Let’s face it: spring cleaning is not a popular subject. No homeowner counts the days until they can shake the carpets and wipe down the walls.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
Several areas around the house go relatively untouched during the colder months. That’s why it is time to give them a bit of TLC now. This post will help you welcome the warm weather by reviewing eight spring cleaning tips that will (hopefully) put the long winter behind us.
Tackle the closet. One staple task involved in annual spring cleaning is tidying up the bedroom closet. Throughout the year, we accumulate more things, add seasons and wear our clothes out. Get a trash bag (or two or three) and head into the closet to sort through items like clothing and shoes. There are at least a few things everyone could stand to kick to the curb—a pair of jeans that are too tight, a t-shirt with a small hole in the arm and much more. These are the things we can’t really use anymore, so why not donate them to someone who could?
Change the drawers. Some people, especially when they have large collections of clothing, organize dresser drawers according to season. Doing this involves leaving out the items that are likely to be worn and putting those that will not in plastic storage boxes or in the closet. Just remember to keep a few long-sleeved items on hand for the occasional cooler days and evenings. This is Pittsburgh, after all, and spring is chaotic.
Dust the corners. Though it’s wise to regularly dust the house year-round, some areas are harder to get to and could therefore be saved for spring cleaning. If long-lasting light bulbs are used throughout the home, consider cleaning them up. A few ways to do this are to unscrew each individually and wipe the bulbs themselves (not the metal base!) with a slightly dampened microfiber cloth or to reach higher-positioned bulbs with a telescoping dusting tool. Dust bunnies seem to be naturally attracted to heating and air vents, so wiping these with a damp cloth is highly advisable (to make it a bit easier, try running the vacuum hose over each vent first). And don’t forget about dusting and wiping windowsills and doorframes!
Wash the windows (and blinds). Our blinds and curtains collect a great deal of gunk throughout the year. The problem is that we don’t usually fuss with them because they’re needed to adjust the natural light coming into the home and sometimes also function to keep heat in. So, put their annual bath on the spring cleaning to-do list. For a quick clean-up, grab the vacuum and use its hose to eliminate dust from the curtains. Alternatively, take them to the dry cleaner for a more thorough job. Blinds are cleaned differently, and the method depends on the type of blinds you have. Wooden blinds can be wiped down with a small amount of wood cleaner, while aluminum blinds should be taken outside for a hose down. Clean these metal blinds by using water and a mild cleaning agent before squirting them with the hose. Be sure to wipe each dry with a towel to avoid rust.
Wet the walls. Usually we don’t think much about cleaning the walls in the home. Instead we just repaint when there’s an over abundance of scuffs and dirt. However, it is possible to clean walls in a house—how else do parents of crayon-wielding toddlers survive? For light maintenance, a sponge with some water will do the trick. The mess that the aforementioned toddlers made could require a stronger touch, mixing water with a small amount of dish soap to rub off marks. Don’t forget to wipe the walls with regular water after applying soap.
Move the couches. Who wants to constantly move couches and tables? Not many people, so when spring arrives it brings with it a chance to clean up near furniture. A quick peek under the couch will likely reveal a significant amount of dust and dirt, so moving it at least once a year is a good idea. Carefully move large furniture out of usual spots to scrub out stains, pick up dust with the vacuum and restore each space to its former glory. A thorough clean under, around and behind couches and tables is a good bet for spring!
Wipe the windows. This means cleaning them inside and out! For the indoor work, a spray cleaner should do the trick. Outside, you might need a ladder for upper story windows and a water/detergent mixture along with a squeegee. Use side-to-side, corner-to-corner strokes for the outdoor task.
Steam the carpets. Vacuuming is all well and good and should be done on a regular basis. However, vacuums cannot catch everything. Stains from spilled drinks, pet mishaps and more need greater attention. So, springtime is the right time to get the deep cleaning vacuum out. If you have one, you know that it works similar to the vacuum, only it lays down soap and scrubs it into carpeting in the process. Professional services are another option for those who do not own deep cleansing vacuum units.
Did you know that mayonnaise—yes, that creamy condiment used for sandwiches—may be used to remove watermarks from wood? Just rub a few tablespoons of it on the affected area with a paper towel and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping clean!
Follow these steps to get your home in shape for spring. Spring cleaning is possibly one of the chores homeowners least look forward to, but just think of how gorgeous your house will be when it’s all done! Happy spring cleaning!