As March brings around the warm weather and longer days, it is also time for the usual festivities to welcome the season, SPRING CLEANING time!!!! Yep, we grunt, whine and procrastinate, but we all have to do it. By using this "Must Do" checklist as a guideline, you will be able to mark this "mission impossible" as "mission COMPLETE"!!!
1. Clean the kitchen.
Do a vertical sweep from one end of the kitchen to the other going from top to bottom.
Clean appliances, inside and out, around, behind, on the sides
Clean pantry, throw away all expired and donate non-perishables to your local charity
Remove all items from the counters and cupboards and give them a good wipe with just soap and water
Remove light fixtures if possible to give a good cleaning and replace burnt-out bulbs
2. Windows, windows and more windows.
Wipe the interior of your windows, tracks, frames, sills, and screens. Use glass cleaner and newspaper to clean storm windows inside and out. A can of compressed air is great for cleaning out the crevices between the windows.
Wash and clean window treatments. If you have mini-blinds, the best way is to remove them and clean with water and dish detergent in the bathtub.
Powerwash the exterior of windows - recruit some help if you need to by hiring a window cleaner (ask me for my preferred suppliers)
3. Re-organize Closets.
Store away all the winter clothing and coats and bring out the lighter clothing
Donate all the items you no longer need
Clean boots before storing them away
Purchase vacuum storage bags to create more space
4. Vents and hidden dust.
Clean or replace the furnace filters and vacuum all heating vents
Clean and dust the ceiling fans that have been neglected
Don't forget bookcases. Clear all items, donate unwanted items, and wipe down the top, shelves and sides, vacuum behind
Dust lampshades, picture frames, remove cushions from sofas and armchairs and beat the dust outdoors, vacuum underneath the cushions
5. Freshen up bedding.
Strip all bedding and launder all washables, including sheets, mattress pads, blankets, pillowcases. Store the heavier winter quilts after a good wash. Pillows can be drycleaned or tossed in the dryer for an air tumble (check label first). Matresses can be vacuumed and turned to promote evenness.
6. Floors, carpets and rugs.
It's a great time to clean carpets by renting a deep-clean machine at your local hardware store or hire a professional carpet cleaner (again, ask me if you want me to refer you to a good supplier)
Some throw-rugs can be laundered and hung outside, along with area rugs, to soak in some fresh spring air
Clean under the large area rugs
Why not spruce up the living room arrangement while you're at it?
Give the floors in each room a thorough sweeping and cleaning
Give stairs a good sweeping and use a pencil eraser to remove shoe scuffs
7. The forgotten items we see every day.
Walls - washing walls is one of the most neglected tasks throughout the year. To clean walls, prepare two plastic dish tubs, one containg cleaning solution and the other plain water for rinsing, two large rags again one for cleaning and one for rinsing, towel for drying, scrub brush for tough stains, and a mop for high places. The cleanser I like to use is called TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) but wear gloves and keep out of reach of children because this cleanser is a bit harsh.
Other cleaners will work as well if you can't find TSP like plain soap and water, water and vinegar or Pinesol.
Baseboards - vacuum, wash with warm water and dish washing soap, and follow up with dry cloth. TIME SAVING TIP: run a dryer sheet over clean baseboards to repel future dirt, pet hair, etc.
Sources: choresandchecklists.com, inspirationformoms.com, howtocleananything.com