By Bill Primavera
Do you like the word association game? When you think of the word spring, does it rapidly associate with cleaning?
I must confess, for me, I have no such association. When I lived in a single-family home, spring was a time to clean up the yard and to create my planting plan for the flower and vegetable garden.
However, for most people, the winter blues are shaken away with a good and deep annual house cleaning. It can be quite a formidable task without the right plan, but it can be more manageable, even enjoyable, with a checklist.
This list offers an overview of what to do to navigate the process.
Clean the clutter to start
The essential part of spring cleaning is getting rid of any clutter – things you don’t need. There is no better time to take advantage of the natural spring urge to get rid of items that are weighing you down, whether you realize it or not, and start afresh with a more streamlined lifestyle. Sort belongings into four categories –
trash, giveaways, store for long-term or put away just for the season.
No matter where you start – from the outside in, or top to bottom – create a workable schedule and focus only on one task at a time. Furthermore, keep your goal for your finish date flexible. Some projects will be more involved, such as organizing closets, and will take more time.
The tips below outline basic techniques for cleaning all objects and surfaces of your home, leaving your home spring fresh.
Clean room by room
Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and move inside, create a realistic schedule and focus on one task at a time, keeping in mind that a single weekend won’t suffice. You’ll need several days for more involved projects, such as organizing closets.
Approaching your house room by room is the most effective way to deep-clean your home at any time of the year, but especially in spring. Use room checklists as a springboard for deep-cleaning the areas of your home that really need extra attention. It is all right to skip items that have recently been cleaned and to focus on the parts of your home that have been neglected for a while.
Dust, dust, dust
Use a vacuum to remove dust on all surfaces where you can. Take everything off shelves and brush them (along with the books) with a feather duster. Use the dust brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach tight spots.
Clean upholstered furnishings
Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.
Wax wooden furniture
Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax, such as Butcher’s wax, a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let the wax dry; then buff with a clean cloth.
Wash window screens
Spring is a good time to get a clearer view of the great outdoors. Do this by washing window screens by using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid. Scrub the screens with a brush, then rinse thoroughly with a hose.
Wax non-wood floors
Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.
Establish new cleaning habits
Consistency with cleaning habits makes life easier for the homeowner. While a good, thorough spring cleaning is a great time to establish new ongoing cleaning habits and it can also make the next spring cleaning a good deal easier.
Simple 15-minute cleanup routines practiced every few days, each including a series of one- to two-minute chores, can make it remarkably easy to keep your home clean and tidy all year long. All you need is the discipline to adhere to such a plan. Good luck!
Bill Primavera, while a publicist and journalist, is also a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.