While much of the United States is still in the clutches of winter, it’s never too early to start considering your spring cleaning plan. In fact, if you’re stuck at home, watching the snow swirl outside the window and wondering how you’ll get your car out of the driveway, this is the perfect time to get organized.
It helps a great deal to start by creating a list. Think of the parts of your home that may need some extra attention after a long winter. Has your mud room or foyer been hit extra hard with muddy, snowy boots this year? Does your kitchen still bear some residue from that crazy Super Bowl party? Assess each room carefully, and list them according to priority.
When it’s closer to the day when you will actually get to work on your cleaning extravaganza, make sure you have all of the tools, cleaners and accessories close at hand. Some basic items for your cleaning kit are newspaper, paper towels, white vinegar, dish soap, Borax and your favorite cleaning solution. Place all of these items in a bucket or caddy so they can easily go with you from room to room.
Carpets and Wood Floors
After a long winter of closed windows and dirty feet, carpets and floors need some extra help. While you may feel inspired to tackle these on your own, deep spring cleaning your carpets should be handled by a professional. Carpet cleaning services are inexpensive, and the specialized equipment that they use drives the steam deep into the carpet, removing winter gunk better than your own vacuum.
Wood floors can be washed with a solution of wood soap and water, which removes the dirt and grime effectively. However, depending on your floor’s specific type of finish, there may be different methods and cleaners needed to make it look its best. Check with the manufacturer or the person who installed the flooring to be certain about cleaning methods.
How well do you wash your windows? If you don’t, you should. Tackling a window cleaning job may sound especially daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If your house occupies only a single level, you should absolutely be cleaning your own outside windows.
For outside windows, it’s best to clean on an overcast day, as the sun can create streaks of dried cleaning solution. If your windows are particularly grimy, mist them gently with the hose to loosen the dirt. Then mix two cups of white vinegar in a bucket of water, and add a squirt of dish soap. With a small towel or sponge, apply the cleaning solution to the window and rub, then tackle it with a wadded up newspaper. Rub the newspaper on the window as you would a paper towel, and watch your windows sparkle.
For the inside of your windows, start by vacuuming around the window frame and the window sill to remove any dust or cobwebs. In a spray bottle mix two cups of water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and a teaspoon of dish soap. Spray the window, wipe with a wad of newspaper, and you’re done!
Bathrooms and kitchens are usually cleaned more often during the year than other rooms in the house, but that doesn’t mean they should be exempt from a thorough spring clean.
To make your bathroom sparkle, follow these simple steps. If the bathroom has a window, open it wide while you’re cleaning to cut down on fumes. Start by filling the tub with hot water and adding three cups of vinegar. Leave that to cool while you tackle the rest. Sprinkle Borax in the toilet, the sink and on any other sealed surface. Scrub the sink and surfaces with a damp sponge, and attack the toilet with the brush. After you’ve finished that, drain the tub and wipe with a damp cloth. The vinegar will have removed the soap scum and left it sparkling.
Cleaning the kitchen thoroughly may take more work than other rooms, but this is where children can help. Enlist their help to remove cans and boxes of food from cabinets, and give them whisk brooms to sweep out the crumbs and dust. Older children can help take dishes and glasses out and clean higher cabinets. Remove all of the food from the fridge and check the dates on everything. Wash the inside of your fridge with vinegar and warm water. Before replacing jars and bottles, wipe down the bottoms with the same vinegar solution.
If you’re confident in your mopping skills, wash the kitchen floor with hot water and soap. However, for a truly deep clean, consider hiring a professional to steam clean the tile or linoleum in your kitchen. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Spring cleaning is one of the best ways to shake of the winter blues and to make your home feel refreshed and renewed. Remember to get organized first, have all your supplies ready, and then get to it. Your house will shine and you get to feel proud of a job well done.