Spring Cleaning Checklist
After the sickness that took over so many homes this Winter, we're so excited to be heading into Spring! Who wants to get rid of those nasty germs? Spring is the perfect time of year for the deep cleaning that you don't normally dedicate time to throughout the year. Don't worry about getting it all done at once! Break it up into several weekends if need be. This is also the perfect time of year to perform maintenance and upkeep checks.
Before we begin, here are a few tips: Never mix cleaning products - bleach with ammonia can be fatal. Start at the top and work your way down. Inventory your cleaning supplies and products and make sure you have enough before you dive into cleaning--garbage bags, paper towels, rags, rubber gloves, etc. Carrying supplies with you in a bucket or other container saves time and avoids tracking dirt into clean rooms. Have plenty of cold water and high-energy snacks on hand (nuts, dried fruit, cheese, vegetables) to fuel your endeavor. Don't forget to wash your hands before tossing back a few snacks!
Garage: appraise your tool collection--get rid of tools you don't use or that are rusted or beyond repair. Make a pile of things to sell in the garage sale and things to haul to the dump. Consider installing pegboards with hooks on the walls to hang tools and implements. Make a special place for outdoor toys, bikes, scooters, skates, etc. Finish by sweeping and spraying the floor.
Roof: inspect the roof for loose shingles, for mushy places, for debris. Get the hose up there and spray it off. Remove debris from gutters. Ensure that gutters aren't loose or in disrepair.
Exterior: examine exterior paint, brick or siding. Touch it up if needed. Check window screens for needed repairs or replacement, then power wash the outside of the house, including windows. It is amazing what some high pressure water can remove!
Outside Debris: clean up woodpiles and other debris which serve as homes for pests.
Sprinklers: check your lawn sprinkler system for maintenance problems.
Appliances: drain all sediment from your hot water heater. Perform maintenance on home cooling systems, air conditioning or swamp coolers before hot weather warrants their use.
Closets: go through each bedroom closet. Box up any clothing that has not been worn for more than two years and donate it to a local charity. Perform repairs (sewing buttons, fixing hems, stain removal) before storing winter clothes. Dry clean winter coats and donate those that haven't been worn. Using a vacuum hose, dust out each closet thoroughly--walls, shelves, ceilings, floors.
Walls: remove all wall decorations and wash down the walls throughout the house. We recommend using 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda to 1 gallon of warm water.
Baseboards: dust all baseboards and wash them down using the above solution.
Windows: wash all inside windows, vacuum out the tracks, and vacuum/wash/dry clean all window coverings.
Lights: dust and wash light fixtures and chandeliers, vacuum lampshades, and replace lightbulbs.
Heat Registers: remove coverings, dust and wash thoroughly.
Linen Closet: Clean out and reorganize! Repair fraying towels and washcloths, or throw them out and replace.
Bathrooms: deep clean shower, toilet, floor and sink. Inventory the medicine cabinet and expose expired medicines via a local take-back program. CLICK HERE to find a take-back program in your area.
Kitchen: Defrost freezer (if needed) and wash out refrigerator. Toss out expired foods. Remove the screen on the stove fan and wash. Clean oven and soak stove rings and drip pans. Go through your kitchen appliances, clean thoroughly and get rid of ones you no longer use regularly.
Bedding: launder all quilts, blankets, comforters and bedspreads. Don't forget to turn mattresses - most mattresses cannot be flipped due to how they are made, so make sure you turn it instead of flipping it!
Here's to open windows, clean homes and Spring!!