Spring cleaning is a very old tradition, from the time when frugal habits were the rule of the day. Doing a thorough and deep cleaning of your home at this time makes excellent sense. If you live in a four-season climate, you have been hampered in your cleaning efforts by inclement weather. Why bother to clean things like windows when they are just going to get dirty again immediately with the next storm? And even if you live in a place like California, the spring equinox brings a new energy and freshness that should be translated into a clean house. It is time for renewal.
The principle here is to clean all the big things such as windows, floors, and walls. It is also time to wash the winter bedding and be ready to put it away, even if there will be reason to use it for a few more weeks. Be sure to do maintenance on your wooden furniture if it needs oiling or other treatments.
Here is a checklist with suggestions for equipment. Work from the tops of rooms to the bottom and do the floors last.
- Do this after the sun is off of them for the day or they will streak. I like to use a natural cleaner or vinegar. You will need paper towels to dry and a squeegee with a bucket full of warm water mixed with your cleaning agent. Get the sponge side of the squeegee wet and start at the top of the window. The long arm of the tool should reach. Then, working downward with the scraper end, push away the water. When you get to the lower windows you can use a spray and then dry with the paper towels. While you are on this project, be sure to clean the screens as well.
- Window coverings. If you have washable curtains, wash them. Take down the blinds and clean the windowsills and the casings. Then clean the blinds and reinstall. If you have drapes you must send them out for cleaning.
- Get the spider webs down in each room. Use a Webster with a long attachment for tall ceilings. Check corners and walls. Sometimes the webs are hard to see so look closely.
- Deep dusting. Go through every room in your house with a slightly damp dust rag, and get under things and behind things until you have it all. Move furniture if needed. You never know what you might find that way. Don’t forget the high places and the tops of things such as the fridge.
- Are there places that are spotted and dirty? Using a slightly dam rag, wipe them down. Make sure that the paint is a high enough gloss to be wet. If you have wallpaper or other wall coverings you will need to do a bit of research on cleaning those surfaces.
- Clean the insides of appliances such as toasters and even the washer and dryer. The refrigerator should have all the shelves and drawers removed and washed. Defrost the freezer. And clean the oven according to the manufacturers directions.
- Wipe down your cabinets and cupboards in the pantry, the kitchen and the bathroom. Take everything out and wipe the insides. Clean up any spills or goop you may find. This can be done with a spray cleaner such as Citrosolv and a damp rag.
- Take a look at your wooden furniture. Clean it all including wiping seats and legs of things. Treat with oil or polish as needed.
- The floors. Deep clean the tile and reseal as needed. Get the carpets cleaned or rent a carpet cleaner. And thoroughly mop all the other surfaces. If you have wooden floors, clean them with a damp cloth and then dry and buff.
- Clean all bedding. You may need to take large items to the Laundromat for the sake of your non-commercial machine. If you have wool blankets get them cleaned professionally unless you are SURE you know what you are doing.
- Put away your heavy winter clothes as soon as the weather permits.
- Clean off your patio furniture and outdoor toys. See that the grill has fuel.
- Take everything out of the garage and get the spider webs down with a Webster. If there are shelves dust and wipe them. Clean up the work-bench. Now put it all back, but in better order.
If you clean these areas in this order your house will shine and smell like springtime. And as the days get warmer, you will be ready to play.