A Spring Cleaning Checklist
As the sun melts the ice and snow, the flowers begin to form a bud and we hear the chirping of the birds, we know one thing: Spring is just around the corner; it is time to get our house in order.
Spring Cleaning traditionally refers to the idea of clearing out the old and making room for the new. This applies to the clothes in your closet and those old shoes that you hate to give away but realize you haven’t worn in a year. It also refers to getting into the corners of your home and cleaning areas that need attention. Here is a Spring Cleaning Checklist:
1. Begin by making a list of the areas in your home that you need to deep clean and organize. Here are some suggestions and tips:
2. Look at every drawer, closet and cabinet carefully. Are there things in there that you haven’t touched in a while? Are there things piled together that you have never touched, never even looked at because the task would simply be too daunting? The best way to begin is by taking everything out. Then ONLY put back the things you absolutely cannot live without. This time, as you are putting these items back, put them in order according to type, size, color and use. It becomes a mixing and matching game that can be enjoyable when you do it right. Clean the drawer, closet and cabinet before putting things back and wipe each item individually before placing it there.
3. Now take a look at some other aspects of your home such as: ceilings, light fixtures, baseboards, thresholds, Get your cleaning tools like tall dusters, damp cloths and soft cloths for drying and polishing, vacuum attachments and the appropriate cleansers. Sometimes just using a damp cloth with a dry one to follow does the trick. Tall dusters are perfect for the ceiling fixtures and corners of the walls. To clean baseboards and door thresholds, use a good vacuum attachment to get the dust off quickly, and then use a damp/dry cloth to wipe it clean.
4. Take a good look at all the walls, switch plates, doors and handles. Do the walls have scuff marks and smudges? Take a bucket of warm water with some dish detergent and use a soft cleaning cloth or sponge to clean off the walls. Do not use any harsh abrasive cleanser or sponge on any wall surface. You might also spray 409 on a cloth to get the marks off and to clean the switch plates. Organic disinfectant wipes work great on switch plates. Bar Keeper’s Friend liquid cleanser works well on white-painted walls. Pour a little on a damp sponge and rub lightly. Many people also love to use Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser – just use it with care on proper surfaces to avoid damage.
5. Sofas, Chairs, Couches and Decorative Pillows accumulate lots of crumbs and things that you may even have thought you lost. Take the cushions off and use a vacuum attachment to get into the crevices, then vacuum the cushions with another attachment. Get underneath furniture and dust, vacuum and clean area deeply. (Turn over or rotate your mattress while you are at it.) You can also beat the cushions on all sides to get excess dust off and then fluff everything up while putting them back in their place. If you can safely remove and wash your slip covers, then do so following laundering instructions. If your fabric is very delicate, then use a lint roller. Call in a service to clean all your upholstery.
6. Curtains, Shutters and Blinds also get dusty and dirty. Take curtains down and have them dry-cleaned if necessary. Take a good damp cloth with a little detergent soap and wipe shutters and blinds inside out from top to bottom.
7. While you are at it take a look at the windowsills and windows. You may need to have a service come to do the windows. If you can do-it-yourself then get a good tall reaching squeegee. You may want to pressure-clean the outside walls first, and then do the windows.
8. Floors, carpets and area rugs very often need a good thorough cleaning that may require calling in a service. Floors may lose their shine and need a good sanding and new coat of polyurethane. While a Bona mop is great for everyday cleaning, you may need to buy some knee pads and do a more thorough job on the floors from corner to corner. Folex is great for spot cleaning on carpets and area rugs, but using a professional carpet cleaner is best to give it that fresh clean look.
9. Finally, look at your decorations and where you have things positioned. If you have too much clutter, it is hard to see the beauty in any one item. Consider clearing away some things that you probably don’t need. Accumulating too many things in any one area can be distracting and ultimately cause disorder.
Once you have done all this work “spring cleaning” your home, maintaining it clean will be a lot easier as you keep it clean on a regular basis throughout the year. Now sit back and enjoy your clean and organized environment, and perhaps invite someone over to share its beauty.
For more tips: “The Professional Housekeeper” book and dvd by Marta Perrone can be purchased on Amazon.com
For Household Manuals and Staff Training – Contact Marta Perrone.