Why you should spring clean
Spring cleaning is not a celebration to welcome warmer days, but it serves many important purposes. One of most crucial ones is to eliminate allergens. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s imperative that you rid your home of dust, mildew, mold, pet dander and bugs that have accumulated during the colder months, according to a study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
Spring cleaning also eliminates clutter and results in an organized home, which boosts productivity and increases energy levels, according to experts.
When to start spring cleaning
Some researchers have traced the kickoff of spring cleaning to the Persian new year, which is also the first day of spring. And, according to the National Day Calendar, it begins the fourth Sunday in March. “National Cleaning Week shows up just in time for fair weather!” says the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days. “Besides a clean home, it’s a week that can produce improved moods, decreased stress levels, and increased creativity. It’s a week to put away winter essentials and tidy up our homes to usher in a fresh start with spring.”
However, in some parts of the country, the first day of spring still means snow on the ground, and potentially more to come! And then there are the April showers that can turn that leftover snow into muddy slush.
If you can get away with commencing spring cleaning on the first day of spring, great! However, a good rule of thumb is to begin when temperatures are mild — when you can open your windows and let out the stale air and let in the fresh.
Where to start spring cleaning
One school of thought says to start spring cleaning wherever you feel the most motivated. If you’ve been wanting to tackle your kitchen cabinets for months, start there! Or if you prefer to check off easy tasks first, do that! However, the golden rule of spring cleaning is, work from the top down. The last thing you want to do is clean a room or a surface and then “undo” it by cleaning something above it that will make the room or surface dirty again. Think of dusting furniture or shaking out rugs and then cleaning the ceiling fan. Or, cleaning the front entryway and then sweeping down the front stairs to the second floor.
We recommend that you use a checklist that shows you how to approach your whole home. Room-by-room is a great way to keep you on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Here’s a spring cleaning guide/checklist to get you started.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Every Room
These tips and tricks can be applied to every room you spring clean.
- Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures: Be sure to switch your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise during the warm months so they move the warm air up instead of down, and replace burned-out lightbulbs.
- Dust the corners of the walls and ceiling: You can use a soft broom, or a step ladder and a cordless vacuum to get the job done.
- Clean windowsills and window tracks.
- Clean window treatments: When was the last time you laundered the drapes or curtains in all of your rooms? If you can’t remember, spring cleaning is the perfect time to do it! If you have blinds, be sure to wipe them down or follow this process
- Dust shelves: Pull off books, knick-knacks and other items from shelves and side tables and get rid of that dust. A microfiber cloth is the most effective way of doing this because it traps the dust instead of just moving it around.
- Disinfect door knobs, cabinet handles and light switches. We love Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner. You can simply spray a little on a cleaning cloth and wipe off each knob, handle or switch. Then dry with a clean towel. We also love these Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes that don’t require any towels!
- Wash the walls: Along with a solid scrub down with a mild household cleaner, you can use a Magic Eraser, very gently, to remove scuffs and stains.
- If the room has a closet, clean it out: Clear off shelves and don’t put back the things you don’t need or love. Get everything off the floor and give it a good scrub.
- Vacuum under furniture: After cleaning everything up above, it’s time to tackle the floors. Move all the heavy furniture and clean beneath them. Use the handheld attachment to tackle upholstery.
Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Tips
Use these tips and tricks for specific rooms in your home.
- Swap out clothing: Who needs bulky sweaters taking up valuable space in the closet all summer? Pull out the storage bags with summer clothes and put away your winter garb. We love these soft storage bags.
- Sort through your shoes and socks: If you no longer wear a pair of shoes, it’s time to donate, toss or fix! Likewise, there’s bound to be some socks missing their counterpart, and others with holes. Toss ’em!
- Go through your dresser: Pull everything out, donate what you no longer want and then re-fold the rest!
- Wash bedding and pillows: When was the last time you washed your pillows?
- Tackle the medicine cabinet: Be sure you clear out expired medicines and old cosmetics.
- Declutter shelves and drawers: It’s all too easy to accumulate products in bathroom drawers and let clutter pile up on shelves and in the vanity. Toss what you don’t need and organize and put back the rest.
- Deep clean the sink, shower and toilet: It’s probably going to be your least favorite task, but it’s a definite spring cleaning must. Along with scrubbing, be sure to wash the shower curtain, bathmat and any throw rugs.
- Declutter your linen closet: Pull out the old towels and sheets to donate, and re-fold the ones you still want. Here are 13 tricks and tips for cleaning a bathroom better and faster.
The Laundry Room
- Clean behind the washer and dryer.
- Deep clean lint traps in the washer and dryer: Check out this As Seen On TV Lint Lizard Vacuum Hose Attachment..
- Deep clean the fridge: Remove all shelves, racks and bins in your fridge and freezer. Then wash and dry them. Toss out expired and unwanted items. Wipe down the interior walls before you put back the shelves, etc.
- Deep clean your cabinets: Pull out all food, toss out expired items and get organized. We love this container set and these storage bins.
- Toss out or donate old pots and pans, water bottles and plastic food containers.
- Organize that junk drawer!
- Clean your oven, cooktop and vent hood.
- Clean your microwave oven and toaster oven.
- Sort through your mugs and glasses. Donate what you don’t want and organize the rest.
- If you used your fireplace all winter, you can bet it needs cleaning right now. And, here’s how to clean a fireplace chimney
The Entryway (not exactly a room, but don’t forget to clean it!)
- Begin by decluttering. Grab a bag for trash, another for donation and a third for items that can be stored away. Anything you’ll continue to use regularly can be placed in a pile before you put it back.
- Wipe down doors, knobs and switch plates with a disinfectant wipe or spray.
- Shake the entry mat, or consider replacing it altogether if its old.
- Sweep and wash the floors.
- Declutter shelves and storage areas: Toss what’s expired/unwanted, but don’t go CRAZY with deep cleaning. That could be done on a stormy day in the winter!
- Declutter and throw out any items that are broken beyond repair and donate items that you no longer need. If your kids have outgrown their bikes, it’s time to let someone else ride them! The same goes for no longer used pool toys, camping gear and gardening equipment. Check out these tips for getting your garage clean and organized.
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