Spring Cleaning, in Small Doses
You can break these tasks up throughout the week or get them done in one weekend.
Week 1: The Purge.
Our houses collect all sorts of things throughout the year. The less you own, the easier it is it keep your home clean and tidy.
- Medicine cabinet and bathroom. Go through your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired medications by putting them in a garbage bag and throwing away. Do not flush medications down the toilet as they can end up in the water supply. Purge unused toiletries by donating unopened bottles and throwing away half used and forgotten soaps, scrubs, masks, and shampoos. This is also a great time to get rid of old makeup.
- The fridge. Get rid of old sauces, condiments, and whatever is in that forgotten Tupperware container. Eww!
- Clothes and shoes. Pack up winter clothing and store in the attic, basement garage, or closet. If you are not going t wear it for 6 months or more, pack it away. As you are going through your clothing, set aside pieces to donate. Also put away any heavy blankets or sheets that you do not need for the spring and summer.
- Books, magazines, and mail. Recycle, donate, or throw away old magazines, books, and those piles of mail that somehow build up on counters and desks.
Week 2: Windows and Upholstery
Windows are a big, intimidating job. Let’s get them out of the way and handle the smaller task of cleaning upholstered furniture too.
- Send your blinds and curtains to be cleaned. Seriously, it is just easier. If your blinds are not too dirty (wow, we admire you!) you can dust them and clean them yourself. A professional cleaning company will come pick them up, clean them, bring them back and rehang them. Easy.
- Wash the windows. Pick cloudy days if possible as warm sunshine will dry the windows too fast and leave streaks. Mix equal parts vinegar and hot water. Wash the inside of windows first as they are less dirty. If the outside windows are super dirty, scrub with a soft brush first to break up dirt.
- Clean upholstered furniture. Take off couch cushions and collect change and any other items. Vacuum all upholstered furniture with the brush attachment. Need to clean microfiber? See our blog on cleaning microfiber furniture. If you have serious stains or want a deep cleaning, COIT offers upholstery cleaning services.
Week 3: Dusting and Cleaning Floors.
This part depends on what kind of floors you have.
- Dust the whole house, moving room from room, ceiling to floor. This is also a great time to change air filters and arrange to have the air ducts cleaned.
- Area rugs. If your area rugs have not been professionally cleaned in two years or more, send them to be cleaned. If you area rugs have been cleaned recently, give them a very thorough, slow vacuuming. Then turn them upside down and vacuum the back of the rug, then turn them back over and vacuum again. You’ll be surprised how much dirt area rugs can hold without looking visibly dirty. Rotate area rugs to prevent fading.
- Clean all floors. See our floor cleaning infographic for cleaning tips on wood, tile, and carpeted floors.
Week 4: Appliances and Seasonal Tasks
Now that the big things are done, let’s tackle appliances, and seasonal and yearly maintenance tasks.
- Wash those appliances! Dishwashers and washing machines need cleaning love too! Run both the dishwasher and the washing machine empty with 2 cups of vinegar. Dust and wipe down the exterior of the machines. Clean the dryer vent or schedule a professional cleaning. Built up lint is a fire hazard.
- Fire safety. Check your home’s smoke detectors, replace batteries as needed, and check the fire extinguisher. You do have a fire extinguisher, right?
- Clean the fridge. Yes, this should be done more often, but it is easy to put off. Give your fridge a top to bottom cleaning, taking everything thing out, wiping down surfaces, and washing shelves and drawers in the sink. Funky odor? Wash the inside with vinegar to eliminate any unpleasant smells. The vinegar smell will dissipate within hours.
- Turn mattresses. This will extend the life of your mattress and help prevent sagging and lumps.
With warmer days and fresh breezes, spring is the perfect time to freshen up your home. Just be sure to take it easy and spread out the cleaning so that you can actually enjoy springtime as well.
Spring cleaning can be daunting, but if you set aside cleaning time over a number of weeks you can get the job done while minimizing any disruption to your regular schedule. And remember, COIT is available at 1-800-FOR-COIT to help with the tasks that require professional attention.
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