Article by Marta Perrone
March 2011 edition
As the sun melts the ice and snow, the flowers begin to form buds and we hear the chirping of the birds, we know two things: spring is just around the corner—and it is time to get our houses in order.
Spring cleaning traditionally refers to the idea of clearing out the old and making room for the new. This applies to the clothes in your closet and those old shoes that you hate to give away but realize you haven’t worn in a year. It also refers to getting into the corners of your home and cleaning areas that you have not given attention as of late.
Here are some tips for spring cleaning:
- Begin by making a list of the areas in your home that you need to clean out, organize, re-do and perhaps eliminate.
- Look at every drawer, closet and cabinet carefully. Are there things in there that you haven’t touched in awhile? Does everything blend together into one big mushy pile where the only way you can find anything is by moving your hand incessantly from left to right until the item appears? Are there things piled together that you have never touched, never even looked at because the task would simply be too daunting? Put these areas on your list!
- Now go down your list and one by one begin to unravel the mess. The best way to begin is by taking everything out. Then ONLY put back the things you absolutely cannot part with and cannot live without. This time, as you are putting these items back, put them in order according to type, size, color and use. It becomes a mixing and matching game that can be enjoyable when you do it right.
- Now take a look at some other aspects of your home such as: ceilings, light fixtures, baseboards, thresholds, Get your cleaning tools like tall dusters, damp cloths and soft cloths for drying and polishing, vacuum attachments and the appropriate cleansers. Remember to always use the right cleanser on any surface. Sometimes just using a damp cloth with a dry one to follow does the trick. Tall dusters are perfect for the ceiling fixtures and corners of the walls. To clean baseboards and door thresholds, use a good vacuum attachment to get the dust off quickly, and then use a damp cloth to get the excess dirt off.
- Take a good look at all the walls, switch plates and doors and door handles. Do the walls have scuffmarks and smudges? Take a bucket of warm water with some dish detergent and use a soft cleaning cloth or sponge to clean off the walls. Do not use any harsh abrasive cleanser or sponge on any wall surface. You might also spray 409 on a cloth to get the marks off.
- Sofas, Chairs, Couches and Decorative Pillows accumulate lots of crumbs and things that you may even have thought you lost. Take the cushions off and use a vacuum attachment to get into the crevices, then vacuum the cushions with another attachment. You can also beat the cushions on all sides to get excess dust off and then fluff everything up while putting them back in their place.
- Curtains, Shutters and Blinds also get dusty. Take curtains down and have them cleaned if necessary. Take a good damp cloth and wipe shutters inside out from top to bottom. Do the same with blinds, making sure you clean both sides.
- While you are at it take a look at the windowsills and windows themselves. You may need to have a service come to do the windows if they are difficult to reach.
- Floors, carpets and area rugs very often need a good thorough cleaning that may require calling in a service. Floors may lose their shine and need a good sanding and new coat of polyurethane. You can do spot cleaning on certain carpets and area rugs, but using a professional carpet cleaner is best to give it that fresh, clean look.
Finally, look at your decorations, the amount of “stuff” you have, and where you have things positioned in your home. If you have too much clutter, it is hard to see the beauty in any one item. If the artifact isn’t put in the right place, you may never notice it. Be sure that everything is in a good place and in order.
Once you have done all this work spring cleaning your home, maintaining it will be a lot easier when you attend to it on a regular basis throughout the year.