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I wasn’t sure if I should start this blog post with a letter telling the groundhog where he could stick winter or not, so I figure I’ll forego that part in the interest of time. Truthfully, I’m not a fan of Spring anyway. I like it till the ground thaws too much, and then it’s just too muddy for me. So if it’s 6 more weeks, I’m not too disappointed. I do, however, look forward to having a little more light in my day and Spring in my step. According to my doctor, I’ve recently moved to the 3rd least sunny spot in America. Brilliant, aren’t I? Anyway, the winter blues are starting to get to me and I’m hoping a little more sun will give me a little more energy.
Every year I get excited about Spring Cleaning. Well, not really – seriously, I’m not that crazy – but few things make me happier than a really clean house. So while I’m dreaming about weather warm enough to rip my house apart and clean in the deepest darkest corners, I figured I’d share some of my best Spring Cleaning tips.
Before you do anything, declutter your home. If you haven’t used it since your last Spring Clean, throw it out, sell it, or donate it. Don’t hang on to it because you paid a lot for it and don’t want to waste it. That’s what eBay and online yard sales are for. A clutter-free home will make you physically and mentally healthier. If there are things you absolutely can’t get rid of, buy some pretty storage bins or containers to keep them in.
Next, tackle the laundry. Curtains, draperies, comforters, pillows, tablecloths, place mats, and anything else made of cloth gets thrown in the wash. When it comes out, I either iron it and put it back where I got it from, or I fold it and store it for the season. I like to use Space Bags, which are vacuum sealed and keep out any moisture or dust, or worse, the occasional spider. They also shrink anything in them down to nothing, which is awesome if you’re short on space like I am. Pro tip: Suck the air out of the bags close to wherever it is that you’re going to store them. You don’t realize quite how heavy your linens are until you have to carry them all at once!
While that’s going, I move on to the hardest part for me, which is the walls. Now before you take water to your walls, find out what kind of paint you have. Not all walls are washable. If you can’t wash them, dust them really well. I use a Swiffer Sweeper to do mine. The long handle reaches right up to the ceiling and it doesn’t take me long at all. If they’re really dingy, consider repainting. This is also a good time to reconsider your space. Could that room use a little more artwork or maybe some pretty wall decals?
After walls comes floors, so drag your furniture out of the room and get ready for some more hard work. Vacuum your carpets really well and then steam clean them if you can. Many grocery and hardware stores will rent out steam cleaners or you can just invest in one so you have it whenever you need it. Especially if you have kids or pets, they come in handy.
I prefer to wash floors on my hands and knees – I have short arms and it’s easier than trying to maneuver a mop. If you choose to do that, be sure to protect your knees with a rolled towel or a gardening knee cushion between you and the floor. Everyone has a preferred method, but I take a scrub brush, scrub a spot in a circular motion, dry it with a towel, and move to the next. Kind of like “Wax on, Wax off.” Then I go over it one more time with just plain water to rinse. While you’re down on the floor, make sure to wash any baseboards, too.
Third, tackle the windows! Many people hate windows so they do this part first, but I like doing it. Sometimes, if the outside of the windows are particularly gross, I’ll hose them down first to save myself some work. Other than that, I have no special tips here – I use Windex and a clean microfiber cloth for both inside and out. I know people who use newspaper to get a streak-free shine, but I honestly think that’s weird. I don’t want newspaper ink on my window.
Don’t forget to clean any blinds, too. I take smaller blinds outside and scrub them down and then spray them with a hose, but you could also do them in a bathtub. Now, put your window treatments back up! Hint: Sunlight improves mood, so use sheer curtains to let as much light in as you can!
Finally, sit down, put your feet up, and look around. That feeling your home has after a good Spring Cleaning is amazing, right? All you have to do now is make a plan to keep your house that way. I’ve heard this is possible, but it hasn’t happened for me yet. Share your successes – let me live vicariously!