Although the weather is trying to convince us otherwise, spring is coming - and fast. Before we know it, the sun will be streaming in through the windows, highlighting every flaw from little fingerprints to dust. We love the sun but curse the announcement of poor housekeeping. It's easy to let things slide in the wintertime - we're busy with holiday plans, the days are shorter giving us less light to notice the cobwebs and quite frankly, we want to hibernate which all leads to the "Spring Cleaning" weekend that can go two ways....either it can last all spring long (which translates to never getting done) or you can tackle it like a pro and whip your house into shape in a matter of hours. The key is to know what cleaning is necessary and what is not.
Below are a few tips to guide you through a day of spring cleaning so crank up the music and open the doors (if the weather permits)!
1) Refrigerator Overhaul. This can seem daunting but actually, it's not so bad. Before you start, arm yourself with a trash can and recycle bin. First, remove everything from the fridge, then with a warm, soapy rag, wipe down every shelf and the walls. Remove the vegetable bins and wipe clean. Toss out what has expired or what you know you will never eat (being careful to recycle items that fit that bill). Finally, replace items to keep. (If you're really feeling ambitious, tackle the freezer!)
2) Degrease cooking appliances, wipe down all kitchen cabinets and countertops with a cleaning solution. Scrub sink and faucet with baking soda and lemon (or cleanser of choice).
3) Sanitize high touch areas. There are many places throughout the home that receive a lot of handling. Places like light switches, door knobs, cabinet handles, handrails, remote controls...you get the idea. Wipe these areas down with a sanitizing wipe or mixture of vinegar and water.
4) Go through the house and find any throw rugs that can go into the washing machine. These can be bathroom rugs, door mats, etc. They may get vacuumed on a regular basis but definitely need a real cleaning!
5) Toss pillows and comforters into the dryer to fluff and bring some life back in!
6) Wash inside and outside of all windows and window sills (at least the ones that are within reach). While definitely time consuming, I find the most satisfaction comes from a clean window and dirt free window sill. It's worth it. Speed the whole process up with a squeegee which you can purchase at your local hardware store. Mirrors and artwork glass will need a washing as well! (Use vinegar and water for streak-free shine!)
7) With a long dust mop or feather duster, reach up into ceiling corners to remove any cobwebs or what-have-you. No judgment - every house has them. Then, wipe down all baseboards. Next, dust furniture with a light rag, no need to use special cleaner unless you want to, of course. Remember to wipe down lightbulbs and lampshades, too, as they also collect dust.
8) Remove all drapery or window fixtures and wash - drapes may need to go to the cleaners but blinds can easily be wiped down with soapy water and a sponge.
9) Bathrooms - I find it's helpful to divide and conquer this job. Have one person scrub toilets, another person can clean shower/bathtub, and then another family member can clean mirror, wipe down countertops & sinks. On the way out of the room, mop the floor.
10) Vacuum and wash floors. Have kids do their own bedrooms!
You are done!!!!! Order take out for dinner and enjoy a glass of wine while waiting for delivery.