Spring is the ideal time to get your house into shape. Not only will you love the way it feels in your home after a deep clean but is beneficial to your health! When you get rid of dust, dirt, bacteria and allergens that have collected over the months, you will notice a difference in the way you feel. Spring cleaning is also good for the mind. It is the perfect opportunity to re-arrange and re-organize to help your space work better for you.
Purge Unwanted Items
Before you get started on the cleaning portion of your spring project, get rid of any unwanted items. These unwanted items could include the shirts that have been in your closet for 10 years that you’ve never worn, the decorations you received as a Christmas present you’ll never use or food that has sat in your pantry well past their expiration date. Also, be sure to go through your medicine cabinet to throw away expired medications that take up space.
For home goods and clothing, consider having a yard sale, donating them to Goodwill or selling them online to make some extra cash. If you give the items to Goodwill or a place like the Salvation Army, you can use them as a tax write-off.
Are you having some trouble parting with some items? Consider a few things. First—when was the last time you used or wore the piece? Second, does the item carry sentimental value or do you feel like “you might use it later?” And how often have you told yourself, “I might use this someday.” If you do not have any ties to it and you’re unsure, odds are you won’t use it. Let it go to a home that it will be much appreciated.
For the items you need to keep but perhaps do not need this season, get totes and space saving bags. Store these items in a basement, storage locker or closet out of the way until the next season you will need them again.
Once you’ve purged unwanted items, you will feel much better. But there is more work to be done! The deep clean is the next step. A few things to have ready and/or stock up on before the clean include:
- All-purpose cleaner
- Cleaning gloves
- Dish detergent
- Light and scrubbing sponges
- Glass cleaner
- Grout brush and cleaner
- Microfiber cloths
- Mild cleaning detergent
- Mop or Swiffer
- Paper towels
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Toilet brush
- Trash bags
- Wood cleaner
To get started, dust each room. You can purchase dusters that collect dust without having it spread everywhere. Microfiber cloths are also great for collecting dust and dirt. Be sure to get all around trim, surfaces, blinds, fan blades, picture frames, televisions and anywhere else dust has been collecting since your last deep clean. Next, wipe down these surfaces with a cleaner that will not ruin the surface. For instance, if you have glass tops on your furniture, use streak-free glass cleaner. If you have food furniture, use a moisturizing wood cleaning solution for them.
Trim board is also something that is often forgotten. Make sure you wipe down your trim and framing around windows. While cleaning around the windows, use your streak-free glass cleaner to shine them up. As you wipe down items, spraying your rag with the cleaning solution as opposed to directly onto the furniture themselves will help keep other items nearby safe that could be ruined by the solution (i.e., speakers).
While you are working on the clean, toss your bedding, towels and other items in the wash. That way, when you are finished, you can quickly put them back on the beds. Be sure to review the care instructions, so you do not damage your blankets.
For bathrooms and kitchens, make sure you pay extra attention to remove bacteria harboring. Take time to wipe down cabinets, both inside and out. Next, tackle the counters. If you have granite or stone counters, do not use harsh chemicals with bleach and heavy duty sponges that scratch as this can ruin them. A mild detergent with warm water will do just fine.
Using a damp rag, be sure to wipe down behind appliances, cabinets, toilets, etc. to remove dust and dirt that has settled in. The key to a deep clean is to get all of the places you would not have generally cleaned throughout the year. Put on some good music or a binge-worthy podcast to help you stay in the flow.
For your bathrooms, be sure you wash or replace shower curtains as they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Wipe around fixtures and inspect for leaks.
Be Safe While Cleaning
As you clean, some of the cleaning supplies you use can be harsh to breathe in. Usually, these cleaners have bleach in them. When possible, opt to use gentle soaps without hard smells or chemicals for your deep clean. Using gently cleaners will help keep you and those in the home breathing more easily. If you have to use bleach or other harsh cleaners, use them sparingly. Make sure when cleaning the space is well ventilated, so you are not steadily breathing in the fumes.
In addition, wearing gloves will keep your hands safe from any cleaning supplies. Today, there are a variety of sizes you can choose from that fit so well and do not become a nuisance while cleaning. When cleaning with bleach or chemicals, wearing clear eyeglass goggles can help protect your eyes from exposure. Using a respirator can also help you avoid breathing in the fumes.
And under no circumstances—do not mix cleaners. Many combinations can be dangerous to your health.
Once you’ve cleaned your house, take some time to re-organize. To getting started, take an inventory of your home. What areas tend to clutter quickly? Are there any problem areas? Do you feel like there are areas you wish looked better or functioned more efficiently? Use this as your guide to get started.
When organizing, make sure the items you use most are in the most accessible places to reach. For example, in your pantry, keep the cooking essentials you use most in areas comfortable to reach. Save the occasional items in the back.
To avoid cluttering paper, use paper and mail holders to separate. You can create a section for bills, what to save for later use or to shred. Keep up on it throughout the year, so your containers do not overflow.
If you still feel like certain areas are cluttered, find other compartments or boxes you can use to de-clutter. They are a great way to decorate a space and hold essential items at the same time.
For dishes, brooms and other essentials, consider using storage on the walls. For instance, in pantry doors, use vertical shelves or racks to hold spices, pot lids, brooms, mops and more. In cabinets, use a Lazy Susan or pull out storage drawer to re-organize for easy access.
When spring cleaning, don’t forget about your yard! Spring is the ideal time to tackle some essential tasks to ensure the health of your lawn and landscaping.
- Prune: When you prune your plants and trees, you will be removing any of the dying, dead or overgrown branches and stems. You will cut at an angle and just a small amount to encourage new growth. Browse through your plants and trees for damage and cut as needed.
- Use pre-emergent spray: Keep the weeds away with a pre-emergent spray. Also known as “weed killer,” spraying a pre-emergent will help you avoid extra work later on in the season of pulling pesky weeds.
- Mulch: A fundamental way to ensure the health of your plants and trees is to mulch in the spring. Mulch is an extra layer of protection and nutrients. When looking for types of mulch, always go with organic and natural.
- Seed and fertilize: Create a healthier environment for your grasses by seeding your lawn. Putting fertilizer down will also ensure your landscaping has the nutrients it needs to be vibrant and beautiful.
- Prep sprinklers: If you have sprinklers, there will be some maintenance before you get them going. Contact an expert to drop by and handle to save you from any damage before turning them on.
- Siding: While outside, don’t forget the side of your house! Many homeowners use a pressure washer that has an attachment, along with detergent, to clean the side of the house. You will notice a huge difference when done. Make sure the area is clean before you begin. Don’t have a power washer or prefer not to use one? You can wash by hand using a ladder, durable sponge and mixture of bleach or vinegar and water.
- Patios: Do not forget your outdoor furniture on your patios or porches during your deep clean. Review the care instructions and wash/wipe down accordingly.
Once you are done spring cleaning, you will feel refreshed and ready for the new season!