Spring Cleaning Tips
Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. One of the biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don't need. Use these resources to clear out your stuff. Plan a garage sale. Learn how to box up items you don't need. Find out how to donate items that are taking up space. Cleaning will be a lot easier when the clutter is gone.
Prevent dust by using two entrance mats at each entrance. One just outside the door and one just inside the door will reduce the amount of dust, dirt, and debris that enters your home. Be sure to choose mats that will hold up to the wear and tear of your traffic. Mats should also be cleaned regularly. Mats can be shaken out and/or vacuumed frequently. Outdoor mats may need to be hosed down and dried seasonally as well. It's a good idea to have an indoor and outdoor mat for each exterior door in the house.
Check and maintain your air filters to make sure they are functioning properly. Air filters will last between 1-3 months, but should be changed as they become clogged with dirt and debris. Besides reducing the dust in your home, changing the air filters regularly will extend the life of your air conditioning unit making it have to work less hard to cool your home. This will also reduce your energy bills as well. An added benefit is overall better air quality in your home.
Brush your pets often to reduce shedding. Pet owners will see that much of their dust and debris can come from their pets. Brushing not only gives you quality time with your pet, but reduces the amount of dander and shedding that you end up dusting away. A regularly bathing routine is also a necessity to reduce pet dander. Be sure to wash pet bedding frequently and to clean pet areas often.
By keeping windows closed, you'll prevent dust and debris from blowing into your home. At least once a year, it is a good idea to double check your window and door weatherstripping to make sure it is still functioning properly. Replace old or ineffective weatherstripping to improve the seals on your windows and doors.
Take a broom to the corners of the ceiling to catch any cobwebs in your kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms. Then dust and sweep or vacuum the floors.
Using slipcovers on your upholstery allows you to shake out a slipcover as opposed to trying to vacuum dust from an entire sofa. As an added benefit, your furniture will be protected from accidental spills. Be sure to look for a slipcover that has easy care instructions that you can handle easily.
If you use a furniture oil or polish, be sure to follow the directions and don't overuse the product. Overuse or improper use can lead to a buildup on your furniture or clouding of the wood surfaces. Using a dry microfiber cloth will actually pick up more dust and keep your furniture from becoming clouded or built-up with oily substances.
Dusting is a great time to repair any new scratches you may notice on your wood furniture. Use a furniture marker or crayon to go over scratches when you dust.
There are a ton of dusting products on the market, but each one has its own set of pros and cons. Microfiber cloths work well because they trap even tiny particles of dust. Many people prefer to use their vacuum cleaner to dust since all the particles get sucked away into the vacuum cleaner.
Dust from top to bottom to prevent going over surfaces more than once. Sometimes you may need to wet dust after you dry dust, but always dry dust first. Be careful about allowing even a small amount of water on wood surfaces because they may stain, warp, or become damaged.
Dust the vents and fans. Dust the outside of vents and fans. You may need to use a gentle cleanser mixed with water and a cleaning cloth. Take down light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.
Take down draperies, curtains, blinds, etc, to wash or have cleaned according to the directions. Dust down blinds. Dust down and wash windowsills and corners. Wash the inside and outsides of windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.
Remove any winter decorations still hanging around, including throw pillows, candle holders, throw blankets and vases.
Sort through your old CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes.
Shred unimportant but sensitive documents, and/or scan important papers and shred the originals if they don’t need to be saved.
Tend to your plants – remove dead leaves, toss old flowers in vases, etc.
Wash your ironing board cover and throw in your hand towels and kitchen towels.
Wash your gardening gloves, and rinse and wipe off the shoes you wear to do yard work.
Clean every drain in your home (bathroom and kitchen) using this method: Pour boiling hot water down your drain, add in baking soda, followed by vinegar. Then cover the drain with a plug. Follow with another pour of boiling water.
Declutter your garage and throw out any items you haven’t touched since last spring.
Clean out your front or hall closet.
Dust the screens of televisions and computers – and while you’re at it, clean your keyboard.
Organize your hobby supplies. This can include crafting supplies, board games, books or sporting equipment.
Sweep your porch, patio or front steps.
If you have young children, teach them how to clean something in their room, and make that their chore from now on.
Go through your books (including kids’ books). Are there any you want to donate to the library?
Dust around your stairs and bannister, then vacuum.
Wipe down your baseboards and other molding where dust tends to collect. Then vacuum.
Make a list of anything you can’t do yourself and will need to call in a professional for.
Tackle that one spot (e.g. bedroom chair, hall closet, bottom drawer) where you throw all the stuff you don’t want to deal with. You have three choices with items left here: store them, recycle them, or toss them.
If you have a guest room and the bed hasn’t been used in a while, strip the bed down to the mattress and wash everything including mattress pad and duvet cover.
Did you keep a list of things to sell and consign? Now is the day to either take your items to the consignment store or photograph your items to sell them online.
Take a trip to the dump. Gather up any larger broken items you’ve been holding onto, and either throw them away or take them to be repaired. If they’ve been broken for awhile, you’re not going to fix them. Dump them.
Clean your car. The easiest way to do this is to bring it to a car wash. Use their ShopVac or other high powered vacuum to vacuum inside of the car. Declutter while you go. Then wipe down the interior with Formula 409 and a rag. Finally, let them hand wash or machine wash the outside of your car. Depending on your time and budget, you could also just pay the service to detail the interior and exterior of your car for you.