Monday, 11 May 2015

What and When - Spring Cleaning (With FREE Printable!)

Download the free WIYDB? Spring Cleaning Check List!

With kids at home, cleaning and organizing is often something that gets put to the bottom of the priority list. When we talked about having realistic expectations before, we told you this was a good thing! Enjoying the company of your child, or getting through a rough day, is enough work to occupy your time. That said, after being shut up indoors with poor weather, colds, and other seasonal setbacks, it’s time to throw open the shutters and take in some of the sun! If your view is marred with streaky windows or your house smells less than lemon fresh, here are a few ways to squeak in the housework that will make the most of that spring time weather.

What: Windows and window treatments

When: Take one Saturday and get it all done.

· Take down all of your curtains and check for signs of wear. If they are in good condition, most can be washed in your machine on the gentle cycle, then rehung to dry. If they are old and worn, it might be time to pick up some new panels.
· Dust your blinds, curtain rods, and window frames. Run a damp cloth or a pre-moistened cleaning sheet (like Lysol or Clorox wipe) around the frame and in the slider for patio doors. Look at the weather stripping for cracking and peeling. This cheap fix can save a bundle on your energy costs. 
· Clean your glass with a fresh scented glass product (like Windex) or a home-made alternative like a combo of vinegar and water. This is the time to do inside and out (if you can). For houses, this might involve borrowing a ladder, or using a garden hose. For apartments, you might be able to open the frame, or use a cloth on a stick to get between the glass and the screen. It’s not glamorous, but it works.

What: Dust, dust and more dust

When: Take an hour or two in an evening.

· If you have a furnace, this is the time to change your filter. Check the size ahead and buy a multi-pack. This not only saves money, but keeps spares on hand for regular maintenance.

· Using a cloth and an all-purpose product (like Pledge Multi-Surface), do a good once over of all your solid furnishings like TV stands, bookshelves, and dressers. Take the opportunity to de-clutter. I like to bring a laundry basket with me so that I can cart out of place items to their proper home as I move from move to room.

· If you’re ambitious (and I know you are) consider going one step further. Run a duster over ceiling fans, light fixtures, and any baseboards/ moldings you have. Even if you do this only once a year, the results are worth it. The amount of dust you remove will actually make an impact in air quality.

What: Soft surfaces and furniture

When: A little at a time, over a week.

· Strip beds and flip or rotate mattresses. If they are a little older, consider adding a couple of drops of essential oils (like lavender or mint) to a box of baking soda and sprinkling over the surface. Leave the powder for a couple of hours then vacuum thoroughly. You’ll both feel and smell the difference.

· Remove cushions and give sofas and chairs a good vacuum as well. If you can wash the covers, that’s fantastic, but be sure before you try. Discoloration and shrinking can happen. You might want a fabric refresher like Febreeze or Lysol to remove odors and allergens.

· Pillows, bedding, and stuffed animals that can be washed, probably should. They take up a lot of room in machines, so allow patience (and extra dryer money if applicable). Don’t overdo the detergent – this will only add to the amount of time and energy it takes to rinse, plus you don’t want any residue.

This is some in-depth cleaning, and it’s not for every day. The impact of these will be pretty immediate and you’ll be impressed at how a couple of hours can really change how your space feels, not to mention smells! You’ll be so proud; you’ll want to host guests or have a barbecue! But what you should do is read a book, and take a nap. That’s what I plan on doing! Don’t forget to check out our handy printable for your cleaning check list! Plan and conquer! In moderation of course.

Did I forget something? Do you have a spring cleaning tip or trick? Tell us on Facebook!

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