When it’s finally time to put away your winter coats and boots, it’s also time to get down to some serious spring cleaning as well.
This age-old tradition has its roots in bygone days when Albertans had to close their homes up and begin burning wood or fuel for light to keep warm during the cold winter months. The arrival of spring meant they could throw open the windows again, and scrub away a winter’s-worth of soot, smoke and grime.
We all know about washing floors and putting away winter clothes, but there are smart ways to break this year’s spring clean into manageable, bite-sized tasks, maximize your efficiency and ensuring you’ll be outside enjoying the fresh spring air before you know it.
Manage your workload
You’re more likely to finish a satisfying and thorough spring cleaning if you work in stages and address each room separately. Skipping from room-to-room can sometimes leave you feeling like you’re not making noticeable progress, which in turn will have a negative effect on your motivation.
Whether you tackle the bedroom first or the kitchen, focusing on one room at a time ensures you’re constantly achieving milestones while getting the job done.
Start at the top
Experts suggest beginning with the ceiling and light fixtures in each room. By wiping accumulated dust away from fixtures like lights and ceiling fans, and then dusting the ceiling next, any dust bunnies that settle on the furniture or the floor will quickly be swept away in the next stages of your clean.
Cut the clutter
Analyze the accumulated clutter in each room and figure out how to organize it better. Do you need more shelves? Maybe it’s time to rearrange a closet or cupboard? Find solutions that put things in their proper place. If you can’t identify a place for unwanted items, consider putting them in storage, recycling or donating them to charity. Springtime is a good time for a garage sale too…
It’s bed time
You change your sheets regularly, so while the bedding is off, it’s a snap to freshen your mattress by spreading a little baking soda on it, letting it settle in and then vacuuming it up. If your mattress is dual-sided, it’s a good time to flip it as well.
Become a window washer
Alberta’s winter winds can throw a lot of dust around, so cleaning your windows every spring is a must. Whatever cleaning solution you choose, from store-bought cleaners to simple white vinegar and dish soap, thoroughly cleaning the glass inside and out will brighten any room.
Cleaning your window coverings can also make a big difference. Curtains attract a lot of dust, so vacuuming or steam-cleaning them can drastically improve the air quality in your home. Same goes for blinds or shutters; dust them off, and wipe them down with a damp cloth.
Wash your walls too
Walls in the kitchen, bathroom and entryway can accumulate dust and fingerprints, and will sparkle with a quick washing. Using a damp cloth and a small amount of all-purpose cleaner, you can quickly refresh walls and make them sing. Remember to get low to look for spots where kids and pets leave their mark on walls and surfaces.
Washers, dryers & water tanks
Your large appliances can benefit from a spring cleaning as well, and most modern clothes washers feature self-cleaning settings that wash away debris and lint that has accumulated over time. In addition, even though you empty the dryer’s lint catcher regularly, debris and particles are still going to wind up in the duct. Detach the dryer duct and scrub out any lint you can reach with a brush.
Over time, sediments and minerals accumulate in the bottom of your water tank, reducing its energy efficiency. Check the instructions to see how to safely drain some of these sediments out of the tank. Remember to always check the safety regulations and instructions before beginning.
Clean your closets…
Since you’re going to be putting away winter clothes, evaluate what you want to keep for next season. If you don’t wear coats or clothes, or kids have outgrown items, don’t store them away to add to the clutter; donate them to charity. You’ll be happier when it’s time to pull out next season’s clothes again!
And remember your carpets, too
Now’s the time to move your furniture out of the way and vacuum those hard-to-reach places you’ve avoided all winter. Roll up area rugs and clean the floor underneath, including the rug pad. Don’t forget to vacuum the underside of the rug as well.
Spring is a popular time for steam-cleaning carpets, so consider renting one or hiring professionals; you’ll be amazed at the difference steam-cleaning makes.
What’s in your fridge?
Don’t forget to include your refrigerator in the spring clean-up. Take out each shelf and bin and give them a good scrubbing – or put them in the dishwasher if they fit – and wash all of the inside surfaces. Remember to do the same with the freezer – it’s often amazing what you’ll find in there!
Nothing feels better than tidying up and starting fresh with a spring breeze blowing through the house.
Bring on spring and summer!