Spring is here, at least according to the date on the calendar, and with it comes an urge and a mindset of getting your nest in order. Whether you are preparing to put your home on the market, or just want to make your house feel as fresh as possible -- It's time to shake off any winter doldrums and take a deep breath. Ready to freshen things up? Here are a few easy steps to make your Spring Cleaning successful. Let's do this and you'll feel revitalized when you're done.
Step 1: Clear the Clutter
It's hard to get everything clean when you're sifting through clutter. Best way to be successfull is to dedicate a specific time to get this step completed. Set aside a targeted weekend. Begin by telling yourself that you're "freeing" yourself of things that you don't really want or need anymore. Then, designate three areas where you can accumulate your items. Sort and sift into 1) Keep, 2) Donate/Recycle, and 3) Trash.
Start small. Take it a room at a time. Go through drawers, then work your way to closets. Take little "victory breaks" each time you finish one area of your home. Have plenty of large trash bags handy to corral your castoffs. Save files and other paperwork for last because that is likely to require more time. Bag or box discarded papers and have them ready to take to a Shred Event. There's usualy one scheduled mid-April, just after the Tax Deadline. Now put your Keep items back in their designated places.
Step 2: Organize Your Cleaning Products
Make sure you have your preferred cleaning products gathered up and ready to move from room to room. Here are a couple of links for making some old-fashioned cleaning products of your own using household items like baking soda or vinegar.
Step 3: Clean from the Top Down
Start at the top and work your way down. This method prevents you from having dirt go over areas you've already cleaned. Start with any area that is over your head, and that includes vent covers, ceiling fans and light fixtures. Before you move on, change light bulbs, replace air filters, and install new batteries in your smoke detectors. Dust high ledges, fireplace mantels, door frames, etc. Now you're ready to move into the lower areas of your home.
Dust furniture and knick knacks. Rearrange items, if you please, as you go. Launder curtains and rehang. Clean mirrorrs and pictures. Remove items from book shelves, dust and replace. Wash your windows (you might be surprised at what a difference this can make in the overall feel of your home). Polish wood furniture, vacuum and spot clean upholstered furniture.
Change and wash bed linens. Tackle your bathrooms like you are sanitizing them. Sinks, showers, tubs, toilets and counters all get a good scrubbing. It you have tile floors in your bathroom, mix a solution of water and bleach and go over them with a wet mop. let the solution sit for up to 30 minutes before going back over with clear water to rinse. Dry with a towel and admire how clean not only the tile, but also the grout, looks.
Take smaller area rugs outside and shake them, or wash them if possible. Vacuum all other rugs. Clean all baseboards, then clean your floors. Here's a link to a HGTV site that explains the best ways to clean hardwood floors. https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/clean-and-organize/how-to-clean-hardwood-floors.
Now that you're finished, light a candle, pour yourself a glass of something to sip and sit back and enjoy your clean home. It'll feel like a breath of fresh air!
When you're done, you can go back through the Donate/Recycle items and decide if there are things you'd rather sell. Online options include Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor.com.
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