Today is the first official day of Spring, and that means it is time to start thinking about Spring cleaning. This deep clean that goes above and beyond your normal cleaning routine can help to improve air quality in your home. Organizing as you clean will help you to have more time later for all those warm weather activities that will soon be beginning. Here is my personal Spring Cleaning List. Feel free to use it as a guideline when doing your own Spring cleaning list.
Start with the celing fan blades, then work your way down in each room. Remove all items from shelves, and dust each item individually. Wipe down the surfaces of the shelves before returning the items to their places. Finish with the baseboards.
Wash Windows and Doors
Washing windows is never a fun job, but doing so will help to improve the natural light you home has. Start by removing the dust on the inside with a duster, soft brush, etc. Wash the windows with a solution of vinegar and water. To avoid streaking, use a microfiber cloth. Don't forget to open the windows and clean out the tracks. When you have finished the insides, head outside and brush away the dirt on the outside of the windows. Wash the windows using a rag and warm soapy water, followed by the vinegar and water solution applied with a micrfiber cloth. Give your doors (inside and outside) a good wash using warm soapy water or a mild cleaner. Don't forget to do the handles, seals, and door jams.
Clean Window Treatments
Our curtains get just as much dust and dirt on them as the rest of our homes, yet they rarely get cleaned. Launder fabric curtains according to care instructions. Be especially sure to check drying instructions. If there are non, look up the care of the type of fabric from which they are made. You don't want your perfect length curtains to end up shrinking. While curtains are washing, clean the blinds with warm soapy water or mild cleaner. Clean the window sills well.
Deep Clean Appliances
Most of us only do a surface clean on our kitchen appliances as part of our normal routine. However, they should occasionally be deep cleaned to help them stay in good working order. First, run the cleaning cycle on any appliances that have them. If your dishwasher and clothes washer do not have cleaning cycles, you can purchase cleaners for them and follow manufacturer directions. Next, clean the exterior including handles, seals, and any other nooks and crannies you find. Pull them out away from the wall and clean behind them. Clean out the dryer vent and remove lint. This will help your dryer be more efficient as well as being much safer. Clean out the fridge and freezer and wipe down well. Don't forget to do the top of the fridge!
Clean Rugs and Carpets
Vacuuming only cleans the surface of rugs and carpets, and they can collect a LOT of dust and dirt. If you have ever helped or been around when someone was removing old carpet, you know what I mean! Throw smaller rugs into the washing machine on a gentle cycle and then air dry. For larger rugs and carpets, you should use a steam cleaner, whether you rent one or have one of your own. Move furniture out of the area you are cleaning and follow the machine's instructions. Instead of buying the expensive cleaner that goes with the machine, add 1 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup shout to 2 1/2 gallons of warm water. Stir thoroughly. Let the carpets dry completely before putting all of the furniture back. This is when I like to rearrange my furniture a little bit.
Most of us wash our sheets regularly, but we might neglect the rest of the bedding. Most pillows can be washed in the washing machine using hot water. Dry them in the dryer on a low heat cycle with a tennis ball. The tennis ball helps to fluff the pillows back up as they dry. Wash any comforters, blankets, bedskirts, mattress covers, etc. Vacuum your mattress thoroughly and rotate or flip.
Clean all solid-surfaced furniture thoroughly. Remove couch cushions and vacuum. Vacuum arms, backs, sides, and all nooks and crannies. Spot clean the stains. A good cleaner I use for my couch is 1 part water and one part laundry detergent in a spray bottle. Be sure that any cleaner will not harm the fabric on your couch. Spot test in an inconspicuous area if your couch is made of a sensitive material.
De-Clutter and Organize
Magazines- Magazines can stack up quickly! Recycle or pass along magazines you don't want to keep. If you have any books you have already read and don't want to keep, pass them along to friends or sell them. Many used book stores will allow you to trade them in for a credit to use on other books you haven't read yet.
Pantry- Clear out all the food in your pantry and thoroughly wipe down the inside. Donate unwanted items, discard expired products, and organize as you put the rest back into the pantry.
Bathroom Cabinets- Clean out and organize all of your bathroom cabinets, including your medicine cabinets. If throwing away any medication (over the counter or prescription) and you have children in the house, please be careful of how you dispose of them.
Closets- Go through everyone's closets. Pull out clothes you no longer wear, and clothes your kids have outgrown. Donate them or put into a yard sale. Clothes your kids have outgrown can be taken to a children's consignment sale. You'd be surprised how much you will get for them. Consignment sales can be found by doing a google search for sales in your area.
Keep It Clean!
The following things should be done during your spring cleaning, them monthly thereafter as part of a maintenance routine.
- Change air filters in your AC unit
- Clean all of your drains by pouring 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain, then slowly pouring vinegar in afterwards. Let it fizz for a few minutes. Pour 1 gallon of boiling water in after about 5 minutes has passed.
- Take trash cans outside and spray with cleaner or pure vinegar. Wipe out thoroughly and let dry before bringing them back inside.
- Wipe down all surfaces of your computer, including the mouse and keyboard.
- Spot clean the walls. If you have young children like I do, then this one is a biggy. It seems like my walls always have tiny hand prints and smudges on them.
Do you have something you normally do as part of your spring cleaning that I don't have listed here? Please share in the comments below!