By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
Sure signs of spring: tulips everywhere, windows opened wide and the return of pastel M&Ms. Another hint that spring is here: an uptick in purchases of rug shampoo, furniture wipes and brooms. It’s spring cleaning time! That’s when people get inspired to tackle major cleaning projects (the garage) or specialty chores that need to be done only once a year (vacuuming the drapes). Making your home look shiny and new again takes planning, so it’s a good idea to create a room-by-room checklist, detailing what you want to accomplish in each space.
Before you reach for the scrub brush check out the tips below that should be part of your plan:
Try this pick-up-and-put-away plan. Before you start cleaning, walk through each room, and remove everything that belongs somewhere else. If you purge first, you’ll have less stuff to deal with when you arrive at each room—you can start dusting, scrubbing or polishing immediately.
Pick a cloudy day to wash windows—if it’s sunny, your cleaning solution may dry too quickly, leaving you with glass panes that have streaks.
If you regularly clean the fridge’s exterior but never clean the interior, be sure to add this to your list of chores. First, remove all shelving and drawers and wash them with warm soapy water. Use a wet sponge to wipe down interior surfaces, then reinstall shelves when dry.
Walls and baseboards
If you’re determined to clean every inch of your house during an ambitious spring cleaning, don’t forget walls, baseboards, windowsills and doors. Use a microfiber cloth or vacuum with a brush attachment to get rid of dust.
Dust overhead lamps first before cleaning the rest of the room. This way you’ll avoid any falling dust and dirt getting on freshly cleaned floors and furniture.
Pillows and mattresses
Read a pillow’s care instructions before attempting to clean it; some pillows are delicate and may need to be spot cleaned. If machine washing is allowed, wash two pillows at the same time so the load stays balanced. Fluff pillows after placing them in the drum so they fill up as much of the washing machine as possible. While you’re concentrating on bedding, rotate the mattresses (head of the mattress to the foot of the bed), which will help distribute your body weight evenly across the mattress.