Spring brings out the best in the weather and the best in people’s energy, it seems. It leads to things like outdoor adventures and the best of all (and everyone’s favorite)…SPRING CLEANING. With everything there is to get done in the spring, it can be easy to miss things and end up feeling like nothing really got done in the first place. So, how can you master spring cleaning to get it done quickly (let’s be honest, there are a lot of other things you’d rather be doing) and efficiently? First step, turn on your favorite tunes and have fun with it. Turn it into a dance party, so you don’t totally hate the week it’ll take you.
- Start inside. Look around inside the house. There are probably a lot of things that could be “deep cleaned.” Start here. It will feel really good when you get everything inside done, and that really is the biggest chunk of work. Get that out of the way first.
- Dust. Dust everything. Start in one room, and work your way around the house. Dusting first saves you the time of having to go back over things later when you get dust everywhere.
- Wipe down walls, baseboards, and cabinets. You can use a white vinegar and water mixture, water, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or your other favorite safe-for-walls-and-floors cleaner. Use a rag, and just wipe everything down top to bottom. Since you already dusted, you’ll really only have to focus on any stains or buildup.
- Clean inside the oven. A lot of build-up can happen when an oven goes uncleaned for a while. If you have a self-cleaning one, it’s simple. Just run that according to its directions and be on your way. If you do not, you’ll have to buy an oven cleaner at the store and work away at it. For set-in grease stains, leave baking soda to set overnight and try again in the morning. It will break up the grease and leave it easier to work with.
- Clean your countertops next. Again, start at the top, and move your way downward to avoid doing double the work. De-clutter, throw things away you’re not going to use, and wipe down everything with your favorite cleaner.
- Clean the windows. We recommend a mixture of 75% water and 25% white vinegar, as it is safe and really doesn’t streak, but use whatever you like, and make sure all the dust and fingerprints are off. Even get in the corners where dust built up over a winter of not using them!
- Vacuum and carpet clean. If you don’t have a carpet cleaner, you can rent a Rug Doctor at your local drug store inexpensively. These are great for
brightening up and cleaning carpets, removing set-in stains, and leaving your carpet looking good as new.
- Mop the floors. We recommend mopping next. Don’t trap yourself in the room. Start from the inside and mop outward!
- Organize, de-clutter, and throw things away. This is probably the most time-consuming. Now that everything is clean, it’s time to go through everything and determine what you need, what you use on a regular basis, and what you could really live without. This includes the kids’ toys and belongings, their clothes, your clothes, knick knacks in the basement, and everything you threw in the garage for “safe keeping.” Go through drawers. Throw out what you don’t want, hold a garage sale, sell things online, or donate them to a local Salvation Army, veteran’s charity, children’s charity, or battered woman’s shelter. There are even places where you can donate old books. Just look around; there are always people in need.
- Once you’ve done the whole inside of the house, treat yourself to a drink, and move to the outside. Tend your garden, power wash the deck and siding, if applicable, and hose off the driveway. A lot of dirt and grime can set in over the winter months after being frozen in place for so long. And if you never raked your leaves up from last fall, now’s the time to do it!
After you’re all finished, treat yourself and your family to Buffalo Wild Wings for a nice relaxing night out! Don’t worry spring will be here soon (we hope) enjoy every minute of it!