Spring Cleaning Trends
Spring is a time for rebirth and rejuvenation. It’s time to eliminate any accumulation of dust, stale air, grime, or clutter that can breed bacteria and other contaminants. You can easily freshen up with simple tricks while using a system for pacing yourself to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Here are some tips for tidying up and deep cleaning your home as springtime approaches.
When you don’t know where to start, think of spring cleaning as a series of phases. The first phase should be to downsize or declutter, the next to surface clean, and finally, to deep clean. Within those phases, you should begin by creating a checklist. Start by going from room to room to see which areas need the most decluttering and last cleaned a while ago. Then start with the following:
Organize storage spaces—Sort what you will keep, discard, and donate into three piles. Categorize the items you will keep into bins, label them, and place them on shelves along the wall to maximize floor space. Reuse old plates and bowls to store small items such as buttons, cords, and stamps. Add a non-slip liner to drawers and cabinets to keep everything in place. Rotate old items to the front and remove packaging. Toss used and expired items from the kitchen and bathroom.
Clean higher areas first—Areas like ceilings, ceiling fans, light fixtures, and upper walls need to be vacuumed, polished, or dusted first because of the loose dirt and grime that will end up on the floor. Use a Swiffer or extendable duster and clean before you do the floors to avoid cleaning the bottom half a second time.
Surface clean—Before you begin scrubbing, it’s important to remove superficial dirt and dust from areas exposed to the elements, such as windows and patio furniture. Brush off or vacuum before you spray with a disinfectant or all-purpose cleaner. For windows, use a soft microfiber cloth to prevent streaking. Clean your windows and blinds on a cloudy day to avoid the sun drying up the cleaner quicker than you can wipe it down. Slower drying will prevent streaks. Vacuum soft furniture crevices with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Remove the fuzz from your dryer’s lint catcher each time you dry a load of clothing, and have a serviceman periodically clean your exhaust hose to protect against fire hazards.
Deep clean—Large appliances, rugs, cabinetry, and other furnishings are typical areas to target for spring cleaning because they are usually not on your daily or weekly radar for cleaning. Before you begin, consider one room and appliance at a time, then any small parts. Appliances such as your refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and stove tend to accumulate stubborn food remnants, crumbs, stains, and other debris. Although you may use a harsh chemical cleaner for heavier grime, like on your stove, it is cheaper and healthier to use mild household items to clean, such as dish detergent, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon in paste form or diluted in warm water. For instance, you can use lemon rinds and cold water to flush out your garbage disposal for 15-30 seconds. You can steam clean your microwave with a bowl of hot water and vinegar or lemon. Once it cools, wipe it down. Disinfect your dishwasher by running the rinse cycle with vinegar and baking soda. Remove hard water buildup on shower heads by immersing it in a bag of hot water and vinegar, then scrub clean. Don’t want to move your heavy stove again to clean behind it? Use a stove gap cover to keep crumbs out of hard-to-reach places.
Laundering—Save yourself time and labor when it comes to intensive cleaning for such articles as your window and shower curtains, drapes, area rugs, comforters, pillows, and reusable grocery bags. Your washer will allow quicker and easier sanitization and elimination of dust mites and other airborne pathogens. Check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before you machine wash.
Clean areas that can cause odors—Your sinks, toilet, and trash cans are bacterial havens that emit rancid smells after being overlooked. Remove musty odors from carpets by using baking soda or carpet deodorizer. Use one of the mentioned mild household cleaners or all-purpose disinfectants and mix with warm water to allow to sit until sanitized before rinsing. Investing in a carpet cleaning appliance with a rotating brush may be wise.
Lighter cleaning treatment—Use a special polish and carefully follow directions for cleaning silverware and granite countertops. Season cast-iron pans as needed and wipe down small appliances, such as knife blocks which can get splattered during cooking. Make sure that paint surfaces and wallpaper are washable before you clean or consider using stain-resistant paints.
Spring is a welcoming season for many of us, but the cleaning required after winter’s dormancy can be taxing and time-consuming. You can save unnecessary toil by practicing these time-saving tricks and pacing yourself through the cleaning phases with manageable checklists.