After a long winter cooped-up indoors, spring cleaning calls for some extreme dusting. Starting at the top in every room, dust from the ceiling down. Light fixtures, ceiling fans, and cobweb-filled corners are your first target. A gentle cleaning solution along with a long-handled dust wand will take care of most stubborn dust bunnies. Pay special attention to air vents, window sills, and any flat surfaces such as door trim, window sills, etc. If you have furniture with shelves, clear the shelves completely and take them down for thorough cleaning. Don’t forget to dust the objects you removed before replacing them on your shelves. Once you’ve finished, run a vacuum through the room to pick up the loose dust, and move on.
With nice weather approaching, you’ll want to open those windows that have been closed all winter. Spring is the perfect time to take down curtains and draperies for a thorough cleaning. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions! For blinds and shades that are not easily taken down, a damp cloth will help remove any dirt and debris. Before you put your window coverings backup, consider cleaning the windows themselves!
If you’ve already removed the window coverings, this task should be a no-brainer. Save yourself some trouble and come prepared, the right tools will make this daunting spring cleaning project a breeze. Before you begin, you’ll want: a squeegee with a handle, a bucket with cleaning solution, and a few microfiber towels to dry off without leaving lint trails behind. Mix 1 teaspoon dishwashing fluid into 2 gallons of water. For stubborn dirt, or dried paint, a razor blade can be used for a quick cleanup with no hard scrubbing.
For pillows with removable slipcovers, remove and simply run through the laundry. Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment for couches and upholstered furniture. Pay special attention to cracks and crevices! While beds are stripped, flip the mattresses. Fold and store your winter bedding, and be sure to protect from moths and other pests.
Before you begin, unplug your appliances! This will give you peace of mind as you scrub, and protect you from electric shock if you touch the wrong part of your appliance with wet hands. Clean the oven and give the cooking surfaces a good scrub. Allow hardened food to soften with a good cleaning spray to avoid rigorous scrubbing! Empty your refrigerator and wash down the drawers and shelfs, tossing any expired food as you go. Freshen your dishwasher by running it empty, with 1 cup of baking soda and 1 ½ cups white vinegar. Don’t forget about the microwave; a solution of baking soda and water will help remove stubborn spills.
As the world outside finally begins to turn green after a long winter, it’s time once again to pay attention to your lawn. Spring is a sensitive time for your yard – the soil is spongy, the plants are tender, and the weather is unpredictable. Your lawn will thank you for being gentle this time of year, but it will also thank you for addressing a few important spring tasks. Avoid heavy yard work in the spring until the soil dries out – heavy traffic can damage new grass shoots. Remove leaves and fallen debris, and rake to encourage new grass growth. If your lawn mower doesn’t start up easily, consider taking it in for pre-season service. Take stock of your supplies - consider grass seed, weed killer, and other springtime essentials.
Do your wood floors need to be refinished? Is it time to reseal a floor? Does the grout in the bathroom need attention? These are all excellent DIY projects to undertake during your spring cleaning routine. Area rugs, bath rugs, and carpeted rooms are also in need of attention. Move furniture, shake out rugs, and vacuum thoroughly. For especially soiled carpeting, consider renting a rug-doctor from the local home improvement store.
Do you even know what you might find in the junk-drawer in your kitchen anymore? Do you have expired prescriptions from 2006 in the medicine cabinet? Take a few hours to empty your junk drawers, cabinets, and spaces under the sink – evaluate which products can be thrown away, and which should be kept. In the kitchen, remove anything that’s not being used on a regular basis, as well as any mismatched storage lids and bowls. NOTE: Do not dispose of medicine in the toilet. Recently, drugs have been appearing in many water supplies. Most pharmacies will accept expired medications for recycling.
Spring means a change of clothing – it’s time to put away heavy coats, boots, and other winter gear. Send winter clothing to the dry cleaner before stowing for the summer. Also, consider donating clothing that hasn’t been worn in over a year to Goodwill.