Can you feel it? Spring is in the air! The days are lighter longer, the grass is greener, the birds are chirping and the flowers are peeking through the soil! Yessir, spring has officially sprung!
The transition period between a long winter and a hopefully mild summer is here. Spring officially begins on the Vernal Equinox. For folks in the Northern Hemisphere, that occurs during the middle of March – on March 20, to be exact.
Although spring is generally a welcome season of the year, it also means it’s time to get busy with spring cleaning. While the task may seem daunting and overwhelming, learn how to save time, energy and money this year with the following spring cleaning tips and suggestions listed below.
The key to tackling the annual spring cleaning ritual is organization.
Before you begin, make a to-do or checklist. As you tackle each item one-by-one, the task does not seem so overwhelming.
Start in one area of the home – the kitchen, bathroom(s), bedrooms, etc. Tackle one area at a time, and then mark each area off the list!
Make sure everyone in the house helps! Give everyone an age-appropriate to-do list too!
Before you begin, make sure you have the proper tools on hand – your favorite cleaning supplies, rags, gloves, mask, eye protection, etc.
If you tend to be a pack-rat, it’s time to let go. Sign up with a Freecycle program and recycle and reuse those unused and unloved items whenever possible.
Considering a yard or garage sale. You'll not only clean out the clutter, but you'll make a few bucks too!
The entry to your home is one of the first things guests and neighbors see. Is it inviting or cluttered? Do you still have Christmas decorations on the roof and outside?
Take a look at the doormat - give it a good cleaning or replace it if needed.
Don’t forget the gutters. Clean them out!
Before you turn on those ceiling fans, dust them off!
If you have central air, don’t forget to change the filter.
Floors, ceilings and walls - ooh my!
Clean out your drawers and closets. Donate items you no longer use or have never worn to women’s shelters, the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
If you have the space, move your winter clothing, coats, shoes and boots to another closet and replace with lighter clothing and jackets.
Depending on the type you own, rotate and flip those mattresses.
Wash all the bedding and switch the heavy sheets and blankets for something a bit more comfy and light.
Same thing goes for the curtains and tablecloths.
If you have a clothesline, use it! It’ll cut down on your expenses and make your clothes smell wonderful!
Switch out those heavier throw pillows for summertime ones.
Clean out the kitchen cupboards. If necessary, toss out expired food. Wipe down or replace the cupboard liners.
Clean out the fridge. Again, discard any expired or yucky food. Wipe down the shelves, handles and drawers. Add an open box of Baking Soda to soak up any less-than-friendly odors.
When is the last time you looked under or behind the fridge or stove? Pull them out, take a peek and give the area a good clean.
Don’t forget the microwave. If you have kids, chances are good you have a messy microwave. An eco-friendly, easy way to clean up those “baked” on splatters is to fill a microwave-safe glass with water. Add a bit of lemon juice to make things smell nice and fresh. Place the glass in the microwave and turn it on until the water is bubbly and steaming. Remove the glass. Using a little elbow grease, you’ll be able to remove all that disgusting gunk from your microwave without any harmful chemicals – and it’s free too!
While today’s stoves are much easier to clean than their predecessors, you still need to clean the stove – from top to bottom. Replace the burner trays if needed. If you have a self-cleaning oven, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean out the sink. Besides cleaning the sink area, pour a bit of baking soda followed by some vinegar down the drain.
If you have a garbage disposal, toss in some salt, a few ice cubes and a few pieces of a cut-up lemon and turn it on!
Kitchen counters, kitchen floor and small appliances – ‘Nuff said.
Clean out the silverware/utensil drawer. When is the last time you washed the utensil tray?
Don't forget to clean or replace washclothes, sponges or brushes from time-to-time!
Cleaning the bathroom probably ranks high on the list of least favorite things to do in the entire world. You’ll need to clean the sink(s), bath and/or shower, mirrors, floors and of course, the dreaded toilet.
Don’t forget the medicine cabinet! Be sure to properly discard of all expired medication! Medicine in the wrong hands, or paws, can be hazardous!
Out with the old and in with the new- toothbrushes that is!
Clean out the vacuum! Whether yours is bagless or not, it’s time to clean out that vacuum cleaner. It’s a good idea to have a few extra bags and belts on hand – just in case.
Take those area rugs outside and give them a shake! If you can, let them air out in the fresh air outside.
Depending on your location, it’s time to take out the springtime furniture. BBQ grill, patio tables, chairs, solar lights, hammocks, flower pots, mower, tiller, etc.
It may be time to do a little touch-up painting too.
If you have a pool, it may be time to start preparing for another busy pool season.
Don’t forget your computer! When is the last time you clean up your hard drive or backed up your important files, documents and photos?
Be sure to put all the cleaning supplies and tools away when you are done!