Organize Your Space
Spring Cleaning Checklist
Winter sure can seem long in this country! The months of gray skies, icy sidewalks, and biting wind seem to drag on forever! Don’t we all have a little bit of spring fever by now? You have the urge to open all the windows and air the place out a bit. But if you can’t see out of those windows, some spring cleaning may be in order! Here are three lists to guide you: one with the basics, one for the ambitious and a few tips for those who are posted.
If you just want to cover the basics:
- Clean the bathrooms well, making sure to scrub down every surface with a disinfecting cleaner. Banish the winter germs for good!
- Dust every piece of furniture – begin by dusting any decorative objects, and then thoroughly dust the surface with a slightly dampened cloth.
- Vacuum thoroughly – make sure to pull out the furniture and vacuum underneath it. Don’t forget to pull out your fridge and stove and get at the dust bunnies underneath!
- Wash all floors.
- Vacuum upholstered furniture – don’t forget under the cushions!
- Clean the windows – nothing makes a house feel cleaner than the sun shining through sparkling, clear windows!
- Clean the stove, oven, fridge and freezer. Self-cleaning ovens are the bee’s knees, but if you have one that requires cleaning, use a paste of baking soda and a scrub brush to get the burned stuff off.
- If you have stainless steel appliances, make sure to polish all the fingerprints off – the whole point of having stainless steel is for it to shine!
- Wipe down cupboard doors.
- Give your trash cans a good scrub in the laundry tub with dish soap and a scrub brush.
- Wash shower curtains, floor mats, all bedding and washable curtains.
If you want to win a gold medal in spring cleaning:
- Wash all the walls from top to bottom – one of the easiest ways to do this is with a damp microfiber cloth and a “Swiffer” type mop
- Clean out your kitchen cupboards. Remove everything from each shelf. Run it through your dishwasher if it’s dusty or grimy. Give the shelf a good scrub and put everything back – this may be an excellent time to reorganize cupboards or drawers if they haven’t been working for you.
- Take the vacuum cleaner to your bookshelves. Vacuum the top of each book (they collect more dust than you could possibly imagine), dust the shelf and then place the book back – in alphabetical order of course!
- Give all your floors a heavy-duty scrub. Every couple of months, I do what my family always referred to as a “German wash.” This involves a bucket of soapy water (I prefer Murphy’s Oil Soap), a bucket of clean water and a dry towel. On hands and knees, scrub the floor with the soapy water and a scrub brush (careful to get the edges and corners), then rinse with the clean water and a cloth, and then buff dry with the towel. I have no idea if this is what people in Germany do, but it definitely gives you a sparkling clean floor!
- Change your refrigerator water filter, furnace filter, smoke detector batteries and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
- Take the time to clean out your dishwasher. If there is a bunch of food gunk on the bottom, remove that first (gross, I know). Then run a cycle with either a cup of vinegar or a commercial dishwasher cleaner. This will help remove calcium deposits so that your dishwasher functions better.
- Dust lamps. Wash or vacuum lampshades. Take apart light fixtures and wash globes. Dust vanity light bulbs. Dust ceiling fans.
- If you’ve inherited any family silver or brass, now is the time to polish it. There are great polishing pastes available that will make these items as good as new!
- Launder snowsuits, mittens, toques, etc. and store for the summer (which is sure to make it snow one more time).
If you are posted this summer:
- De-clutter as you go – save your movers the headache of moving junk.
- Shampoo your carpets – if you’re careful, you won’t need to do them again when you move.
- Give all the clothes closets a good sorting. Donate anything you no longer need. Same goes for bookshelves and the kids’ toys!
- Make a list of minor home repairs as you go around your house. Then schedule some time (or hire a handy-person) to tackle everything!
For those who are posted this summer, getting a jump on your cleaning will pay off in spades! If you have a house to sell, your realtor will tell you that you can’t clean your home too much when it’s on the market. If you have a PMQ or rental home, you’ll get ahead of the curve for your march-out. If you are staying put, a bit of deep cleaning will go a long way towards maintaining your home and making it a much nicer place to live! And won’t you enjoy summer so much more when you can actually see the birds in the trees through your sparkling windows?