Mar 7, 2018

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks For You and Your Home

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks For You and Your Home

March 20th marks the first day of the spring season! The birds start chirping a little more, colorful flowers begin growing, the weather starts heating up and the big seasonal project for your home begins!  Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming or take all season. No matter the size of your home or how messy it might be, use these spring cleaning tips & tricks to help you plan, organize and clean more efficiently.

Preparing

Preparing for the big task of spring cleaning can really take the pressure off. When you have a plan of action to follow, you’ll see it isn’t as stressful as you think!

  • Decide on when you’ll start the cleaning process. Keep on track with the schedule you create, and give yourself some extra time in case emergencies, appointments or other things come up.
  • Make a list. This will seriously decrease stress and help you outline the agenda for this project. Your itinerary should cover every area you want to clean or organize in your home. Don’t forget about the outside, backyard, attic, storage closets and other small areas in your home. A checklist is optimal, because you can check off rooms and areas as you go.
  • De-cluter first. Before you begin the huge process of cleaning, de-clutter what you can. This is simply picking up items you know don’t belong in a room, and placing them where they do. Don’t worry about organizing and cleaning the rooms, you’re just getting the mess out of the way to prepare you for it.
  • If you’ll need carpet cleaners, appliance repairs, upholstery fixes or other things that require making appointments, be sure you make those early. Get those out of the way before you begin cleaning, and schedule your cleaning tasks around those appointments. If you wait, you might have to put off your spring cleaning even longer.
  • Should you have a lot of trash or items you’ll be dumping or giving to Goodwill, be sure you know how and where to dispose of them. If you need to rent a dumpster, get it before you start.

Organizing

When you organize prior to cleaning, you’ll be saving time and frustration. This step helps keep you on track and clean more efficiently.

  • Get your supplies before you begin. You know what products work best for you and your home, so be sure you have plenty on hand prior to cleaning. Remember to grab extra trash bags, sponges and detailed cleaning supplies and organize them. You may want separate buckets for each room to include the proper tools for each.
  • Choose a few tasks per day. The first tasks can be areas that are always on your mind or that drive you a little crazy. Knock those out first, and continue on with more tasks.

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks For You and Your Home

Cleaning

Using spring cleaning tips & tricks will help you save time, money and stress. Get it done quickly and properly the first time around!

  • Replace lightbulbs around your home.  This is a great time to change them out as you roam through each room, so you don’t have to worry about them for a while!
  • Leave vacuuming and sweeping for last. This way you can start with cleaning the ceiling fans, light fixtures, and dusting the entire room, without having to vacuum up the dust twice.
  • When you clean your furniture, be sure to pull up cushions and vacuum in every crevice you can find.
  • Wipe down the walls.  This task may seem overwhelming, but when you clean the walls of your home, it makes a huge difference in the appearance of your home!
  • Open the windows! While you clean, you’ll be rustling up dust and dirt. Opening the windows will allow that to get out of your home, plus, the added sunshine and fresh air will keep you motivated.
  • If your freezer tends to accumulate ice build-up, just use cooking spray!  A thick layer sprayed over those icy spots will keep the areas free of ice.  Just spray, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  Wipe it up with paper towels, and you’ll immediately notice a difference.
  • Indoor plants can get dusty and dried out (especially if you have your heating system running). Give them some new life, by placing them in the shower and rinsing them off.  They will appreciate the extra water and one-on-one attention, plus, they will be fresher, greener and more lively!  Shine them up even more by applying a teaspoon of mayonnaise to their leaves, and rubbing it in, after their bath.
  • Tennis balls are a great way to get a quick cleaning of your pool.  Toss a new ball into the water, and it will help soak up all of that sunscreen, suntan lotion and natural body oils that swimmers leave behind.
  • Baking soda offers a ton of  great benefits, outside of cooking and baking.  Sprinkle a tablespoon inside gym bags and workout shoes to freshen them up.  Leave an open box in your freezer to keep that musty stench a bay.  Mix 4 tablespoons with a quart of warm water in a spray bottle for quick wipe downs of your bathroom and kitchen counters.  Sprinkle on couches and other places pets spend time.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then vacuum it up to refreshen those areas.  1/2 cup baking soda + 1/2 cup vinegar can help to unclog kitchen and bathroom drains, too.
  • Dryer sheets are a great way to clean your baseboards!  Attach them to a handle (Swiffer, duster, etc.) and run them along the entire length of the boards.  This will repel dust and offer a nice, clean scent.
  • If you have porcelain fixtures in your home, rub them with vodka and a moist cloth.  After rubbing for a while, sit back and admire that shine!
  • Avoid soap scum buildup on your glass shower doors with automotive rain repellent windshield sealant. Just apply it to clean doors, and you’ll be scrubbing far less often.
  • Make those windows shine!  Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a gallon of water, and put it in a spray bottle.  You just made a DIY window cleaner!
  • Dish soap is a great way to get dust, dirt and grime off of patio and outdoor furniture.  Use a drop of soap with some warm water, scrub down the furniture, then rinse off with your garden hose.
  • Walnuts can be used to cover up scratches and scuffs from wooden furniture!  Just rub the nut over the surface, and voila!
  • Get that nasty burnt-in food out of your oven with this simple tip:  First, chip off pieces and remove them.  Spray down with ammonia, then throw some baking soda on top.  Add a little white vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes.  After that, you’ll easily be able to wipe away the food!
  • Nasty stain on the carpet?  Just dissolve 1 tablespoon of dish soap into a cup of warm water.  BLOT (do not rub!) the stain with a soaked white cloth, rinse it out, then continue to blot.  The stain will lift off the carpet and onto your cloth!  Continue to blot with plain, cold water and then a dry cloth to finish.
  • Extra pillow cases are a quick and easy way to clean the blades of your ceiling fans.  Say good-bye to dust by putting each blade inside, then sliding it off.
  • If you clean with sponges, you know that they can get super stinky super quickly.  Rinse out your sponges after use, and dry them in the microwave until dry.  Once they start to fall apart, it’s time to replace them.
  • Those burner plates on your stovetop can get pretty gross.  The easiest way to clean them, without scrubbing is to put a few tablespoons of ammonia in a large Ziploc bag, with each burner.  Leave the bags outside overnight, remove the burners and wash off with warm water.  The fumes from simple ammonia are powerful enough to break through that burnt food!
  • Lemons are a great natural cleaner.  Cut a lemon in half, and rub it on kitchen and bathroom areas where hard water leaves those pesky stains.  Rinse with warm water and you’ll have a super shine!
  • Your bathroom fan/exhaust needs attention, too.  Don’t let it build-up with dust!  Just use the canned air normally used for computer keyboards to get it clean and dust-free.
  • Clean your blinds quickly and easily by combining 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water.  Use an old sock, and place your hand inside like a puppet.  Dip the sock in the mixture, and run your hand over each blind to get rid of dust and dirt!