It’s officially spring, although you might not be able to tell by the weather. Some of you (poor dears!) are still getting snow. We’ve had a bit of everything. This morning my daughter messaged me to say that in addition to the high levels of tree pollen expected this time of year, we also have ragweed which is a late summer/early fall thing usually. We are also expecting a freeze and sleet tonight. She asked, “What season is this?”. My reply: All of them.
But despite all that weather foolishness, it IS spring and that means spring cleaning time. There are any number of exhaustive lists of spring cleaning chores available. I don’t know about you, but one look at those crazy long lists and a sense of despair washes over me. There truly is no way I could ever find time to do all those things.
Take a look at these, for instance:
Lists like those only serve to make me want to curl up in my dusty library with a martini and read a book. But what if we just pick ten tasks to do instead? That sounds manageable, right? We could do one a day for ten days and call it good. If, during those ten days, you notice something else that really needs attention, put it on a list and schedule a time to do it a bit later.
Remember…it’s YOUR home and you can make your own rules. Few of us are heating our homes with coal these days and I’d venture to say we all have vacuum cleaners. Those two things alone eliminate or at least greatly reduce the need for the sort of deep cleaning that was necessary at one time.
Still, there is something quite lovely about a freshly cleaned home so let’s make our lists, check our cleaning supplies and clear away some of the grime!
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10 Tasks To Tackle During Spring Cleaning
I’m going to be honest here. I’ve never actually done this. We didn’t have one in the first two places we lived. The next two homes we lived in for 7 and 5 years so it didn’t seem necessary. However, we just celebrated 20 years in this house on Valentine’s Day and we remodeled the kitchen about 2 or 3 years after we moved in. Yeah, it’s probably time for this. If, like me, you’ve never done this, here is how to do it:
2. Trash Cans
As soon as you get a warm, sunny day, scrub your outdoor trash cans. Pour a couple of pans of hot water inside, squirt in some dish soap (something safe for your lawn if that’s where your doing this), give them a quick scrub and rinse with the hose.
While you’re at it, give your kitchen trash container a thorough scrub, too. To keep things fresh smelling, you might want to make these deodorizer tabs:
After a long, dark winter, there’s nothing quite so cheering as bright sunshine streaming through the windows. All the more so if those windows are sparkling clean.
Several years ago I somehow ended up with a squeegee in my possession. I don’t recall buying it. Maybe David did. In any case, I discovered how much easier it is to clean windows with the proper tools.
My squeegee is only about 8 inches across and has a short handle. That means a lot of reaching and in some areas, standing on a ladder. But I’m adding this long-handled version to my spring cleaning supply purchases this year:
If you have a self-cleaning oven I want you to take a moment to give thanks for it. And then offer up a moment of silence for those of us who don’t. I have a vintage stove that is as cute as can be until I contemplate cleaning the oven. For a number of years, David cleaned it for me each fall before Thanksgiving. I have severe asthma and can’t tolerate oven cleaner fumes. He would clean it while I was away from home for a few hours.
Then we discovered the vinegar and baking soda method and that was the end of my oven cleaning help. We aren’t going to discuss what mine looks like right now but suffice it to say “clean the oven” is on my spring cleaning list.
5. Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
This is a good job to get some help with. Pick a time when your spouse or an older child is available to help. Unless you are a lot taller than I am you’ll need at least a step ladder. Depending on the fixture, you may be able to clean it in place but many will require removal of some parts. It’s a lot easier to hand them to someone than to try to descend a ladder while holding them.
Wash in hot soapy water, rinse in very hot water and dry thoroughly before replacing. While the fixture is off, give the light bulbs a quick wipe, too. If any need to be replaced, go ahead and do this now. In fact, before you start this project, go through your entire house and take note of any bulbs that need to be replaced. Many fixtures have several bulbs and for some unknown reason they don’t all go out at the same time. If you have really high ceilings I would recommend changing all the bulbs while you are up on that ladder. You can use the ones that still work in lamps or easier to reach light fixtures.
If you have ceiling fans, give the blades a good cleaning and make sure they are set to rotate counter-clockwise for summer.
6. Window Coverings
Now that your windows are sparkling clean, you’ll want to address your window coverings. Depending on the type of curtains or drapes you have you can either wash and iron them yourself or take them to the cleaners. If they aren’t washable and only a little dusty, give them a good vacuuming. I have velvet drapes in our family room and library and this is what I do.
If you have blinds, give them a good dusting. If they are plastic or metal and need more than dusting, you can give them a scrub in the bathtub.
If your blinds are wood, like mine, just dust them well. There are all sorts of dusters for blinds or you can simply use an old sock on your hand. I recently bought a duster with a washable, replaceable head. I bought mine from Grove Collective.
7. Change Seasonal Decor
Put away the winter decorations, decorative pillows, that lone Christmas decoration you overlooked and anything else that belongs to winter. Put away heavy table coverings and let polished wood show instead.
Grab a sturdy box or other container and walk from room to room looking for excess decorative items to pack away during warm months. What looked warm and cozy during cold weather may look cluttered now. Bring out your spring/summer decorative items and enjoy a fresh look.
8. Outdoor Furniture
If you have porch or patio furniture, either bring it out of storage or if it stays out year round, give it a good cleaning. Thoroughly sweep outdoor areas such as porches, patios and decks and hose them down if needed. This is the one I’m most excited about because I love Porch Time!
As soon as cold weather is well and truly gone, wash or dry clean heavy bed linens, down comforters, etc. and switch to lighter weight covering. Flip your mattress and wash your pillows, too.
10. Computer and Phone
This is a good time to do a little “spring clean” of your computer and other devices. Do you have apps on your phone you never use? Delete them. Upload your photos and videos to your computer, an external hard drive and/or cloud-based services. Personally I like to have them in more than one place. You can then delete some of the excess from your phone and clear some space.
If you listen to podcasts take a look at your subscriptions. If there are some no longer offering new episodes go ahead and delete. If you use a feed reader such as Feedly or Bloglovin’ scan through your subscriptions and clear out the ones you never read or which are no longer publishing new material.
Set aside a bit of time each day during “Spring Cleaning” to get your inbox under control. I am a huge fan of SaneBox which you can read about here:
As soon as you complete your ten tasks, go buy yourself a bouquet of tulips or a flowering plant to reward yourself for all your hard work. You deserve it!
More Spring Cleaning Tips and Helps