Let’s get started – freshen up your home and you’ll be ready to throw open your doors and embrace the new season. Where to start? Right here with our make-it-sparkle checklist.
9 Top Tips (and a Bonus Tip!) for Spring Cleaning
1. Get Specific. Don’t just say, “I really need to clean this place up”. On separate pieces of paper, write down specific tasks and the estimated time it would take to complete.
Toss them into a jar, and then it’s easy to randomly pick one when you have a bit of time. Or schedule jobs (i.e., like, clean windows or wipe out kitchen cupboards), into your smart calendar at a specific time. Don’t expect to do it all in one day. Set an intention plan and tackle different areas or sections at different times. Enlist the help of family members or hire someone to help, if you can.
2. Start at the Top. Use a telescoping duster to grab dust and cobwebs from the ceilings, chandeliers and walls, paying special attention to corners. Then work your way down, dusting all surfaces, even ones you wouldn’t generally think of such as, picture frames, TV screens, bookshelves and small decorative items. Using a sponge with soapy water, clean blinds, light fixtures and switches.
3. Power up the Vacuum. If lugging around a heavy canister vacuum is not your idea of fun (and let’s face it, it’s no one’s idea of fun!), use a central vacuum equipped with a high-performance HEPA filter to suck up dust mites, pollen, pet hair, mould and bacteria. Vacuum an upholstered headboard, if you have one, and don’t forget the mattress. Use attachments to make it easy. A dusting brush is great for light fixtures, baseboards and trim. And a crevice tool can get into those hard-to-reach areas, i.e., such as, under furniture pieces and underneath appliances, like your stove, without having to move them! Vacuum all carpets and rugs. Mop all floor surfaces, using lemon oil for wood flooring.
4. Clean all Upholstery and Textiles. Spot-clean your sofa, dining chairs and other upholstered items. Launder curtains, throws, and all bedding, including comforters, blankets and pillow covers. Throw the kids’ stuffies in the washer. Wash and repair tablecloths and cloth napkins. Replace worn placemats with new ones.
5. Open the Closet Doors – and Cabinets. This is a good opportunity to organize your closets. In the bedroom, decide which items of clothing you’ll keep, and then donate the remaining items. In the bathroom, clear out cabinets, wipe them down, and discard any old makeup and medication that has expired, or you no longer need. In the kitchen, toss any pantry items that have expired.
6. Clear the clutter in the home office. Start with books and papers. Be ruthless and keep only what you really need. Make use of your computer for electronic storage. And don’t just dump everything onto your desktop. Instead, organize emails, documents and files into folders to reduce visual clutter and stress. Dust the surfaces of filing cabinets, tables, and other furnishings. Invest in a new coat of paint if that works and freshen up the room with new artwork.
7. Tackle High-Traffic Areas. Do a deep dive when you clean the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, clean out the fridge using a baking soda and water solution, and wipe out down all small appliances. Empty and clean out cabinets and drawers. Clean the kitchen exhaust fan and scrub the grease stains. In the bathroom, clean and sanitize doorknobs, handles and light switches. Clean the sink, counter, toilet and tub with an all-purpose cleaner. Pay special attention to cleaning the grout in between tiles. Wash the shower curtain, replacing the liner, if necessary.
8. Brighten up the place. In a spray bottle, make a simple half-and-half vinegar and water solution. Spray the window. Then, starting at the top, working your way down, and clean the frames, too. Using a clean lint-free towel, or clean paper towels, dry the windows. If windows are still dirty or streaky, repeat the process. This solution works just as well for mirrors.
9. Purify the air. Make sure you air out your home daily. Reducing dust and allergens is important for everyone’s good health, especially if any family members are dealing with allergies. Vacuum regularly to keep the dust and allergens under control. Think about getting an air purifier to reduce the allergens in the air.
It’s all about attitude. Don’t look at spring cleaning as a chore. Instead, reframe it and look at it as an opportunity to freshen up your home, make it sparkle and scatter the joy among your family and friends. Break it down into small manageable projects chunks, and it won’t be so onerous. Even better, schedule cleaning sessions as the season progresses, and it never becomes a daunting task.