Spring cleaning is a great excuse to clean those places that tend to get overlooked. The best part is – your to-do list is entirely up to you! You can do as much or as little as you feel. Do it all in one day or spread it out across a week or two. With that in mind, spring cleaning is designed to help you de-clutter and keep your household running smoothly. Well that’s what we’re here to help you with. With the right tools and plan of attack, tackling your spring cleaning tasks will be a breeze!
Before diving into serious spring cleaning, arm yourself with a proper toolkit. This might mean you need to invest in some cleaners and tools that you wouldn’t normally keep around your house. Don’t be daunted by what you see in the cleaning products aisle, you can actually get by with very few cleaners. There are many multi-purpose cleaners that can be used on floors, walls, counters, and bathrooms. Whether cleaning a mess in the fridge or scrubbing a toilet, they can often be diluted to suite your needs. Many people prefer to use cleaners with antibacterial properties when cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. Another essential you will need is a vinegar based cleaner to use on windows, mirrors, or anything glass. And a basic stain remover for carpets or upholstery will also come in handy!
What you might not know is that some surfaces and materials require their own specially designed cleaners, like granite for example, and some regular household cleaners can damage surfaces like this. Counters made of soapstone need to be oiled with mineral oil to maintain their quality and longevity. The same concept goes if you want to polish your silverware or pots and pans; be sure to buy a polish that won’t tarnish the metal. Replacing an entire set of silverware can get pretty pricey! Do you plan on getting out a carpet cleaner? This might seem like common sense, but you can’t use just any household soap or you will end up creating a mess.
Assemble your basic tools: broom, dustpan, mop, vacuum cleaner, rags/cloths/sponges, dusters, and buckets. If you have high ceilings, you’ll likely need a step-stool or an extendable pole to get those hard to reach corners. It’s always a good idea to use two buckets – one to hold your cleaning solution and the other for carrying your cleaning supplies from room to room. Last but definitely not least, invest in a good pair of gloves if you have sensitive skin or simply want to avoid getting dirt under your fingernails.
Cleaning will be a bit different in every room of the house, but there are a few basic skills that you can use across the board. For example, nearly every room of a house has windows, floors, upholstery, and light fixtures. Therefore, you can use some of the same cleaning tactics to tackle these projects in each room.
The most popular, and most logical, strategy is to clean each room from top to bottom, literally. While you are cleaning the upper shelves and tops of furniture, dust and dirt will fall to the floor. As long as you clean the floors last, it won’t matter! First you’ll want to start by taking everything off the shelves and furniture so you can dust thoroughly, nick-knacks are notorious for collecting dust. Be sure to wipe them down using a dry cloth before placing them back on your freshly cleaned furniture. Don’t forget about those lampshades, picture frames, or light fixtures.
Next, turn to your windows, Dust the blinds and the shades first before cleaning the windows. If you have curtains, consider getting them dry cleaned. For cleaning the windows themselves, some people swear by newspaper to avoid streaking, but paper towels should work just fine. Then work your way down to any upholstered furniture, using an attachment tool to vacuum all over including under the cushions. See if covers can be washed, if not use a stain remover for upholstery.
Finally, you can clean the floors. Wipe down the baseboards with a wet rag to start. Then vacuum the carpets and if you are so inclined to go the extra mile, run over them with a special carpet cleaner. Rather than mopping wood or laminate floors, clean them with specialty cleaners. But with tile and vinyl floors, you should be in the clear to give them a once-over with a mop.
Even if you clean your fridge regularly, chances are you have some expired food. Take out all the food from your fridge and if your in doubt, ditch it. Once all the food is out, wipe down the walls and shelves with an anti-bacterial cleaner. Sometimes the spills in your fridge aren’t cleaned up right away, so this may require some scrubbing. Lastly, don’t overlook cleaning the coils! When the coils get dusty and dirty, it causes the refrigerator to work harder and less efficiently.
Another major kitchen appliance that will need some attention is the dishwasher. Every dishwasher should have a food trap at the bottom that you’ll want to clean out any build up food or gunk. Then use your all purpose cleaner to wipe down the inside. Depending on how often you clean your dishwasher, you should also buy a special dishwasher cleaner to run through a cycle. Or using borax and running an empty cycle works just as well.
If you used your fireplace at all during the winter, now is the time to clear it out and get it ready for use next year. Sweep or vacuum out the debris and ashes before using an all purpose cleaner to scrub the stonework or brick. But it’s best to leave the nitty-gritty of getting the build up off the walls and cleaning the flu to the professionals.
Now that you’ve cleaned the whole house, turn your attention outdoors. There are many details here that could use some tending to. Start by checking for loose or damaged siding, caulking or any other damages and get them fixed before the spring rains come. It’s also important to check for any damaged shingles up on your roof, while up there clean out any built up debris in the gutters. This task may best be suited for a professional to avoid any injuries.
During the winter, you probably didn’t do much, if any, yard work. So before new life starts to grow in your yard, it’s smart to prune trees and bushes, put down new mulch where needed, fix any damaged retaining walls, and plant any new seedlings you would like to grow.