The warmer weather has been trying to settle in for the past couple of weeks, and homeowners are beginning to feel that spring cleaning fever. One can hear leaf blowers in the air preparing the landscaping before the first blades of grass begin to bud. Others might just be a little more conscious of the items that are cluttering their home. But the one commonality we all have is that we are looking forward to the freshness of spring and want our homes to reflect that.
With that being said, spring cleaning can be somewhat overwhelming especially for homeowners who allowed their garage and home to clutter up. The best way to keep clutter down is by not letting it accumulate in the first place. I know it may sound insensitive to those who keep boxes of their child's report cards from first grade but if there is no use or value you are allowed to throw them out. If you want to save your memories take the time to make an album or scrapbook but do not keep everything.
There are many spring cleaning checklists that are available for download but today I will try and consolidate seven items from the list that will make your task a lot more attainable. If you want to add on more tasks that's up to you, but following this spring cleaning checklist will have your home and property ready for spring without getting overwhelmed. I hope you take advantage and make the most out of your spring cleaning.
1 - Clean Baseboards & Moldings
People do not recognize how dirty baseboards and moldings get over the course of the year. Toys, shoes, tables, chairs, brooms, vacuums, and mops smash into them and they get scuffed up and marked up with black streaks. We are so used to it that we don’t even pay attention to how filthy they get. Take a rag and dip it into warm soapy water and start rubbing away at those black scuff marks. If you don’t want to have to wring out a rag try using a magic cleaning sponge, you will be surprised how effective they are when cleaning baseboards and moldings. If you still can’t get rid of the grime try using toothpaste with baking soda. This is an effective scuff removing hack that will amaze you. Afterwards remove the residue leftover from the toothpaste with an old rag.
2 - Dust Off Air Vents, Returns, & Replace Air Filters
When heating and cooling systems operate throughout the year they suck in the air that circulates throughout your home. It’s common for one to find a significant build up of dust on the register and grills that return the air back to the air blower. This gets repeated throughout the day when the system is triggered to go on by the thermostat. The air filter will mostly catch the unwanted elements and not allow them to get blown back into the conditioned air space but the dust that remains on the outside of these vents will just continue to accumulate in layers.
When the HVAC system is off, remove the vent and grill plates and soak them in a bucket of warm water and dish soap. Thereafter, do your best to vacuum the surface area where the vent rests to remove all access dust and dirt. Make sure you are using a soft bristle brush as not to damage the duct work. As per the air filter, you should have been changing it every thirty days; if you didn't make sure to change it now.
3 - Scrub Out Trash Cans & Start Using Trash Can Liners
During the winter you did not notice the fact that there was no stench emanating from your trash receptacles that sit outside your home. Solid items that leak from plastic trash bags and formulate a smelly solution at the bottom of the garbage can tend to go unnoticed due to the cold weather. Well, that smelly situation is just going to become more noticeable as the warm air comes in. On top of that, maggots and other vermin will begin using it as a breeding ground for their families. Getting rid of that stench can be quite a feat and it will be worth your while to start the spring with a fresh and clean trash receptacle.
There are many cleaning and deodorizing agents that are made especially for outdoor trash cans, however, the typical ones like Mr. Clean and Pine Soil work as well. Make sure to use hot water when creating your solution and pour it into the trash bin and let it sit for around ten minutes. Thereafter use your garden hose to spread around the soap and dislodge any trash that's still stuck to the trash can. Continue this process until you can see that the receptacle is finally as clean as when it was purchased. One of my personal favorite items to keep my outdoor trash can clean are trash can liners. The trash liners prevent any unwanted build up at the bottom of your trash can by functioning as a bag for your trash bags. On the day of pickup just simply tie it at the top and then place a new liner in for the next garbage bag. Keeping your trash cans cleans is the solution to preventing the trash stench.
4 - Pull Out Refrigerator & Vacuum
One of the places that accumulates lots of filth in the kitchen is behind the refrigerator. There you will find dust, toys, chips, and sticky spills that will attract roaches and ants as the weather gets warmer. Pull out the refrigerator and make sure to vacuum thoroughly. Once you're there, make sure to vacuum the motor area of the fridge and lookout for any signs of mold. Not many homeowners know that in the back of the refrigerator by the coils, it’s super easy for mold to accumulate. With plenty of condensation and very little air space it can potentially be a breeding ground for mold. Those who have allergies will tend to be more sensitive to mold and it would be a good idea to make sure that it’s not found in your home.
5 - Replace Hallway Rugs & Doormats
Over the course of the winter, hallway rugs take a beating from the elements tracked in from outside your home. Sometimes you can throw it in the washing machine and hang it out to dry but from my personal experience it needs to be replaced. I go to the local dollar store and I can find a nice size rug for around $25. In regards to the doormat, a new one will give the entrance to your home a new look for spring. These items are relatively cheap and enhance the entryway to the house.
6 - Cleanout Freezer & Change The Ice
Freezers are just great. If you ever want to store last night's supper or keep a loaf of bread fresh just throw it into the freezer. When you are in Walmart and you see a sale on your favorite ice cream you buy an extra two tubs and throw them into the freezer. Then your spouse sees a sale on their favorite cuts of meat and throws those into the freezer. Now you are left with freezer burn items that have just cluttered your freezer. Well now it’s time to empty and give the freezer a through cleaning. Perhaps you can make a BBQ one night for supper to go through some of the meat that has been sitting there since the summer. When your freezer is finally empty, turn it off and let it defrost. Then clean it thoroughly with a household cleaning agent. With the warmer weather approaching you want to make sure the ice cubes from the ice maker don’t have a freezer burn taste. Throw away the old ice cubes that are now a solid block and let the ice maker produce a fresh batch of cubes.
7 - Declutter Bathroom Vanities
For some reason bathroom vanities earn the rights to become a museum of almost anything found at your local pharmacy. Baby diaper rash cream can still be found there and your home has not seen a diaper for over ten years. Then there is the collection of deodorant cans and about five different brands of toothpaste. Don’t forget about all the toilet paper that you stocked up from Costco due to the pandemic. It’s time for the bathroom vanity to be finally cleaned out. Start by throwing out any used, expired, or empty items. Arrange the salvageable items in a bin or shoe box and then clean the draws and cabinets well. Once the vanity is clear, keep the toiletries in the bins and place them neatly back into the vanity.
Spring cleaning can be a never ending task. There is so much to do and so little time. The seven spring cleaning tips above could be a homeowners starting point that should not take so long and can enhance the look of your home. Besides for the primary benefit of having a clean home just in time for spring, it will give the inhabitants peace of mind. Research has shown how clutter can negatively impact a person's physiological health and on the contrary a clean home will have a positive influence. Well at least we made it to spring and I think we are all glad for that. Happy spring cleaning!