Friday, April 12, 2019

Surviving Spring Cleaning
Spring’s arrival is the perfect time to tackle ambitious spring-cleaning projects like purging closets and cleaning windows.  As some of you already know, I have a need to keep everything orderly in my home all year round.  However, when it comes to spring cleaning, I typically realize that “surface cleaning” doesn’t really cut it. 

Here is a list of my items that will help you survive interior spring cleaning:

It Starts at The Top
While the plot of the hit Hollywood film "Gravity" is fictional, gravity with cleaning is very real.  Start with decluttering your attic down.  Most Attic space in homes are dusty/dirty. Once the decluttering process starts in the attic, it will most likely cause your living space to get dirty. Gravity at its best! In my attic space, its mostly holiday décor and bins full of clothing that I haven’t worn in 10 years.  I guess I am hoping my 20-something skinny jeans will one day fit again.  It’s obviously time for these bins to go. 

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.  Let’s use my parents for example. Items that are stored in their attic have sentimental value; babies first Christmas outfit, soccer trophies, old 45’s, etc.  However, the bin of my TY Beanie Babies collection (worth millions), and the 1980 something Greco playpen might need to find the dumpser.

Once the attic space has been decluttered, the next step is the ceilings, registers, walls, lights and fans.  A common mistake people make is neglecting the corners.  A microfiber mop works great for this, but if you don’t have one, tying an old towel or t-shirt over a broom is also surprisingly effective.

Window Cleaning. It’s Harder Than It Looks
Unfortunately, there is no humor in cleaning windows.  It’s an arduous task. 
Using a lint-free and/or microfiber rag and cleaning solution (best non-commercial solution is Zep glass cleaner) wash the edges and sills of the window and rinse to remove dirt that may have snuck into the cracks and corners. Once you clean the border and sills, apply your cleaning solution to the rest of the window, using a squeegee or a fresh microfiber rag to clean off the solution.

Grease Splatter, You Mean Bacon Kisses?
Cleaning your wood cabinets can be as simple as wiping the surface with a clean, damp cloth, then drying immediately. If you feel like you need something more than just water to cut through every-day soil and grease, a product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap (containing no wax or silicones) is a perfectly acceptable option. However, you may find that a mild dishwashing detergent is just as effective. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Using a dish cloth is not recommended for cleaning your cabinets as it could contain grease or detergent remnants.
If your cabinets are laminate or painted, most non-abrasive cleaners are okay, but avoid any cleaner with harsh solvents or abrasives as they can be damaging.

Invest in Furniture Sliders
Without fail, I always find that missing sock when I move my bed. I also find that I can write my name with the dust on my base-trim behind all my furniture.  How embarrassing!
Put in the effort to move around your furniture to tackle the dirt and dust that may be hiding underneath. Things like lamp shades and electronic equipment act as a dust magnet. You can use a microfiber extension duster to get those hard to reach spots, like behind your TV.

Once The Heavy Lifting Is Done
A general cleaning/dusting of all remaining vertical surfaces must be done. 

Do You Feel Like Cinderella?
Poor Cinderella. Sweeping ash out of fireplaces, cleaning floors on her knees, etc. Who wishes they had a fairy godmother to “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” all of the spring-cleaning chores?

While cleaning my home, I sometimes will get overwhelmed with my to-do-list. Just because it’s called spring cleaning, it doesn’t mean you have to get everything done before the flowers fully bloom. Divide and conquer your to-do list, while being mindful that some of these jobs can be physically taxing. Do what you can. Pace yourself.

When you’re done, you can come to my house.

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