Spring cleaning is looked on by many people as either an enjoyable task or as a thankless chore. There are many things a person can do to make spring cleaning more enjoyable. One of the easiest things to do is create a checklist of tasks and plan appropriately. If you plan it out and assign tasks to multiple family members, it makes the job much easier.
The start to making a checklist is to think through cleaning products you will need. Some of the typical items you might need are:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Solvent-free degreaser
- Grout sealer
- Carpet shampooer
- Cleaning cloths
- Metal polish
- Wood wax
- Dishwashing liquid
- Linoleum and/or tile wax
- Storage containers
- Lint-free dust cloth
- Cotton swabs
- Glass cleaner
- Soft bristle brush
- Rubber gloves
- White vinegar
- Nonammoniated all-purpose cleaner
- Bucket or mop pail
Scrub a dub dub
Planning and Cleaning Technique
Next you’ll want to make a plan for each room of the house. As you are thinking through the rooms in your house, plan to clean from top to bottom. Cleaning from top to bottom means you’ll be moving the dirt from its highest spot to the next spot you’ll clean. As you make your list of rooms, don’t forget the attic, the basement, closets and outdoor spaces such as the front and back porch.
For each room in the house you’ll want to start at the top of the room and either sweep or vacuum the ceiling and walls. If there is anything stuck on the walls, you’ll want to use a solvent-free cleaner to remove it. Start with a small spot and test the cleaner to insure it won’t permanently mar the surface. Don’t forget to dust hard to reach places like the blades of ceiling fans and the tops of window casings.
Remove everything from all shelves and clean the shelves. You can use either a damp cloth or a duster or possibly even both for the shelves. Clean each item as you put it back on the shelf. A soft cloth works well to prevent damaging delicate items. Make sure you use a clean cloth so you don’t smear dirt or dust onto the item you’re trying to clean.
Clean and polish any metal fittings on doors, windows, shelves, lights, coat hangers, door stops and etc. These can generally be cleaned with a liquid polish or a special polishing cloth that comes with polish already on it. If the tarnish doesn’t come off with these products, you may need a paste or cream.
Remove cushions from couches, chairs, bench seats and anything else that has removable cushions and take them outside for a gentle beating. You can use a vacuum cleaner for cracks and hard to reach places in the furniture. Most vacuums have a special crevice tool and suction hose for these spots. If the cushions are stained, look for cleaning instructions on any labels that might be present.
Wipe and wash any wooden surfaces on your furniture. You can use a mild mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid for this step. Once the surface is cleaned and dried, you can polish wood surfaces with a wood wax. Read the instructions on the wax you are using and follow them.
Metal and vinyl window screens can typically be removed and taken outside for cleaning. Use mild dishwashing liquid and warm water here as well. The screen can be gently scrubbed with a soft bristled brush and then rinsed with a hose.
The last thing to clean in each room is the floor. If you have wooden or linoleum floors you’ll need to mop and wax appropriately. If you have carpet, you may need to rent a carpet shampooer. These usually come with instructions and cleaning agents can generally be purchased at the same location you rent the shampooer. Make sure to vacuum thoroughly before steam cleaning.
If you use your attic, basement or garage for storage, spring is an excellent time to go through the things stored there and determine if you still need them. Unneeded items can be taken to Goodwill or given away. You may also decide to hold a yard sale and make some extra money from your spring cleaning. This is also a perfect time to go through your closets and drawers to see if you have clothing items to get rid of.
As you clean each room, try to think if anything additional needs done for that room. Spring cleaning is a perfect time to discard expired cosmetics and update the first-aid kit. You can turn the mattresses in the bedroom to help them wear more evenly. You can defrost the freezer and throw away any freezer burned items. You can also replace the batteries in seldom checked things like smoke detectors.
With proper planning, spring cleaning is a chance to renew your home and prepare for the warm months. Take the time to plan your cleaning and divide the chores between all household members. Think through each room and make sure you provide enough time to finish all the tasks on your list.