Although the weather keeps confusing us on what season we are in, it is in fact that time of year–time for spring cleaning! This extensive task can seem daunting, so we have compiled a list of tips to keep you on track and hopefully prevent you from getting overwhelmed. Keep in mind that you don’t need to do it all in one day or even one weekend. Focus on crossing off a couple of tasks per day.
Some tips to get you started:
- Make a list. It’s easy to get distracted when trying to get spring cleaning done. For example, you may find that when you start cleaning out your closet you notice that your ceiling fan is super dirty. So you stop to clean the fan, then decide that you might as well clean the other 3 fans in the house. While you are cleaning the fan in the living room you notice fingerprints on your door wall, so you start cleaning windows. Your bedroom now has clothes strewn all over, 2 of the 3 ceiling fans are cleaned, and only half of the windows. You decide it’s time for lunch and then lose your motivation. Instead of moving on to new tasks, add to your list and stick with the current task at hand until it is completed.
- Disinfect your sponges. Pro tip: to remove 99% of bacteria from your sponge, fill with water, place on a microwaveable plate, and nuke for 2 minutes. It’s as simple as that!
- Stock up on non-toxic cleaning agents. Items such as baking soda and vinegar are non-toxic and serve many purposes, from cleaning ovens to dishwashers to refrigerators. Be sure to have plenty of paper towels and microfiber cloths as well.
- Wash windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaks.
Once you have your list and supplies ready, it’s time to get going! The following are a few areas of your home that most likely could use a good cleaning:
- Make your doormats welcoming. Doormats are your front line for tracked-in dirt, so you want them to be effective. Take them outside, shake them, beat them with a broom, and get as much dirt out as possible.
- Clean your carpets and upholstery. Give your carpets and upholstery a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear. Rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional service to do it for you. Deep-cleaning your carpets not only make them look fresh and clean, but also removes those germs that have been floating around all winter!
- Wash your walls, cabinets, baseboards, and woodwork. Just enough dust clings to vertical surfaces that they could use an annual scrub. Use a sponge and hand soap, and wash in sections. A sponge mop makes reaching high areas easy. After washing a section, dry with a clean cloth.
- Clean ceiling fans. When the weather warms up, you don’t want to turn on the fans only to blow around the inches of dust they are holding! Use a sponge and warm, soapy water or a vacuum with a brush attachment.
- Clean light fixtures. Use an all-purpose cleaner, sponge and polish cloth to give new light to your fixtures.
- Clean out your refrigerator and freezers. Pull out all of the food and condiments, and toss anything that is expired. Pull out the drawers and wash with warm water and dish soap. Wipe down the inside surfaces with 2 Tbsp of baking soda mixed with 1 qt. of hot water. You want to avoid any soaps or detergents whose odors could seep into your food.
- Clean your oven. Make a paste with vinegar and baking soda and apply to spills as well as the racks. Let it sit for an hour up to overnight. Wipe out, using a little elbow grease. If you opt for using store-bought oven cleaner, be sure to wipe out very well to avoid the chemicals getting into your food when you bake.
- Refresh your garbage disposal. Ice and citrus is all you need! Turn disposal on, drop in a few ice cubes to help clean it, and follow with a handful of lemon or orange peels to remove odors.
- Clean your bathrooms. Wash your rugs and bath mats in the washing machine. Rub strong cleaning agents onto your shower and tub surfaces, sinks, and floors, and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Use the same tactic with toilets. Rinse everything from the top down, finishing by mopping your way out the door.
- Wash mirrors and windows.
- Wash linens and air out bedrooms. Machine wash linens–sheets, comforters, mattress pads, pillowcases, dust ruffles, etc. If you are switching to lighter bedding, be sure to wash the heaver ones before storing to prevent moths and other insects that are attracted to body oils and perfumes from finding a home in them. Open up the bedroom windows and give them a good airing. This helps to reduce the allergens and germs in mattresses. Leave the windows open for at least a half hour, a few hours if possible. Flip your mattresses.
- Wash your light bulbs. This is an often overlooked task, but they really do tend to hold a lot of dust. Use a damp sponge to gently wipe around light bulbs, making sure they are turned off and cool so they don’t break!
Hopefully those tips will get you off to a good start. If you are looking to tackle everything in one day, check out this list from Oprah.com!