Spring Cleaning Tips

Is there anything that announces “spring has sprung” more than the scent of chemical-filled, highly abrasive household cleaners? Well, perhaps crocus popping up through the ground or the sight of robins hopping on your lawn. Or forsythia blooming. Or that first heavenly whiff of fresh warm air.

Okay, so springtime doesn’t exactly spell Windex, bleach and paper towels. Nevertheless, the arrival of the darling buds of May means a few weekends shaking the cobwebs out of your home.

Tackling these chores may take a while the first time you do them, but if you make them a part of a twice-annual cleaning regimen, future efforts won’t nearly be as difficult. Here’s what not to forget during your spring cleaning mission.

The Windows

Months of rain, snow, sunlight and dust have accumulated on your windows. And while cleaning them is undoubtedly a major pain in the neck, you won’t believe how much better your home will look afterward. If you’re not planning to hire a professional, you can make the job easier by skipping the Windex and paper towels, which often leave streaks (especially in cold weather).

A squeegee or a newspaper and white vinegar or rubbing alcohol works incredibly well. Don’t forget the screens; remove them and spray with a garden hose. Use your vacuum to clean up dust around the sill. It’s also a good time to check for drafts and add weather stripping to make your home more energy efficient.

Lighting and Ceiling Fans

Nothing spells gross like filthy light and ceiling fan fixtures. Remove glass tops and rinse with soapy water. Dust lampshades with a lightly dampened cloth from top to bottom. Use a Swiffer or other dust remover to eliminate icky dust chunks from ceiling fans, and wipe down thoroughly with a damp cloth. Make sure the lights are off as you work; you don’t want to wind up with a nasty burn.

Draperies

Your drapes probably don’t need to be dry-cleaned, so simply remove them from their rods and toss them in the dryer on a non-heated fluff setting. This will remove accumulated dust at no cost to you. Be sure to remove them as soon as they’re done tumbling; otherwise, you’ll wind up with a wrinkly mess. And that means ironing. Yuck.

Closets and Cabinets

No spring cleaning would be complete without a thorough closet and cabinet clean. It’s a great time to rid your home of unmatched plastic containers, clothes that don’t fit and more. Think of it as a re-edit of your closet. If you’re thrifty, list quality items for sale on eBay. You can use the funds to buy the best ceramic cookware you can find or an amazing new handbag!

Doorways and Banisters

Finally, wipe down doorways, light switches, banisters and anywhere else that may show fingerprint smudges. It’s also a great time to touch up with paint. Don’t waste money buying a new gallon; instead, buy a sample and label it with the room. Before you know it, your home will be in showroom condition.

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