Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and birds are singing, which means it is time for spring - or spring cleaning. This time of year is perfect for getting rid of all the clutter that accumulated during the colder months. It’s also a good time to do a deep clean before the fun (and sometimes messy) adventures that come with warmer weather.
Here are six projects that should be on your spring cleaning checklist:
1. Get rid of clutter
Now is the time to toss items that have been gathering dust in your home. Split up this project room by room, and divide items that you want to keep, donate or throw out. Some people trash items they haven’t used in a year. Others use the KonMari method, founded by Marie Kondo, which involves getting rid of items you no longer feel emotionally attached to.
As for the items you want to keep, make sure to store them properly. One option is grouping items together based on their size or use. For example, you could store silverware near plates and bowls, or television remotes close to the entertainment system.
There are several organizations that accept donated items, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and local libraries. Make sure to research proper disposal before dumping items. Some items, such as batteries, paint and most electronics cannot be thrown away like regular household garbage. Junk removal services are great for getting rid of larger items such as old appliances, bicycles and mattresses.
2. Shake off the dust
Take a weekend to wipe off all the dust that has gathered in hard to reach places. Start with a top to bottom approach and tackle the cobwebs that have gathered on the walls and ceilings. Next, dust off light fixtures and ceiling fans. If your ceiling fan is set to turn clockwise for the winter, reverse the setting so it is blowing cool air in the summer.
Wipe off blinds and lampshades, and stick curtains in the washing machine if possible. Use this time to also wipe off air vents and replace air filters. Not only do air filters help with pet dander, but they also help allergy sufferers when spring pollen arrives. Finish by dusting off items in shelves. Once the dusting is complete, run over the floor with a vacuum to collect any debris.
3. Wash grime off windows
It’s important to clean windows regularly to protect the glass, especially if you live in an area that is close to sand, salt water or hard water. Use a damp cloth and window cleaner on the interior, and use a hose with gentle pressure for exterior windows. Take the time to wipe around the window ledge and frame, which can also collect dust over time.
4. Deep clean the kitchen
Tackle all the food buildup in kitchen appliances with a deep cleaning. Start by emptying the refrigerator and freezer and tossing expired food items. Next, wipe down all surface areas with a gentle, anti-bacterial cleanser. Finish by cleaning the refrigerator coils with a coil brush and replacing water filters if necessary.
Once the refrigerator is clean, move on to wiping down the oven. There are a variety of ways to get off caked on food, including combining baking soda and vinegar or using a store-bought cleanser. It’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions first to make sure you don’t damage the oven.
After the oven, tackle smaller appliances such as the stovetop and microwave. One easy way to remove microwave grease is by placing a small amount of vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl and turning the appliance on for a few minutes. The vinegar will steam inside and make it easy to wipe away grime once the time is up.
5. Give floors some TLC
Go beyond your typical floor cleaning routine and remove dirt buildup in hard to reach places. Start by moving stationary furniture and removing rugs or mats. Next vacuum underneath, and make sure to spend extra time around the baseboards and corners in the house. Finish by using a carpet cleaner to restore the carpet to its original color.
As for hardwood or tile floors, sweep up and debris then run the vacuum on a compatible setting. Finish with a floor cleaner that matches the floor type to leave the area shining like new.
6. Remove debris outdoors
Grab a ladder and clean out leaves and other items that have gathered in the gutter over the winter. Use this time to inspect the roof and chimneys for any damage. Next, clean off the patio by removing outdoor furniture and using a pressure washer. If the deck is looking dull, then consider resealing it. Finish by cleaning outdoor furniture and any furniture cushions as recommended on the label.
Not only will these projects clean the house, but they will also leave you with a fresh start to the year. Break these projects up over a few days, and you will find your home is spring ready in no time.