all unused medications back to the pharmacy for disposal--no flushing!
Be honest - when was the last time you cleaned your comforter? Bedding can be a source of germs, allergens, and dust mites. Yuck! Overstock.com recommends comforters be thoroughly cleaned every three months. Wash on the delicate cycle and dry with tennis balls to keep fluffy. (Don’t forget to check care instructions on the tag for specifics!)
Sweep up or vacuum any loose dirt. Mop hard surfaces like wood and tile. Try going chemical free with this homemade hardwood floor cleaner. For the tile, put 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts warm water in your mop bucket. Shampoo all the carpets in your home, paying close attention to high traffic areas. Some smaller area rugs can be washed right in the washing machine. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly before putting them back in place.
SMOKE/CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need be tested every six months. It is recommended that their batteries get replaced when we change the clocks for daylight savings time. If you forgot to check them a few weeks ago make it part of your spring cleaning regimen. Dispose of dust while you have them opened up.
Outside the house needs cleaning too! Use a pressure washer to make decks, patios, and walkways look good as new - even use it on your house if your shingles are looking a little worn. Finish any yard maintenance that was put off during the colder months so spring flowers can beautify your home!
DUST, DUST, AND DUST SOME MORE!
Last, but certainly not least, remember that dust collects everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Start from the top and work your way down in every room. Moldings, door frames, drapes, bookshelves and radiators all collect the stuff that makes you sneeze. Be sure to wipe down ceiling fans and light fixtures. Microfiber rags often trap dust better than traditional dusters. Shine and sanitize door knobs along the way!