For many of us, it’s been a long winter – and it’s only February! Perhaps you’ve finished all your Netflix series and now you notice that after months of working, studying and playing at home, your place needs sprucing up. It’s time to prepare for spring cleaning.
To help you plan an efficient deep cleaning, we consulted cleaning professionals and offer the following tips to keep in mind.
Scurrying from room to room vacuuming or dusting might work in a hasty pre-party cleanup, but deep cleaning requires focus. Thoroughly clean one room at a time. Work from top to bottom so that if dust falls, it will hit a surface you have not cleaned yet. Other things to keep in mind include:
- Dust the ceiling fan: be sure to cut the power first and replace light bulbs if needed
- Let the sunshine in: wash windows, clean blinds or wash curtains and drapes
- Wipe the walls: use a damp cloth to dust the walls.
- Move the sofa: vacuum beneath the furniture and wipe down baseboards
Springtime brings allergy season, so keeping the inside air pure is important. Spring cleaning tips for air quality include:
- Replace air filters: as a rule, you should replace the filters in your heating and cooling system every 90 days.
- Replace or install floor vents: add floor register vent filters to keep dust and dirt from falling into your home’s ductwork.
- Clean air vents: use the hose attachment to vacuum wall or floor vents.
- Check the dryer vent: chances are, you clean the lint filter in your dryer after each load. Check the exterior vent as well to be sure it is not blocked.
- Test smoke detectors: use the test button to see if smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are working. Replace the batteries if they don’t work. Replace smoke detectors that are 10-years-old or more.
Eliminating clutter will not only help keep your home neat, it will also improve your mood. A study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people whose homes were cluttered and had unfinished projects were more depressed, fatigued and stressed.
A simple decluttering system involves sorting items into three bins: put away, throw away, and give away. Be unsentimental about your belongings. Children’s schoolwork? Keep one or two clever pieces and throw out the rest. A logo beer mug from Spring Break 2010? Donate it.
Here are additional tips for different rooms:
- Bathroom: discard expired medication, skin care products and makeup.
- Bedroom: discard or recycle old eyeglasses, chargers or dry writing pens. Donate clothes that don’t fit or you haven’t worn in more than a year.
- Kitchen: clear out that junk drawer.
Deep Clean the Kitchen
The kitchen is a high traffic area that easily accumulates clutter, dust and grime. Consider the following spring cleaning tips for a kitchen:
- Organize cabinets: remove everything from cabinets and drawers and use the sorting method for the contents. Clean the inside and outside of the cabinets. Organize and replace items you intend to keep.
- Refresh the refrigerator: remove all the food from the refrigerator. Discard expired food or unused condiments. Clean the inside of the refrigerator. Remove the storage drawers and wash them in soapy water. Return items to the refrigerator.
- Purge the pantry: remove everything. Discard expired food. Discard or donate unused items like old coffee makers or cookware. Wipe down shelves and replace food in an organized manner.
- Shine the stainless steel: clean the exterior of your appliances with an appropriate cleaner. Harsh cleaners can damage stainless steel so check your appliance manual. Clean the inside of the microwave and the stovetop. Clean the exhaust hood. Run a cleaning cycle for the oven.
- Finish the floors: sweep the floors and clean using products for the flooring material, whether tile or wood. If possible, deep clean with a floor scrubber or steamer.
Bathrooms are another high traffic area. Once the storage spaces are organized, most of the bathroom cleaning involves cleaning hard surfaces.
- Vacuum or replace the exhaust fan.
- Scrub bath, tub floors, toilet and wipe the mirror.
- Determine if the toilet seat should be replaced.
- Dust light fixtures.
- Wipe down cabinets.
- Change the shower curtain.
Engage everyone in your house in spring cleaning. Let your children help. They will learn a useful skill and feel involved. Play music, make contests, make games out of matching socks or sing while cleaning windows.
Spring Cleaning Tips from the Pros
Deep cleaning your entire home takes time and scheduling. The end result is a comfortable, well-organized home where you feel more relaxed. Use these tips from cleaning professionals to plan to refresh and reorganize your home. For once, you might even look forward to spring cleaning.