The weather is starting to turn warmer, and you might be feeling motivated to freshen up your house; however, you might find yourself overwhelmed and wondering where to start. Here are some tips for breaking it down and making it a more satisfying experience.
First take note of what you need to do and then knock out some of the big tasks you are dreading first, dare I say windows? Then jump into it. If you have multiple levels in your home you might want to do each floor on a separate day, that way you are only spending a couple of hours each day on the windows. Your best tools for tackling this project are window cleaner and a microfiber cloth, if you want to go old school use white vinegar and newspapers which give your windows a great shine.
Don’t forget to clean your windowsills and blinds or shades, use your vacuum extension and/or a duster. If you have drapes, read the instructions for cleaning. Now all you have to do is enjoy your views!
Next pick the rooms that need the most attention, typically your kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Your kitchen may take the most time due to all the appliances, but your hard work will not go unnoticed. Start with your stove/oven; if your oven has a self-cleaning mode open your windows and let your oven do all the work. It usually takes several hours and can get a little smoky, but once it is done, all you should have to do is take a damp cloth (or several) and wipe away the debris. Use some streak free window or all-purpose cleaner on your stove top to make it shine. If you have stainless steel appliances you can use window cleaner on the outside (wiping with the grain) to shine it up or invest in some stainless-steel cleaner. Tip: Some hacks say to use olive oil or other types of oils to shine up your appliances, do not use oil on your stainless-steel appliances! It may look nice initially, but it eventually gets sticky and is hard to clean off. While your oven is cleaning you can wipe down the shelves in your fridge with warm soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner, don’t forget to wipe/wash out the drawers and shelves (this includes the freezer).
To clean out your microwave, put a bowl of water with lemon slices on for a minute or two and let the steam loosen up any grime and then wipe with a damp cloth. With the big items done, try giving your sink a quick shine by scrubbing with a sponge and baking soda and then wipe down your counters with warm soapy water. A quick vacuum in all the hard-to-reach places and a thorough mopping and your kitchen will look amazing.
The last and most important thing to do is make sure you sanitize your kitchen sponge or dish clothes; these are the most dirty items in your whole house. You can run the sponge through the dishwasher or zap with the microwave for a minute.
Your bathrooms can be done quickly and efficiently if you focus on each item and employ a little elbow grease. Use a good abrasive cleaner for the inside of your toilet bowl to get rid of the rings and hard water deposits (if you have those) and a milder cleaner for the rest of the toilet. You may want to spend some time on and around the base of the toilet; there may be a lot of dust and fuzz built up from the vents blowing heat all winter. For your tub and shower try using a mild cleaner like baking soda and a little water, after you have scrubbed everything down rinse off with warm water and you will have a great shine. Do the same thing with the sinks and finish off the counters with an appropriate cleaner. If you have granite or natural stone always use a cleaner specific to this. Otherwise use window cleaner to polish the counter and mirrors. Finish off with a good scrub on the floor.
Organizing is the biggest trend you will find right now, try it out in your bedroom, while you clean along the way. Remove everything from under your bed and use the long handle on your vacuum to get all the dust bunnies and then go through the items stored there to see if they are worth keeping. As you go through your dresser and nightstands give everything a good dusting and then empty each drawer organizing and tossing/donating items that you do not use. The biggest organizing project will be your closet, spend some time going through all of your clothes and consider donating anything you haven’t worn in a year. Then pull out all the smaller items like shoes, accessories, and miscellaneous items. Try utilizing some organizing tools; you will find bins, special hangers, clear drawers, etc. for any item at big box stores, on-line or at specialty organizing stores. We will cover all of this in another blog, but needless to say if you pull all the smaller items out of your closet you will know what type of organizing items will be right for you. With everything off the closet floor and shelves you can vacuum and dust. Put everything back in a place that makes sense to you and enjoy your efforts.
Spring cleaning does not have to be overwhelming, do a little at a time and focus on the areas that get the most use or are important to you. Enjoy your clean and organized house!
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