Winter is finally over and as the buds begin to bloom and the days get longer and warmer, ’tis the season to be cleaning. No matter how much of a clean freak you are, it is inevitable that some dust, junk and mess has accumulated over the cold and dreary days. The following tips will help you with a total, refreshing spring clean for your home.
- Get Organized
It much easier to clean an organized space than it is to clean among a clutter. So before you bring out your detergents, cleaning materials and equipment, get organized. Tackle the project one room at a time and organize everything into 4 simple groups – keep, chuck, donate and sell.
You may be surprised at how much stuff you have actually gathered so be a bit tough on yourself when sorting items into the chuck, donate and sell piles. Anything, including larger furniture items, electronics and appliances that don’t have a function or haven’t been used in the last 6 months should be placed in these piles.
Everything that is left over should be packed away in cupboards, drawers or organizing boxes. Now you are ready to really start cleaning.
- Room By Room
Cleaning an entire home in one go can seem like an insurmountable task so it is best to clean room by room, making the entire project more manageable. Select a room that is used the least to start with and work your way up to the sections in your home that are the busiest. You may want to leave the kitchen till last.
Each room should take no more than one day to clean so don’t spend too much time on one task, simply delaying your progress throughout the house. If you have trouble with procrastination, draw up a cleaning schedule as to what day each room should be cleaned and stick to it.
Of course the bathroom needs the full spray down or just get a bathroom remodel and call it good ?
- Top To Bottom
Make sure that you have all your cleaning equipment ready to use in the room you will be cleaning. Trips back and forth to get what you need will just waste time. Remove all linen, bedding and cushions to be laundered.
Start cleaning each room from the ceiling to the floor, dusting the ceiling, curtain rails and cornices. You may want to remove any light fittings and wash them in a bucket for a really good clean. Vacuum your curtains and drapes to get rid of any built up dust. If the curtains are really dirty, use a steam cleaner or remove them to be laundered. Keep in mind that some curtains may need to be sent away for dry cleaning so read the manufacturers cleaning instructions on the label.
Spray the walls lightly with detergent and wipe them down with a damp cloth. Place a small amount of paint or nail varnish remover on a cotton swab and gently wipe away stubborn marks and stains on the walls. Don’t rub as this will just remove the paint and don’t use this process on wall paper. Pay close attention to light switches and wall sockets. Repeat the process with the doors and door handles.
Wash the windows, inside and out. Don’t forget the windowsills, frames and bars.
Wipe all furniture items lightly with a damp cloth. Use furniture polish on wood. Only use detergent on stains, dirt or grime that do not wipe away easily. Remember to clean under and around each furniture item and remove them from the room as they are cleaned.
Vacuum the floors or sweep away all loose dirt if you have solid flooring (not carpets). If there are marks on the carpets, use a spot remover to effectively remove stains. For a really deep clean, purchase or hire a carpet cleaner. Steam cleaning is the best option and can also be used on upholstery, mattresses and other fabrics.
Once the carpets or floors have totally dried. move the cleaned furniture items back in and replace any bedding, linen or other laundered items.
- The Kitchen
Kitchens can be the most difficult and time consuming room to clean so rope in some help from willing or unwilling family members or friends.
Start by defrosting your freezer and removing all food items from the refrigerator. Choose a day when you need to go shopping and the fridge is empty so that the food won’t spoil. Clear out the pantry and clean each shelf before packing the goods back. Make sure to check the expiry dates on items near the back and throw expired goods away.
Remove all cutlery, crockery, pots and pans from cupboards and drawers and give each space a good scrub down. Clean the cupboard doors and handles carefully. Remove the drawers and wash them in the kitchen sink. You may want to wash each item before replacing them. Remember to let every storage space dry before packing the kitchen items back where they belong.
Clean all kitchen appliances inside and out according to the manufacturers instructions. Clean the stove top and oven and finally get back to your fridge and give it a good clean too. Make sure that the refrigerator and freezer are both entirely dry before turning them on and repacking the food items.
Clean the walls, then the counter tops and lastly the floors. And that’s it, the inside of your home should be sparkling and fresh, ready to face the summer months.