Room-by-room guide to spring cleaning

CONQUER THE TASK

The emergence of spring has long been associated with the deep cleaning of our homes. For most, it signifies a fresh home, or a new start to complement the blossoming of spring.

To keep the job from feeling overwhelming, schedule a block of time each day, or even each week, for your annual cleaning. Work on one room at a time and reward yourself for each room until you've completed the job.

THE BASICS: FOR EVERY ROOM IN YOUR HOME

  • cleaning5Dust wall and ceiling light fixtures; remove globes and wash them. Dust ceiling fan blades.

  • Remove and wash window coverings and dust the top of curtain rods and window trim.

  • Remove wall hangings, knick-knacks, and other décor then rinse in warm soapy water.

  • Wash walls with an all-purpose cleaning solution. Touch up mars and chips with paint.

  • Empty cabinets and drawers then wash them inside and out. Wash out and arrange drawer organizers.

  • Clean unupholstered furniture from top to bottom with an appropriate cleaner.

  • Vacuum upholstered furniture from top to bottom and under cushions.

  • Unplug electrical cords and run through a damp rag to remove built-up dust.

  • Wash baseboards, then vacuum carpet edges with a narrow attachment.

 

BEDROOM ODDS ’N ENDS

  • Remove items from under the bed, dust off storage containers, and dispose of clutter.

  • Vacuum under beds using attachments.

 

cleaning2CLOSETS: ALWAYS FORGOTTEN

  • Dust shelving, brackets, and rods.

  • Organize shelves, and eliminate unneeded items.

  • Remove clothing you haven't worn in two years.

  • Dust shoe racks and rarely worn shoes.

 

THE BATHROOM: SOUR AND DISINFECT

  • Remove and launder shower curtain and liner, bath mat, toilet cover, and rugs.

  • Scour tub and shower from top to bottom, inside and out. Use a toothbrush to remove mold, mildew, and soap scum accumulation around the drain, faucet, knobs, and showerhead.

  • Clean glass shower doors inside and out, including the track.

  • Spray exterior of toilets with a sanitizing solution and wipe down.

  • Wash toilet brush container and wastebasket.

  • Scrub sink and countertop, including grooves around the drain, faucet, and knobs.

 

cleaning3KITCHEN: CONTAMINATION ZONES

  • Dust the top of kitchen cabinets.

  • Remove grease and grime from small kitchen appliances.

  • Clean stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher inside and out.

  • Scrub countertops with a mild abrasive or degreaser.

  • Wash table and chairs from top to bottom; don’t forget the cracks where table leaves meet.

 

BASEMENT, ATTIC, AND GARAGE: CLUTTER HAVENS

  • Install racks, shelving, and hooks, then organize and eliminate clutter.

  • Dust shelving and stored items.

  • Remove oil, paint, and other stains from concrete with trisodium phosphate. Be sure to follow directions carefully and protect the skin and eyes.

 

OUTDOORS: DIRT EVERYWHERE

  • Hose down siding and windows.

  • Wash screens with soapy water, then rinse with a hose and wash window exteriors.

  • Scrub doormats with an all-purpose cleaner and a brush, then rinse.

  • Spray off patio furniture then wipe clean.

  • Clean light fixtures.

  • Remove lint from dryer vent and nests and hives that have formed on or near the house.

cleaningTime-Saving Tips

  • Gather cleaning tools and supplies before you get started. Have plenty of rags, an old toothbrush, Q-tips, toothpicks, cleaning solutions, spray bottle, step stool or small ladder, and vacuum and attachments.

  • Work room-by-room for efficiency and to avoid duplicating or missing tasks.

  • Work around the room from top to bottom.

  • Play music as you clean. It may not save time but will make time pass more quickly.