In the last article, I shared simple actionable steps on how to start decluttering your home (or your things) in preparation for Spring (or any other season actually). It’s good that you have set a regular time of the year, every month, every quarter or semi-annually to do some cleaning up and decluttering to prevent the deepest of deep clean or piling up of deep-seated dirt in the areas of your home.
Here is a checklist on what areas to clean this Spring:
1. Living room
- Ceiling – this is one of the spots you often usually forget to clean. So springtime is the time to do just that.
- Curtains – when was the last time you changed your curtains? Or vacuumed it?
- Furniture – Pull furniture away from walls and vacuum behind and under it
- Your Area Rugs
- Your Carpet – According to Paul Iskyan, owner of Rug Renovating, less-trafficked areas of your carpet only have to be cleaned once or twice a year, and every 18 months for a bedroom. For higher-traffic areas, the most often you’d need to bring in professionals would be three or four times a year, although once you see that your carpet is dirty, you probably should have it cleaned for health reasons.
- Your wood floors – Accdg to house beautiful, you should only wet-clean wood floors once every one to two months with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, and spot-clean as needed.
- Windows – Wait for an overcast day and start on the shady side of the house, as the direct sun can lead to streaks. “Raise blinds or shades and wash windows with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth,” says Carolyn Forte, Director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Then lower the blinds and vinyl shades and dust with a duster like Swiffer and finish by vacuuming fabric shades and drapes.”
- Kitchen sink
- Microwave – Enough with the tomato sauce stains — this trick will make cleaning ’em up easier. Place a large microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water and a chopped-up lemon, lime, or orange or several tablespoons of vinegar inside. Turn the appliance on high for several minutes or until the solution boils and the window is steamy, then let it sit to cool for 15 minutes before opening the door. Remove and wipe out the inside and outside with a sponge.
- Countertops – The first step to preventing granite stains: Seal your countertops as soon as they’re installed, says kitchen designer Florence Perchuk. You’ll know they’re sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface. To maintain, have them sealed again a year later and make sure you wipe up accidental spills as soon as they happen.
- Refrigerator – you probably wipe down your fridge’s interior shelving on the regular already, but don’t forget about the rest. Pop-out the door shelves and bins, and wash in warm, soapy water to get rid of food bacteria and spillage.
- Cutting boards
- Grocery bags
- Pots and pans – Soften burned-on residue by adding water and dish liquid to your cookware and letting it simmer on the stove. Use Brillo pads to remove any remaining stuck-on bits. Ketchup (yes, really!) helps dissolve tarnish on copper pots and other copper cooking accessories. Just massage the red sauce over the surface and add a pinch of salt to your polish if you come across exceptionally stubborn spots.
- Your oven/Stainless steel – use of baking soda in most parts of the kitchen is a good choice. Sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar on the bottom, let it bubble up, then whisk away the grime with a sponge.
- Kitchen cabinets – Sticky kitchen grime is a mix of dust and grease that builds up over time. Run the exhaust hood over your range every time you cook to keep grease from settling.
- Shower drain – To freshen drains (not unclog them) and help keep them free-flowing, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt. Pour the mixture down the drain, followed by 1 cup of heated vinegar. It will foam and bubble. Let it stand for 15 minutes — longer does not work any better. Follow by running hot tap water for at least 15 to 30 seconds. This is especially good for seldom-used drains, like in a guest bathroom.
- Shower curtain
- Junk drawers – for sure there are drawers in your room and even in other parts of the house that is full of junk or maybe, unorganized. Time to open those drawers, empty it out and clean it – maybe vacuum or wash it (if applicable). Make sure you remove all stash, things you no longer use and when you put it back, make it as organized as possible. Using containers/trays to organize the little stuff is a good idea.
- Bookshelves – Take a few minutes to organize your coffee table books, bedside novels, or favorite magazines. You can alphabetize, coordinate by color, or sort by size. Line books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows. And don’t forget to dust!
- Bedding/mattress – It’s time to tackle bulky items you typically avoid, like pillows and comforters. You only need to clean these items two or three times a year, so they should be at the top of your list during the spring cleaning season. But make sure you check the manufacturer’s label before tossing ’em into the washing machine.
- Kids’ toys – Don’t overlook the convenience of your dishwasher. It can take on more than just plates, including your children’s (and pets) plastic toys. Just choose the crystal or quick cycle and skip the heated dry. For stuffed animals, check the care tag first and then gather in a mesh bag or pillowcase and throw in the washer on a gentle cycle. A quick once-over with a lint roller can help too.
- Washing machine – Before you start to notice an odor in your appliance, disinfect it by running the special washer cleaning cycle with bleach or using a washing machine cleaner. To add, Don’t wash your clothes in a smelly machine. Instead, disinfect it with distilled white vinegar and baking soda to keep it fresh and high-functioning. Run the machine with hot water, then add the cleaning agents, and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterward, restart your machine, let the water drain, and wipe it dry.
- Patio Furniture – wipe down the chairs (minus the cushions), clean the tables with warm soap and disinfectant soap. Let it dry before using it.
- Doormats – Trap more dirt by using two mats, one outside the door and one inside. To refresh, hose off and air-dry mats. Vacuum indoor ones on both sides — going over the back will push trapped dirt out onto the floor where it will be easier to pick up.
Source: Goodhousekeeping.com, housebeautiful.com