What’s on your spring cleaning list? Everybody has a different set of priorities when it comes to prepping their home’s interior and exterior for the warmer months. Yet there are a few task items that are nearly universal. Check out the basics below, including what tools and products to have on hand before tackling that spring cleaning list.
Check Your Inventory
Inevitably, there will be some missing tool or product that could really take the momentum out of your spring cleaning ambitions if you don’t plan ahead.
- Extendable tools. If you’ve got ceiling fans, recessed lighting, detailed fixtures, or vaulted ceilings, extendable tools are a must!
- Organizer bins. Get bins in different colors. Designate one for items to throw away and one for donation. (Unwanted clothes, books, and kitchen items tend to fall into the latter category.) You may pick up a few extra bins for items that need to go into storage for now.
- Household organizers. From spice racks in the kitchen to hooks in the garage, there are always new home goods products that can make your life easier. Now is the time to have fun picking them out. After all, you’ll be staring at those cotton-ball canisters all year – might as well make them pretty!
- Heavy-duty wipes, etc. Microfiber cloths and “magic” erasers can really help make short work of dusting, removing scuff marks, and other stubborn cleaning chores.
- New equipment. If your vacuum is on its last wheels, or your spin tub-scrubber has seen better days, replacing them now, if your budget permits, is a good investment.
- Lawn and leaf bags. For removing old leaves and new weeds, as well as the twigs and other debris that invaded over the winter, extra thick bags with plenty of room are a must.
- Outdoor tools. As with indoor equipment, replacing worn-out rakes, leaf blowers, or pruners will not only cut down the time it takes to tidy the yard, but will make the job more pleasant.
- Rental equipment. If you have once-a-year jobs like cleaning your home’s exterior or replacing some rotted fence posts, consider renting the needed tools. Power washers, post hole diggers, specialized saws, and more can be rented for a day or weekend at a fraction of the purchase price. You can even split the rental price with a couple neighbors!
Getting ‘Er Done
For spring cleaning, focus on those things that you don’t get to on a weekly or monthly basis. Once accomplished, these measures set you up for more enjoyable spring and summer months.
Indoor Spring Cleaning List
- Dust off all fans, whether standing, tabletop, or ceiling types. Not only will they work more efficiently, but you won’t be breathing in a year’s worth of dust and debris.
- Clean everything window-related. Make sure the window tracks are “de-grimed,” and if needed, lubricated with the product recommended by the manufacturer. Screens should be rinsed off and replaced. Obviously, this is also a good time to clean the glass itself, both inside and out.
- Sanitize kitchen areas. From the corners of your cupboards to the depths of your sink guard, and from the toaster’s crumb tray to the refrigerator's coils, this is a good time to get rid of pest-attracting food particles and grime. (Appliances will also run more efficiently after cleaning, which is important in the warmer months when your utility bills tend to be higher.)
- Allergen-proof everything. If you have allergies, consider specialized allergy bed covers, and make sure to have bedspreads and throw pillow covers laundered. (Working on the bed is also a great time to flip the mattress.) Throw kids’ plastic toys in the dishwasher, and dust off everything else. You might also want to look into the new allergy-proof window screens that block pollen, at least for the bedrooms.
- Patch screens and other critter-friendly spaces. Look for areas in which screen tape, caulk, or even steel wool can be employed to keep insects and rodents out of the house!
Outdoor Spring Cleaning List
- Remove yard debris. Rake or remove leaves and twigs, focusing on getting materials away from the house that would encourage pests or mold growth. Prune shrubbery with an eye toward removing “paths” from the ground to the house for crawling pests.
- Clean the exteriors. Not only can a power-washer do wonders for the sides of your house, but it will make quick work of cleaning items like your deck and outdoor furniture. (Obviously, be careful near windows or glass-topped tables.)
- Hose off other items. Garbage and recycling bins and play equipment need spring cleaning too! Use a sudsy liquid soap to help carry away grime and mildew.
There you have it! If you can tackle most or all of the items on this list, your Spring cleaning will have your new home ready for the summer. Now, crank up the tunes and get to work!