Spring CleaningWhen spring arrives, most people can’t resist the desire to give their property a thorough cleaning and airing out. Before you get overwhelmed at the thought, plan to take this project one room at a time and make it personal for your place. If you would like a  room by room detailed list, check here.

Start at the top and work down

To make this most effective, it is necessary to pick up clutter and move furniture away from the walls. Clean the blades on ceiling fans with a vacuum first and then wipe them down with a non-toxic cleaner. Be sure to clean the globes and lamp shades of lighting fixtures. Remove the globes and wash in soapy water, rinse and air dry. Surprisingly, the light in your room will become brighter. While you’re up high, use the soft brush on your vac to go over the ceiling. You will be amazed at how much lint sticks to your ceiling, especially if you use the ceiling fans often. From here move to the walls and wash from top to bottom. Remember to wipe off the switch plates with disinfectant cleaner. Then go around the room with that soft vac brush and swipe the top edges of baseboards and quarter-round. Now you can vacuum the floor. Follow with a scrubbing if you need to. Be sure to vacuum/wash air flow registers.

While the furniture is away from the walls vacuum behind each piece and wipe down the backsides. This is the home of dust bunnies. Take down window treatments and toss them in the dryer with a fabric softener cloth on air fluff setting, no heat. 

While the window treatments are down, you can wash the windows. Cloudy, cool temperature days are recommended because these conditions slow evaporation of cleaning products and make seeing the streaks easier. Vacuum first to clean out dust and debris from window tracks and sills. Use a microfiber cloth or a small squeegee with a smooth, nick-free, rubber blade.  Make your cleaning agent using 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup vinegar and 1 cup distilled water. Mix together and pour into a 32 oz spray bottle and shake to mix. Clean from the top down.  Wash both sides of the door. Don’t forget to wipe the tops of door frames and the tops of anything hanging on the walls and door knobs.[1]

Back to the furniture, dust the surfaces then remove the items from each drawer, wash and dry the inside of drawer. Smell items stored, if they smell musty, wash them before folding them neatly and replacing them. 

Remove items from closet, sweep and wash closet floor. Review all items before replacing them neatly. Are there items you no longer wear or use? Donate them. Empty and reorganize items on shelves. Wipe down. Review wear on shoes. Are they run down on one side or the other? Time for repairs or the trash. Who doesn’t love buying new shoes? [2]

When you get to tables and chairs, don’t forget to wash the underside of the table and chairs. Hopefully, you will not find gum stuck there … but you will be removing grimey hand prints and perhaps stuck on food. 

Tackling the kitchen can be an all day affair, but well worth it. Remember the top of your refrigerator. Clean behind and underneath it, too. Then you can move to the inside. Review each shelf and its contents. Are you storing a lot of sauces and gravies? Empty and wipe down each drawer. Removing them and washing them with mild detergent will remove dried plant material. Was there a spill that has dried? Time to soak that and wash it away. [3]

When you clean around your kitchen sink, don’t forget to clean behind the faucets. The backsides can get pretty funky. Remember to wash down the back splash wall behind your sink, stove and prep areas.[4] Move on to the small appliances that occupy your counters. Unplug them first. Then move and clean behind and underneath. Some items have crumb catchers. Be sure to dump, wash and dry them. If you have narrow slots like in your toaster which want to hold on to crumbs, use an old, small toothbrush to gently rub each filament. 

Scrub down counter tops with a sanitizing cleaner; use that on your cutting boards, too. Go through each cabinet shelf and drawer. Remove items, wipe out the drawer, return items back neatly. Too many things in your “junk drawer”? Time to review and throw away some of those bag ties and worn out rubber bands. Unneeded items can also be donated. 

When was the last time you sharpened your kitchen knives? While you’re at the knife rack, be sure to wipe it down, too. 

When you’re cleaning the sink, don’t forget to clean the garbage disposal. Make sure it is turned off before donning a rubber glove and using disinfectant cleaner on the underside of the black, rubber ring.

When cleaning the stove top, remove the elements and drip pans. Wash and replace. You may need to lift the surface holding the burners and clean underneath. Spills from boil-overs can get pretty gross underneath. If you have a ceramic cooktop, check your owners manual for the type of surface cleaner to use.

When it is “clean the bathroom time,” start at the top cleaning light fixtures, walls, cabinets, and mirrors. Wash the tub/shower walls and floor. Check the drain for accumulated hair. Clean the toilet, inside and out, remove the seat and clean around seat bolts. Check for leaks.Then it’s time to empty all cabinets, shelves and vanity. Discard expired medications and cosmetics. Wipe down each item with a damp cloth and replace them neatly. When all is done, wash the floor.

Happy Spring Cleaning.

References

1.   https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/windows/window-repair/how-to-clean-windows/

2.   http://www.imperfecthomemaking.com/p/thorough-spring-cleaning-checklist.html

3.   https://www.home-ec101.com/5-things-you-probably-need-to-clean/

4.   https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/spring-cleaning/

Billie Nicholson, Editor
March 2019

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