Starting the spring season out with a clean home is inspiring and refreshing, but spring cleaning chores themselves can sometimes seem overwhelming. A comprehensive list can make this seem much less daunting, particularly if you break it down into groups of tasks that can be completed in the course of several hours.
The following guidelines can help you stay on track during your quest for a clean home. Keep in mind that no one can do a proper job of spring cleaning in one day or even in one weekend. Give yourself time to do each job thoroughly, and if possible, enlist the help of family members so you won't be in it alone. It'll go more quickly that way and might even result in bonding and family fun.
1. Start From the Top Down
Beginning with the top floor of your home, dust and wash light fixtures, lampshades, windows, window screens, walls, switch plates, and baseboards. Remove wall art during this process to ensure that all surfaces are cleaned. Empty shelves of all objects and clean and dust thoroughly.
2. Concentrate on Closets
After giving household surfaces a good going-over from top to bottom, it's time to start on the closets. Be prepared to donate heavily and ruthlessly, particularly those items that you haven't worn or used for at least one year. Have boxes ready rather than making donation piles that you plan on sorting through later -- this will save you time and eliminate second guessing that may occur with further reflection.
3. Clean Out Cupboards and Pantries
Remove all items from cupboards and pantries and clean them out thoroughly. Be sure to check all food items for signs of damage or pests and discard accordingly. Apply fresh shelf paper and organize items as you place them back inside. Always keep a sharp eye out for signs of rodent or insect pests while cleaning these areas.
4. Move Large Appliances
Move large appliances such as washing machines, dryers refrigerators, ranges, and freezers and clean the area underneath them thoroughly as well as the walls behind them. Take this opportunity to inspect the appliances and their cords for signs of disrepair.
5. Deep Clean Appliance Interiors
Remove all food items from refrigerators and freezers and clean the interiors of these appliances using warm water and an antibacterial cleaning product. Check all food items for damage and signs or spoilage and discard accordingly, and be certain to check the expiration date of each item. It's important to clean the coils of the refrigerator and freezer during this time as well.
6. Have Carpets Deep Cleaned
If you've got indoor carpeting, it's probably accumulated a significant amount of dust, grime, pet dander, and other debris over the course of the winter. Having it professionally cleaned is a better option that doing it yourself, particularly if there are large surface areas involved. Professional carpeting cleaning companies have the equipment and the expertise to clean your carpets thoroughly right down the individual fibers rather than simply masking odors with harsh chemical fragrances.
Upholstered furniture should also be professionally cleaned at this time, and washable pillows, slipcovers, and throw rugs should be washed as well.
7. In the Bathroom
Clean shower heads and shower curtains and replace these items if necessary. Consider installing energy-saving low-flow shower heads if you do not already have them in place. Linen closets and medicine cabinets should also be completely cleaned out and reorganized at this time, and you should take care to discard any prescription or over-the-counter products that have passed their expiration date. The plumbing should be thoroughly checked for signs of leaks, and this is also a perfect time for resealing grout. Treat any damp spots that you find with a bleach solution in order to discourage the formation of mold and mildew colonies.
8. Don't Forget Your Home Exterior
Spring is the perfect time to spruce up your home exterior as well. Starting with cleaning your gutters, roof and working your way down to ground level, remove vegetative debris that may have accumulated during the winter months. Clean decking, walkways, and exterior walls and windows, and even plant the first spring annuals such as pansies and primroses to give your home some fresh spring color.
Remember, take spring cleaning one task at a time and one day at a time, and before you know it, your home will be sparkling inside and out.
Image Credit: OlgerFallas