Spring Cleaning Tips 2012
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Spring Cleaning Tips

April 23rd, 2012   •   No Comments   

There’s something about spring that propels even the most slovenly of housekeepers into a cleaning frenzy. Perhaps it’s the crisp air or the perfectly blue skies that makes us want to replicate the freshness of the outdoors in our own homes. If you feel the urge to start sprucing things up, but don’t know where to start, here are a few tips sure to have your house sparkling in no time:

  • Start with the clutter.

Spring cleaning is a process that requires planning and organization. We’re not talking about the kind of speed cleaning you do before your in-laws stop by; we’re talking deep cleaning. It’s not going to happen overnight, but with the right approach – slow and steady, that is—it will happen.

The first step is to rid yourself of the unnecessary clutter in your home. And I don’t just mean on the floor. This job calls for an inside-out approach. That’s right—take whatever is inside (your drawers, your cabinets, your kids’ toy boxes, and any other container in sight), and dump it out. This probably won’t feel like cleaning at first, and you’re likely to have what appears to be a bigger mess on your hands than what you started with. But, stay with me here—remember, this is a process.

Start with one container at a time, empty everything out, and start sorting. Separate the items into three piles—what you want to toss, what you want to keep, and what you want to donate (or sell at a garage sale).Then, bag up everything you plan to toss, and get it out of the house. Find a storage place for items you plan to sale, and deliver any charity items. Replace the items you are keeping in a neat and organized fashion. Repeat this process for each cabinet, drawer, or container in your house. Once you have the clutter out of the house, you can start the real cleaning process.

  • Focus your efforts on one room at a time.

As you prepare to give your home the kind of serious deep cleaning it’s been begging for all winter, it’s helpful to compartmentalize the process. Try to tackle it all at once, and you will likely find yourself too overwhelmed to even pick up a broom. What you need is a plan of action. Count the rooms in your home, and devote a day to each of those rooms. At the end of the day, reward yourself with a hot cup of tea or glass of wine, and celebrate your victory over dust and grime.

  • Deep clean.

The concept of deep cleaning can mean different things for different rooms in your home. Let’s take a look at the top three: the kitchen, the bathroom, and the living room.

  • The Kitchen- Aside from the bathroom, the kitchen is the best breeding ground for disgusting germs and harmful bacteria. Here are the most important deep cleaning tips for your kitchen:
    • Clear any dirty dishes in the sink and clean off the countertops to give yourself some room to work.
    • Remove the burners from your oven and use a scouring pad such as a SOS pad and some hot water to scrub the spill catchers and burner covers as well as the stove top itself.
    • Clean the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth and mild cleaning solution.   You can loosen up the grime beforehand by heating a cup of water inside the microwave for about three minutes. Add baking soda or lemon juice to the water to eliminate smells.
    • Clean out the refrigerator by tossing any old leftovers, taking everything else out of the refrigerator, and cleaning the inside with a degreaser or scouring pad.
    • Clean the walls and baseboards of the kitchen with a degreaser such as Grease Lightening. You’ll be surprised at how much of your cooking grease ends up on the walls of the kitchen.
    • Dust off the top of the refrigerator and any other surfaces that appear to be dusty such as ceiling fans, shelves, or wall art.
    • Sweep up the crumbs and any accumulated dust on the floor. Find someone to help you move the refrigerator and any other heavy pieces of furniture and sweep under them as well. You’ll be surprised at what you might find!
    • Mop the floor several times with hot water and a floor cleaner, changing the water as necessary.
  • The Living Room- You’re likely to need a break in between cleaning the two dirtiest rooms of the house—the kitchen and bathroom—so take a breather, and let’s work on the living room.
    • Dust the corners of the walls as well as any dusty surfaces such as the top of the entertainment center, coffee table, ceiling fans, and end tables.
    • Polish the wood furniture.
    • Use a glass cleaner to clean any glass in the living room such as mirrors, or glass-top coffee tables.
    • Remove any rugs, shake them out, and wash them.
    • Remove the draperies and wash them, or have them cleaned according to the instructions on the label.
    • Use the vacuum cleaner attachment to clean between the folds of the couch and chairs.
    • Sweep or vacuum depending on your floor surface.
    • Use a hardwood floor cleaner or steam cleaner if you have carpet.
  • The Bathroom- There’s a reason we saved this room for last. The most dreaded of all spring cleaning chores, deep cleaning the bathroom is not a job for the faint of heart. Put on some gloves and maybe even a face mask, and let’s get going:
    • Take everything that can be removed out of the bathroom—the wastebasket, the toothbrushes, the shampoo—everything.
    • If you haven’t already de-cluttered this room, throw out any empty bottles, dull razors, etc.
    • Use a bathroom cleaner, preferably the foaming kind, to spray down the sink and bathtub—yep, we’re saving the toilet for last. Run the hot water in the bathtub and scrub it down with a washcloth. If you have tile, use a toothbrush to clean the grime in the crevices.
    • Use a wet washcloth to clean the sink. The toothbrush may come in handy to clean around the drain and faucet handles.
    • Spray the foaming cleanser into the toilet, and use a toilet scrubber to clean out the ring around the bowl of the toilet. Spray down the entire toilet, and wipe off the germy mess with a rag or paper towel.
    • Clean any glass surfaces such as the bathroom mirror with a glass cleaner.
    • Spray some all-purpose cleaner on the walls and wipe them down as well.
    • Sweep and mop the floor as many times as necessary to make it glisten.

If just reading this article has left you tired and unmotivated, take a deep breath and visualize your house in all its sparkling glory. Enjoy the thought for a moment, and then get up and make it happen!
Spring cleaning is of special interest to Camilo Kawas, who is the owner of a commercial cleaning company.

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