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
Dust 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.
CLOSETS: 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.
KITCHEN: 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.
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.