Spring Cleaning, Part I

Posted by on March 22, 2009

As if cleaning wasn’t already a necessary but unpleasant part of our daily lives, we have come to dedicate an entire season to it? Are we gluttons for punishment? Or are we simply playing out the psychology of the season, waking up after a long wintery sleep?

Springtime brings with it images of new life, fresh flowers, light and air. Spring cleaning brings all of those things into our home and more.

You probably already have a daily or weekly cleaning routine. (If not, check out the daily cleaning checklist at www.realsimple.com or www.flylady.net.) Now is the time for deeper cleaning: cleaning out cabinets, polishing the wood and re-organizing the contents, for example. Before you undertake a deep clean, take a moment to get organized; it will make the tasks before you much easier.

(c) Africa Studio/Fotolia

Under the kitchen sink: Remove everything and clean the cabinet with a grease-cutting multi-surface cleaner. Sort cleaning products and supplies and discard any products that are dried up or used up. Group like supplies together: multi-surface cleaners, wood products, dish cleaning products. Store supplies in a caddy, bucket, or on a tray or lazy susan. (Keeping the bottles off the bottom of the cabinet will prevent the gunky build up from cleaning liquid dripping down the side of the bottle.) Attach small baskets to the inside of the cabinet door with suction cups or double-faced adhesive. Store sponges, scrub pads, plastic gloves and other small items here.

Create a cleaning caddy: Use a plastic caddy with a good handle to store frequently used products and supplies. As you move from room to room, everything you need will be right at hand.Now that you’re all organized, here are a few areas you might not immediately associate with spring cleaning, but as the saying goes, there’s no time like the present.

The Closet: Take any winter clothes to the dry cleaners; store in appropriate bags with moth repellant. Go through clothes, shoes and jewelry and donate any items that no longer fit your body or your style. (This also makes room for new Spring finds!)

Every room

  • Open windows and patios doors (screens in place) to let in the fresh, Spring air.
  • Vacuum or wipe down all air vents.
  •  Dust walls.
  • Clean windows.

For crystal clear windows without streaks, use this natural cleaning method. Use hot water with white vinegar, about ½ c. of vinegar per gallon of water. Wash the window with a clean cloth, and use a squeegee to dry the window. Wipe the edge of squeeqee with a cloth or paper towel with each pass. For interior windows, place an old towel on the window sill to catch any drips.

Things you may have missed:

  • Dryer hose: Using a long, extendable brush or hire an air duct cleaner to remove all of the built up lint.
  • Washer compartments: Using a damp cloth, get down into the fabric softener and bleach dispensers and all along the inside rim of the washer lid.
  • The rails of drawer glides: Use a cloth dampened with a multi-surface cleaning to get the crumbs and particles that collect here.
  • The soleplate of the iron: Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply with a soft cloth. Use a cotton swab to get in and around the holes on the soleplate. Wipe off any residue with a damp cloth. This is also a good time to check the wear on the ironing board pad and replace if necessary.
  • Under large appliances: Use an extendable duster or dust mop to get under the fridge, stove, washer and dryer.Furnace filter door grates: Vacuum with a brush attachment or use a duster the next time you change the filter.

If all of this seems too much, try setting aside just 15 or 30 minutes on a weekend and tackle one or two things at a time. Set a timer to keep yourself on track, then turn on your favorite music and spring into action!