It’s that time of year when we wind our clocks forward, open the windows and enjoy the mild temperatures. With sunny days and an extra pep in your step, you might feel the urge to go all-in on a deep clean of your home.
Although spring cleaning can get a bad reputation for being overwhelming and tedious, we’ve got some ideas and inspiration to help you tackle your tasks and save time. Our unofficial checklist has information for both the dedicated cleaning enthusiasts and the casual participants. And for the DIY heroes, we’ve got goodies for you, too. Let’s go!
These four tasks can be knocked out in a sprint with outstanding results.
- Baseboards: Wrap a microfiber cloth around the end of your broom and sweep along the baseboards to clean up hidden dust and debris.
- Washer: Run two cups of white vinegar through a full hot water wash cycle without clothes or detergent to help break up hard water and detergent residue in the washbasin.
- Dryer: Clean your lint screen with a mild solution of one part white vinegar, one part water and a drop or two of dish soap. Rinse and let dry thoroughly.
- Lamp shades: Use a lint roller to nab those hidden dust bunnies that live on your lamp. Also, remember to dust your light bulbs by wiping a cool bulb with a clean cloth.
Should It Stay or Should It Go?
Throughout the year, we accumulate a bunch of stuff. As you work from room to room, create “Keep” and “Donate” piles. While you’re at it, consider taking stock of each room for a home inventory.
What’s a home inventory?
A home inventory is a list of items and their value in your home. This list is invaluable when it comes to making insurance coverage decisions and providing documentation if you ever have to report a claim. There are dozens of free tools and apps available to help you get organized. Make sure to check your inventory periodically and keep a copy of the full list with your other important household documents.
Cleaning your windows may not be the first thing you think to do on a cloudy day, but it turns out it’s the best time to tackle it. Streaks and smudges love a warm, bright day. For best results, use a mix of clean water and mild soap to help break down accumulated dirt and debris. Wipe away with a microfiber cloth.
Another task that is often overlooked is cleaning your pet’s bedding. Dust mites and other allergens build up over time. Put the bedding in your washing machine on the highest recommended temperature setting (aim for 140 degrees, Fahrenheit) for a fresh start. Too big for the washer? Place the bedding outdoors in full sun every two weeks for a natural clean.
Another spring cleaning ritual is checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. This simple task can help keep you and your family safe and prevent nuisance alarms. Another best practice is to replace batteries annually. With the upcoming end of daylight saving time, this is a good annual reminder!
Take it Outside
Clogged rain gutters are a nuisance and can lead to leaks if not cleared. Start by removing loose leaves and debris by hand. Once the first layer is removed, fit your garden hose with a long spray nozzle to flush the gutter. Pay close attention not to spray underneath roof shingles or use too much water to cause a backup.
Take stock of trees and shrubs. Prune back any dead limbs or branches. This will help rejuvenate plants and ensure there isn’t anything that could become a projectile with strong winds.
For larger trees, consider having an arborist or tree service evaluate your yard. These experts will help you assess the best care and maintenance for years of enjoyment and safety for your home.