The Annual Chore: Spring Cleaning
May 7, 2013
Cleaning: is there one word that brings more joy and elation to the ears than that? Actually, there is; there’s chocolate, beer, bacon… But still, cleaning, ah cleaning, how we loathe– I mean, love thee. Though you cringe at already having to dive forearm-deep to clean a dirty toilet or elbow-deep into the depths of foul-smelling laundry, you still grin and bear it because, after all, it needs to get done. In addition to tidying up the home on a daily and weekly basis, the advent of spring also poses yet another list of chores that you probably hadn’t ever thought about before. Today, that cleaning checklist manifests with our help, just for you! But don’t worry; with a little Martha Stewart magic and some prison-earned Martha Stewart grit, that spring cleaning list is goin’ down like Martha Stewart for insider trading!
Feel free to print this up and scratch off the cleaning list as you go along. Here goes nuthin’…
It’s the first thing people see, and it’s also the first impression of the type of homeowner or renter you are. Let’s start with the entryway:
- Use a broom to take down all the webs and cobwebs in corners and on doors.
- Remove screen doors and clean using a dish soap and water mixture and a broom or brush to scrub in a back-and-forth motion.
- Wipe down the front door and all panels.
- If your mailbox is near your front door, consider updating it with a new one or repainting your existing one for a fresh look.
- Replace the doormat with something fresh and new:
2. Living Room
Ah, the space that likely sees the most movement and interaction needs a good once-over every now and then (or thrice-over if it’s really bad):
- Remove heavy curtains and clean them or have them professionally cleaned. Replace with lighter curtains.
- Wash blinds with a little wood cleaner on a sponge for wood blinds; aluminum blinds can be taken down, scrubbed on top of something like an old bed sheet and with a noncorrosive cleaner and some water, and rinsed off.
- Clean windows with some water and a bit of dish soap and a rubber squeegee like an Adjustable Squeegee that folds to fit different sizes.
- Remove couch cushions and vacuum the sofa thoroughly.
- Sort through DVD, CD, and other media collections and donate what no longer interests you.
- Wipe down (and disinfect, if desired) light switches and doorknobs.
- If there’s also a ceiling fan, switch it over to spin counterclockwise for upcoming warmer weather. Dust fan blades while you’re at it.
Ugh, the only place more disgusting is the bathroom (and hopefully not your bedroom) because of the potential for smells, spills, and stains.
- Remove items from drawers and cupboards, wipe down shelves, and sort through items for disposal or donation while replacing.
- Wipe down doors and handles (and disinfect those, too).
- Remove plates from the stove and wash if able. If not, give the top a good wipedown.
- Clean splatters in the microwave and the turntable if there’s one.
- The worst: clean out your fridge. Discard old food, clean up spills, remove shelves and clean the fridge interior with two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with two quarts of warm water. THEN, vacuum or dust the condensor coils in the back because, man, those get messy (and can actually cause your fridge to stop working if too thick!).
- Reseal grout lines if they’re peeling or cracking.
Ah, finally we’ve reached the place where spring cleaning matters the most, the place where you go to retreat from the world and get some downtime or zzzs in. Now clean it up!
Pack away bed linens and replace with new ones for a quick room refresher.
- Sort through your closet and dressers and pack away cold-weather clothing and clothes for donation.
- Rent a carpet shampooer or have someone come in to professionally clean carpets or specialty rugs.
- Like some of the above, change the direction of ceiling fan, clean its blades, clean windows, and replace curtains/ wash blinds.
Of course we saved the worst for last:
- Clean around the base of the toilet. Ugh.
- Remove the toilet seat and clean around the bolts. Double ugh.
- Scrub shower tiles with a cleaner designed to remove mildew, or use a mild surface cleaner on tile-less showers.
- Use a half vinegar-half water solution to remove hard water stains from shower doors.
- Disinfect all handles as well as the door knob and light switch(es).
- Dust light fixtures and fan, if there’s one.
- Reseal grout lines if needed.
- Try using a mirror spray like Z’Fogless Mirror Spray to prevent surfaces from fogging up and streaking or spotting.
And no, no pictures of dirty bathrooms to accompany this section. You can use your imagination here!
Psyche! We wouldn’t end the spring cleaning list with crap on your hands, now would we? Now that spring is here, the backyard or patio requires some attention, and here’s the place to start:
- Sweep thoroughly, and you might consider wearing a mask to prevent sneezing and allergies.
- Use a broom to take down spider webs.
- Add a little decor like plants, lanterns, or furniture to liven up a space.
And NOW that you’ve finally reached the end, reward yourself by kicking up that grill and relaxing with the knowledge of having a sparkling clean place even Martha Stewart (might) approve of. Better enjoy the end of spring cleaning now because it’s the most time there is until next year’s annual cleaning list!