Spring Into Cleaning
Spring Is In The Air
Why do we we spring clean anyway?
I can only speak for myself and the reason why I do it.
Not only is it something that has been passed down to me, from my Grandmothers, my Mother and my Aunts, I just seem to come alive in the spring. I have more energy, everything outdoors is blooming and looking beautiful, And I want that look on the inside of my house..Fresh and Clean. I want all the windows clean so I can better see the beauty outside..But mainly I want all the germs and yuck from the colds and flu that seem to hit my house every year to disappear.
I don't kill myself and spend an entire day breaking my back to do my spring cleaning..
Instead I break it up into several days, and often times, over a couple of weeks.
The very first thing I do is to go through every room in the house with pen and paper in hand, making a list of the things that really need to be done..
This list is not only for cleaning, but it also consists of any improvements and repairs that need to be tackled..as far as a room needing painting to a doorknob needing tightened.. I then go through that master list , and make another list..This other list is titled HONEY DO..
Yes everyone in the house gets involved, even the little ones , if only to go through a toy box and pull out broken toys. A good time to teach the kids about giving, they to can donate toys that they have out grown, or clothes that no longer fit..
Clutter where did it all come from ?
I just can't seem to get started until the clutter is out of the way.
Clutter is always at the top of my list.
I start removing it by setting up three boxes.
1. The first box is labeled trash/junk..
2. The second box is labeled Give Away...this box usually will contain items that is to be donated to my local resale store.
3. The third box contains items that I am just not sure of.....If I can't decide if I am ready to part with something it will go into said box..It will then be put away..If I find that after a given amount of time, I have not needed, or missed the contents of this box then it will also be given away.
What works best for me in the kitchen, is to start at the top and work my way down.
Meaning, I start with the ceiling, top of the refrigerator and light fixture, removing any dust and/or cobwebs. Move onto the upper cabinets, wiping down fingerprints and grime.
From there on to the lower cabinets and drawers, the back door and the windows. This is a good time to discard any expired cans, packages and jars of food. And any other junk that has been accumalating.
Next up, Appliances..Inside and out get a good cleaning.
The counter tops are de-cluttered, scrubbed and disinfected . All small appliances are also cleaned..
Again starting at the top. the ceiling, the light fixture.
The drapes and window area.
The china cabinet , inside and out, this sometimes requires removing everything to clean and dust..I only do one shelf at a time..
And of course the table..
When this room is cleaned, I like to bring in a fresh picked bouquet of flowers.
The Living room or den, the room where everyone in the family gathers for entertainment (usually to watch a movie).
Again I start at the top working my way down.
Vacuuming and dusting the ceiling..work on the drapes, shutters or blinds.
Moving and cleaning behind and under furniture. removing sofa and chair cushions, to get to that yucky stale popcorn, candy wrappers and toys that the kids have left behind.
This year I will rid myself of some dvd and vhs movies that the kids have outgrown...
If it is warm enough, I will go ahead and remove those flannel sheets, and heavy blankets. Then air out the mattresses and pillows..I toss the pillows in the dryer on a low setting, and vacuum the mattresses really well. While I am at it, this is a good time to get the mattress flipped and turned.
Bringing out, and making the beds up with lighter bedding ( lighter in weight as well as color ). Just doing this step seem to make the bedrooms feel fresher and cleaner.
Open up the windows, welcoming in the fresh air, and removing the stale air.. giving the windows and the screens a good cleaning, allows more light into the room.
Check the closet for items no longer worn..and toss them in one of the boxes.
De~junk the top of night stands and dressers...then organize the drawers as well. I always seem to find things in my dresser drawers to toss and to donate.
Vacuum well under the beds, the baseboards and give the entire carpet a extra good vacuuming.
Before tackling any major cleaning of the fixtures, I like to go in and get rid of any empty shampoo bottles, used up soap, cleaners or any other items that are no longer in use.
I check out the medicine cabinet for expired medication. whether its over the counter or a prescription, if it is expired it has to go.
This is also a good time to throw out and replace tooth brushes...everyone gets a new one ..another source of germs gone..
Once all of the trash and junk has been removed the bathroom will get a good cleaning..and disinfecting..
Windows, mirrors, light fixtures or glass doors
Nothing says clean better to me than when the glass is sparkling..
Vinegar and water is a great way to clean glass.
In areas where there is carpet, I vacuum really well around the baseboards, these are areas that can often times be missed. I like to sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and dried lavender. I leave it sitting on the floor for about 15 minutes..The baking soda absorbs any musty smells that may be in the carpet and the lavender leaves behind a nice fresh scent.
If it is in the budget, this is a good time to rent a carpet cleaner, or to hire a professional steam cleaner to do the job for me.
Hardwood floors and/or ceramic tile..Cleaners can leave a residue on your floors that attract dirt , making them look dull. To remedy this, I wash my floors with warm water and vinegar. To 1 gallon of water, add 1/2 cup white vinegar. You can use a mop and a bucket, But if you want them really clean , then get down on hands and knees, changing water when needed.
There are many cleaners on the market today that can get the job done.
However more and more people are turning to cleaners that are made at home, not only is this method cost effect, but safe for you, your family and the environment.
My favorite cleaners are , Vinegar and Baking Soda..I save a great deal of money cleaning with these products and even more when I buy the bulk sizes at my local Box store.