Sure, spring cleaning is a chore. But are you making it a bigger deal than you need to? As spring arrives, people are opening their windows, shaking out the cobwebs, and attending to details in their homes. Join them!
1. Work from the top down
If you have an upstairs, work there first. The dust, dirt, and grime you’re removing has to go somewhere. It goes down. The last step of your spring cleaning will be the floors where the dust has landed. Because you’ll vacuum the dirt and dust later, you can dust vigorously and not worry about where it’s landing. Whether you’re using a feather duster, a vacuum attachment, or a rag, be sure to dust thoroughly inside light fixtures, the tops of picture frames, and above windowsills.
2. Target one area at a time
There are times when there’s so to do, you don’t know where to begin. If you find yourself in this position, try cleaning and organizing an area that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Closets are a good example. It gives you a chance to go through items you haven’t used for years. Start a box or bag for items you no longer use and donate them to the local thrift shop or charity. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be in the proper mindset to keep going.
3. Wash your walls
The dust, dander, oil, and other contaminants on your walls will probably surprise you. It’s not to say your walls need to be disinfected. But an annual cleaning with a warm rag, water, and mild detergent (most dishwashing liquid works well at cutting grease and other dirt) goes a long way to make your home look and feel clean. If you’ve never washed your painted walls before, gently scrub a small corner no one can see. You’re doing this to make sure your cleaning doesn’t peel the paint or discolor it in any way. Further, if you decide to paint the inside of your home, look for a paint that is designed to be washed.
4. Clean your shelves
Take everything out of your bookshelves or other living area storage space and do a thorough job of cleaning. If you have books, dust them too. Once you’re ready to put things back, try to put half of the items back on the shelf, like you when you cleaned your closets. It’s a good chance to go through the things you never use. You can donate them, put them into storage, or throw them away. The simple act of decreasing the items on display will make it feel more open and clean.
5. Vacuum your floors
After cleaning, it’s time to vacuum. Even if you don’t have carpet in your home, you still don’t want to clean the floors until everything else is clean. It’s better to use a vacuum rather than a broom because the broom redistributes the dirt you cleaned. When vacuuming, do multiple passes over the carpet. Once you’ve vacuumed one direction, start over on the other side of the room, vacuuming in a different direction. This will give life to the fibers of the carpet, ensuring you’ve cleaned as much dirt, dander, and pet hair as possible.6.
6. Try a carpet cleaner
Sometimes a vacuum alone won’t do the job. Whether you rent a carpet cleaner from a hardware store or call a company to clean it for you, the level of clean that can be reached with these machines is unmatched. Keep in mind that after a carpet cleaner is used, it’s best to stay out of the house for a day and make sure that the newly cleaned and damp carpet has a chance to dry thoroughly before anyone walks on it.
7. Mop on your hands and knees
We’ve all mopped the floor. But how many of us have actually gone down on our hands and knees and scrubbed the floor Cinderella style? Not many. While a standard mopping job is great for everyday cleaning, it doesn’t really attack the grease and dirt that accumulates over time, especially in the kitchen. The best way to scrub a floor is to grab a good sturdy scrub brush, a bucket of hot water, and some good cleanser and scrub away. Look for a floor cleaner designed to cut kitchen grease. Don’t worry about the extra water on the floor because once scrubbing is finished, you’ll use fresh hot water with no soap to mop up all the scrub water.
8. Enjoy your hard work
The greatest part of spring cleaning is sitting back and enjoying both the sense of accomplishment and the pristine environment that feels welcoming, healthy, and fresh. You can go a step further. To compliment the new environment, try some new colors. Throw pillows, small rugs, and tapestries and textiles draped over your existing furniture will add a spark to the room. Someone who’s never set foot in your home will be able to sense that they’re in a home that’s well cared for.
Read this blog about spring cleaning and tips for people with disabilities.