I’m a bit of a clean freak, as my kids will attest to wholeheartedly. But I’m okay with that. And nothing triggers my cleaning freak quicker than the sunlight pouring in through the windows pointing out every streak and dirty spot.
Here as my approach to cleaning:
• Start by making a list of everything you want to get done.
Nothing feels better than looking at the list at the end of the day and seeing most or all of it scratched off as “done.”
• Make sure you have everything on hand you will need to clean.
You don’t want to have to be running out to the store to buy things mid clean. I love Mr. Clean Magic Erasers because they work on everything from stainless to baseboards and more.
• Tackle one room at a time.
Part of cleaning is mental. When you tackle one room and complete it, you feel inspired to tackle the next one because the first one looks so good.
• Buy bins and organizers.
Nothing keeps things in order than having the proper storage units. Before I got bins, etc. my family would carelessly throw things back in cupboards or closets. Somehow, a bin or organizer gets them to put things back where they belong. I helped my daughter organize her closet over a year ago and she’s kept it that way and she is the polar opposite of me when it comes to cleaning.
• Donate anything you haven’t worn to charity.
I like to pretend I’m moving and ask myself, “Would I take this if I were moving?” If the answer is no then I put it in a bag to be donated. Fortunately I live across the street from a Goodwill.
• Paint baseboards.
There’s nothing like a coat of fresh paint to make a room look brighter and cleaner. And I have found I can paint them pretty quickly once I’ve tapes the floor. I have handymen in my apartment building who are always looking for some extra cash so I sometimes pay them to paint a room. It’s great to come home after work and find a bright, clean room.
• Include smoke detectors on your spring-cleaning list.
Smoke detectors aren’t something you generally think about till the battery dies and sends it into obnoxious alarm. It’s a good idea to change out the batteries every spring.
Art Freedman is the founder and CEO of Max Warehouse had these other great tips:
• Flipping and cleaning the mattresses.
(Tip: Throw some baking soda on your mattress and leave it for a few hours before vacuuming it of. It will neutralize any odors. You can also drag it outside for some sunlight, which has the same effect, but it’s not always a practical option!)
• Steam cleaning the carpets.
(Need an easy fix for dents made by heavy furniture in the carpet fibers? Put an ice cube in each dent and let it melt. When it has melted and the area is dampened, take a cloth and blot the excess water and iron the area, again with a towel over top. Once the area is dry, you’ll be able to fluff up your carpet fibers so they look as good as new!) This actually works. I’ve tried it myself. And it’s not that expense to either rent or buy a carpet steamer. I found a couple of steamers for around $100 and that’s so much cheaper than hiring a professional carpet cleaner.
• Emptying and cleaning out the refrigerator or freezer.
I do this every week before going to the grocer store. By doing this every week, it takes minutes and I know what I’m missing or running low on and need to pick up from the store.
And getting all that dust and dirt cleaned up makes for a healthier house. I’m always amazed at how much dust comes out of my curtains when I take them down to wash them. Or the dust bunnies you can find in corners.
Well, I think I have to end this post here because I’m getting the urge to clean something. Good luck with your spring-cleaning. The weather this week has made it feel like it’s just around the corner. And if you have some spring-cleaning tips of your own, please add them to the comments.