Now that the sun is starting to shine just a little bit more, all of the families who hibernated over the weekend are beginning to peek their heads outside. And when you return home after a warm jaunt outside or your first time motorcycling this year, you tend to come back with a fresh set of eyes and notice all of the nooks and crannies in your home that need some attention.
That is exactly what spring cleaning is for. After the long winter months, a good spring cleaning will get rid of the dust, stains, and other assorted messes in your house. While you crack open the windows to get fresh air in your home, be sure to use these household cleaning tips to get your house clean and ready for a spring full of fun.
Set a Schedule
This is one of the most important household cleaning tips out there. Many people find spring cleaning daunting when they consider the size of their home and all of the little things that need some TLC. While there is a lot that any homeowner can tackle, it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Before you even pick up a sponge, you need to take a critical look at your home and identify the areas that need the most work. In general, these areas will be the ones that you skip during routine cleanings, such as the inside of the refrigerator or the blades on your ceiling fan.
Some people prefer to organize their cleaning plan room-by-room. This can be effective, especially if you’re getting the entire family involved in the process. If this is the case, it still helps to have individual plans for each room. With a plan in hand for tackling each room, you’ll be more likely to stay focused on the task at hand. Look online for room-by-room spring cleaning checklists to ensure that you aren’t skipping over anything.
Declutter your Spaces
Before you can get into the nitty-gritty of mopping and dusting, you may need to clear out some of the excess items in your home. When you declutter your home, it will appear more organized and efficient. This, in turn, can help you feel calmer and happier. Clutter signals to your brain that work isn’t done, which can add to your stress levels and take a toll on your mental and emotional health.
Decluttering is often a project as involved as spring cleaning on its own, but there are ways you can focus your decluttering efforts while still saving time and energy for the rest of your spring cleaning checklist. Pick out a couple of closets in your home that you haven’t gone through in a couple of years. These are the ones that you’ll focus your organization efforts on. Take out the items in the closet one-by-one and evaluate whether or not it really adds value to your life. If it doesn’t, donate or toss it. Once the closet is empty, dust and sweep the inside of it. Then place all of the items back in neatly. Do the same for the junk drawer in your kitchen or the cluttered drawers of the desk in your office.
Work Top to Bottom
There’s nothing worse than cleaning your floors until they sparkle and then dirtying them all over again because you forgot to dust your furniture first. One of the best household cleaning tips you can utilize is to start from the ceiling and work your way down. With this method, you’ll force all of the debris downward and you’ll avoid having to re-clean the space.
Typically, this spring cleaning strategy means that you will start cleaning a room by using a vacuum with an extension hose to get the cobwebs and dust off of your ceilings and fan. Then, you can move to dusting the furniture in the room as well as any other objects at a middling height. Once you wipe all of these surfaces clean, you can sweep, vacuum, or mop your floors for a shiny finish.
Wash Your Bedding
Although you may typically avoid washing bulky items like your pillows and comforter, they do need a trip through the washing machine. Throughout the year, every piece of your bedding picks up dust, dirt, germs, and allergens. These small particles add up over time, often negating any good your hypoallergenic sheets or 400-count pillowcases are doing for your health. When you throw bulky items into the washing machine, remember to first check the manufacturer’s label so that you don’t inadvertently ruin the items.
While your bed is stripped, you can pay attention to the thing under the sheets: your mattress. Despite sleeping on it every night, you probably don’t have your mattress on your regular cleaning checklist. That means it needs a piece of the spotlight during spring cleaning. Use these household cleaning tips to clean your mattress:
- Use your vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean the top and sides of the mattress
- Rinse it with a damp cloth, blot dry, and sanitize it with a disinfectant spray
- Use a garment steamer or iron to kill dust mites near the surface
- Finish the cleaning process with another thorough vacuuming.
If you’re unsure of how to utilize these household cleaning tips for your mattress, you can call a professional cleaning service. Many carpet and upholstery cleaners offer mattress cleaning as well.
Remember the Windows and Doors
As you’re cleaning your home, don’t forget about the parts of it that face the outer world. The windows and doors in your home are what allow the sun to shine through it. When they’re dirty, your home may not be as sun-kissed as it can be. As cleaning glass in direct sun can lead to streaks, wait for an overcast day and start on the shady side of the house. This is one of many household cleaning tips that people aren’t aware of. Raise the blinds or shades of a window and use a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to wash the window. Then, lower the blinds and dust them. If you have shades or drapes, vacuum them to get rid of lingering dust. Be sure to give this same attention to the exterior doors and windows in your home, as their dirtiness will make your home appear less clean to outsiders looking in.
As you look over the doors and windows in your home in an effort to get them spotless, it’s also the perfect time to check if they need any repairs. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with and harsh winter weather can do some serious damage to any parts of your home that face the outside world. Check your windows and doors for any painting that’s been stripped off, glass that’s been cracked, or locks in need of lock repair. As you identify problem areas, make a list and start calling any repair services you need so that your home is safe and secure for the coming spring.
Don’t Be Afraid to Tackle the Kitchen
One of the biggest undertakings of any spring cleaning project is the kitchen. No matter how many household cleaning tips you’ve read about, sprucing up an entire kitchen can seem daunting. Although it’s likely that you regularly clean this space anyways, there are many small yet significant cleaning tasks to tackle in the kitchen.
Start with wiping down the tops, sides, and doors of your cabinets. You likely don’t clean them thoroughly throughout the year, which allows them to gather dust and debris. Next, wipe down your counters to rid them of any of the dust that fell off of the cabinets. While you’re doing this, give your countertops a polish to make sure they shine.
Another job to focus on in your kitchen is cleaning out your pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator. Throw out old items and recycle their containers if you can. Be sure to get to the back of the cabinets and fridge, as forgotten items with old expiration dates tend to hide back there. If you’re going through your kitchenware, consider donating items that you never use or of which you have doubles. Many thrift stores, such as Goodwill, gladly accept kitchen items.
Once you’ve emptied your cabinets and fridge, thoroughly wipe down the shelves. Grime accumulates in these closed-off areas and you’ll be surprised at how much cleaner they look after you wipe them down. You should also wipe off other kitchen appliances, such as your microwave and oven, with gentle cleaners. Finish off your kitchen scrub-down by sweeping and mopping the floor.
Brave the Bathroom
When it comes to places in your home that need cleaning, the bathroom is almost always at the top of the list. As this is the space where all of your family members go to get clean, it accumulates a lot of dirt in a lot of unexpected places. In addition to applying household cleaning tips you know well to scrub the usual spots like the toilet and tub, take this time to dust off and clean out the bathroom cabinets, thoroughly mop the floor, and fix any issues with grout and tiles. By hitting all of these minor areas, you’ll have a bathroom that is as clean as you want to be by the time you walk out of there.
This is also a great time to check up on the more technical aspects of your bathroom. Has your tub been draining slowly? Do you never have enough hot water for your shower? Is there a persistent drip from the sink faucet? If you’re facing any plumbing problems, now is the time to consult the professionals. Fix these issues now and the rest of your year will be worry-free.
Stay Green as You Clean
Many of the common cleaning products on the market are filled with chemicals in toxins. When you use these products in large amounts, which tends to happen when you start spring cleaning, you risk exposing yourself, your family members, and your pets to those toxins. Cleaning chemicals can also irritate your allergies, which are already likely to flare up because of the dust and dirt you’re cleaning up. These flare-ups can turn into a disability of sorts, as you may find it difficult to push through the discomfort of allergies to successfully finish your cleaning. You can wear rubber gloves and a mask to mitigate these allergy triggers, but chemicals in cleaning solutions tend to penetrate even these defenses.
One of the best products for green cleaning is a steam cleaner. It only uses hot water vapor, making it 100% natural and free of chemical solutions. You can use a steam cleaner for your kitchen appliances, hard floors, tile, bathrooms, and certain outdoor areas. Many homeowners find that using a steam cleaner is one of the best household cleaning tips, as it is both safe and effective.
For the areas and objects that cannot be steam cleaned, a great natural cleaning combination is white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water. These ingredients are non-toxic, effective, and affordable.
Clean the Gutters
This one is among the household cleaning tips that you should apply multiple times throughout the year. Experts recommend that you should clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the fall and once during your spring cleaning. As the weather warms and nature starts to bloom again, trees release seedpods and flower petals. These pieces of nature have a tendency to end up in rain gutters and clog them. If you didn’t get them cleaned in the fall, then your gutters are also likely clogged up with the fallen leaves and broken twigs from that season.
When your gutters clog up, your home’s roof can suffer. Clogged gutters are heavy and can start to pull on the apparatus that holds them to the roof, damaging the roof itself. When your gutters are clogged, it can also cause them to overflow when it rains. This overflowing water can then damage the siding of your home, the landscaping under where the overflow is, and your home’s foundation beneath that landscaping.
Many homeowners clean out their gutters on their own, but it does involve going up high on a ladder and getting your hands dirty with gutter gunk. If you aren’t partial to heights or unsavory gutter debris, you can call a professional to clean your gutters. A professional will know how to clean your gutter effectively and efficiently. Even if you think you can do it on your own, hiring an expert to do it can result in gutters that stay cleaner for longer.
As you put these household cleaning tips to use and start checking chores off of your spring cleaning list, keep in mind that you likely won’t be able to do it all in one day. To thoroughly clean your home, you’ll need to take your time and not rush through each task. Spread the chores out over a couple of weekends and get everyone in the household involved. Once you’ve completed every item on the list, you can reward everyone with a trip out on the fishing boat or a visit to the local park. When you all return from your outdoor adventure, you’ll come back to a clean and tranquil home.