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Spring Cleaning Done Before Spring

March 9, 2013

When Spring comes I like to be outside. Four months of being cooped up inside thanks to the cold weather always has me itching to get out. The last thing I want to be doing when the weather turns nice is to be stuck inside cleaning. I happened upon this nifty little post on Pinterest. It gave me the inspiration to do just a little bit each day for about three weeks instead of spending two solid weekends going nuts with cleaning. It always seems so overwhelming that I never do a very thorough job. My house REALLY needs a good deep clean, so I’m tackling one thing a day. I used Marissa’s blog post as a starting spot for my list. I tweaked her suggestions a little bit for my house and started today. If only I had started in the very begining of March, I would really be done by the first day of spring! I’m putting it on the calendar for next year: March 1st, start spring cleaning.  These aren’t listed in any particular order. I’ll just be picking and choosing as time in my day allows, saving the big jobs for the weekends and the quick jobs for my busy days. If you’ve got kiddos, have them do the chore right along with you!

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1. Take down all curtains & wash them. While they are laundering, dust all the hardware. Iron curtains and hang them back up. If you have blinds, this would be a good time to tackle those too.

2. Dust the ceiling lines around the house (especially the corners). Get the neglected horizontal surfaces like tops of door jambs, picture frames, doorbells, corner speakers etc.

3. Clean blades of ceiling fans & light fixtures. Get the air vents while you’re up there! If you gripe about not having central air in the summer, now is the time to give thanks for not having to clean out those vents!

4. Wipe down all baseboards with a magic eraser. This is a great one for the kids to do. They’re the ones who likely put all those marks on them anyhow! Take that same magic eraser and wipe down your stair railings.

5. Doors. It’s more magic eraser time! Scrub each door and door jamb, especially around the knob area. If you’ve got little kids, you know how dirty this part of the door can get!

6. Wash windows inside and out. Scrub out the window tracks. Take out the storm windows & put in the screens.

7. Vacuum upholstered furniture. Remove cushions, put money in your pocket, and suck up the rest with your vacuum hose! Give your leather furniture a nice massage with its favorite potion.

8. Take your area rugs outside for a good beating.

9. Spot-clean the carpet.

10. Put on that nifty narrow-vacuum hose attachment and vacuum all the dust that accumulates around the edges of the baseboards and carpet. Don’t forget the stairs. The upholstery attachment works well for your heating grates on the floor.

11. Strip down all the beds. Wash the mattress pads, pillow protectors, blankets, duvets etc…If your throw pillows have removable covers, do them too. Take pillows outside and beat them like you did with your rugs. Let them get some nice fresh air while everything else is washing. Sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress and let it sit for an hour-or-so then vacuum it up with your upholstery attachment. Trade in you r electric blanket for a lighter spring one and switch over your duvet cover if you’re the kind of person that has more than one. =)

12. Change over winter clothes for summer ones. Now is a great time to donate rarely used items and toss the grubby ones. Wash the kids snow gear while you’re going through bins.

13. Find a really good coupon & take a trip to the dry cleaners. Clean your wool coats, suits, skirts, linens & whatevers. Yes, it gets costly. But it’s once a year. Budget now, to remind yourself for next year. 😉

14. Deep clean kitchen appliances. Stovetop (drip pans too), oven (don’t forget the warming drawer), toaster (how many crumbs can this thing hold anyhow?)& microwave (cut a lemon. Squeeze the juice into a microwave safe bowl add a little water. Throw the lemon rind into the juice. Microwave on high for a minute or longer until the inside gets steamy. Wipe out inside of microwave immediately with a dry paper towel. All that guck will come off so easily thanks to the lemon steam. And it smells nice too!) If you have a garbage disposal, use your microwaved lemon to clean that too. Cut the lemon rind into smaller pieces. Sprinkle baking soda down your disposal, pour leftover lemon juice and rind down the drain & grind it up. Done.

15. Clean out the refrigerator. Yep, this one gets its own day. The best day is the day right before you go grocery shopping. This is even better if you can time it to be the day before trash pick-up too! I didn’t lump it in with the other appliances because that just makes for a REALLY big job. Theme for clean out the fridge? WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! Then wipe everything down, and put it all back together neat and organized. Check up on your freezer too. It probably needs defrosting. And I’m sure there are some really-old-now-freezer-burned leftovers in there as well. Chuck it!

16. Go through your kitchen cupboards one shelf at a time. Wipe it down. Throw out some of those bazillion plastic kid cups you have. Toss Tupperware that is missing its lid. If there is a small appliance you haven’t used in a year, sell it! Craigslist is your friend.

17. Wipe down the outsides of the kitchen cabinets and your dining chairs. Aren’t those spindles a pain? If it’s a nice day and you have a plastic highchair, I recommend taking it outside to meet the hose and a scrub brush.

18. Organize the bathroom linen closet, medicine cabinet, under sink area & drawers. Bring a trash can in with you and, say it with me, “THROW STUFF OUT!” Toss the old medicines, the lotions from three Christmases ago, the 20 different half-used travel sized toiletries, and the three different cleaners shoved in the back that you never use, but maybe you will when another one runs out. Oh, and the blue eye shadow. Throw that one out too.  Wipe out the insides of the cabinets & drawers.This may be the time to take a trip to the store and stock up on some nice bins to keep it nicer until next year.

19. Deep clean the bathroom. Ick. Yea, it’s toothbrush-scrubbing-behind-the-toilet-time. Wipe down the walls. Remove your kids toothpaste spit from the counters, cabinets, walls, doors, light switch…please tell me I’m not the only one with kids who manage to get spit splatter everywhere. After all the usual cleaning, strip down and scrub out the shower. After cleaning  the grout around the toilet you’re going to want to be scrubbed down too! You might want to give this a try for the soap scum in your shower: blue dawn & hot vinegar. (I haven’t actually tried this yet, but I’ve had it pinned forever…looks promising.)

20. Give your wooden furniture a really good dusting & polish. Here is a diy furniture polish that has worked well for me: evoo & vinegar & lemon juice.

21. Pull out the car, bikes, scooters, boxes, etc. from the garage and at the very least give it a good sweep, so you don’t keep tracking dirt & stray leaves into your newly cleaned house!

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