With Spring approaching, read below to find out what you should do in order to get your home ready!
Spring is the season for renewal as dormant lawns and gardens come back to life after a long winter’s rest. What also needs to come back to life is your house, what probably hasn’t received a thorough top to bottom clean up and clean out since last fall.
Although you may be anticipating the warmer weather and outdoor activities, why not start with the inside by undertaking the following steps to get it back in order?
Step No. 1 — Create a cleaning schedule. You don’t have to clean your home all at once. In fact, if you attempt to do too much, you’ll grow frustrated and may weary of the work. Instead, divide your work over the next several weekends using the first week for putting away the rest of your winter decorations, cleaning the carpet or tackling the wood floors. The next weekend you can go through your clutter, determining what you should keep and what should be placed elsewhere. The third weekend you can hold your garage sale.
Step No. 2 — Assign chores. You don’t need to clean your home by yourself. Indeed, your spouse is likely already helping, but your children should help too. With multiple children the chores they perform should correspond to their abilities. For the youngest children those chores may include picking up and bringing magazines to you, straightening a play area, or “helping” you carry something heavy. Vacuuming, window washing, bathroom cleaning, carpet shampooing and other tasks can be handled by children corresponding to their age and abilities. Of course, if you are a cleaning freak, arrange playdates for your children and have at it. With or without your spouse.
Step No. 3 — Open the windows. When should you open the windows to let the fresh air in? As soon as possible. You may need to turn off the heater for a while, particularly if there is still a chill in the air. Opening the windows will let the clean air in and send the toxic air out, provided you have sufficient cross ventilation. If you are working with chemicals, sufficient ventilation is mandatory and small children should not be around. Wear a mask — better yet look for cleansers that are environmentally safe. As soon as you’re done with your cleaning, close your windows, replace the furnace or vent system’s air filters, and turn on the furnace.
Step No. 4 — Work from the inside out. Save the cleaning of the exterior of the home for warmer weather. In the meantime, begin working from room to room, tackling the furthest out rooms first to avoid backtracking and tracking in dirt. Go from room to room and start by dusting walls and ceiling corners, washing windows, and then cleaning floors. Put everything in its place and if it isn’t being used, box it up and set it aside for a garage sale. Hand me down clothing can be put away for another season. Clothing that everyone has outgrown should be donated or discarded. When working in a child’s bedroom, that child should participate and understand the system you have in place.
Step No. 5 — If you have more than one bathroom in the home, separate your cleaning times by several hours. That way, you can allow family members to use one while the other gets cleaned. Go through your medicine cabinets and storage drawers, tossing out all expired medications and cosmetics. You may need to recycle these per your town’s disposal requirements. Wash down cabinets and vanities, then clean the mirror. Next, clean the tub, the toilet, and then the sink. Dust the light fixtures, sweep and mop the floors, saving your grouting for next week.
Step No. 6 — Living room, dining room, and the kitchen. With bathrooms and bedrooms done, you’re ready to tackle the main living areas of your home. Take down curtains and wash these. If you have venetian blinds, do the same and soak these in the kitchen sink. Dust from the top of the room to the bottom, paying attention to nooks, crannies, window sills, and behind furniture. Wipe down door knobs, light switches, vents, and handles. Declutter kitchen counters, shelves, bookcases and other storage areas.
Step No. 7 — Laundry room, foyer, and stairwells. For multi story homes, you’ll have a stairwell to contend with. Dust and vacuum here, using polish to brighten the stair handles. If the steps are carpeted make sure that they’re securely in place, otherwise nail it down. The bannister should be secure; it may need to be tightened too. Sweep out the foyer and clean out the entrance way closet. Winter gear should be put away; warmer weather gear including rain coats, galoshes and umbrellas put in its place. Finish up by cleaning up the laundry room, emptying out the lint drawer in the dryer and lint pipe extending to the exterior of the home. Wipe down the washer and dryer, sweep behind same, and wash the floor.