Spring Cleaning

Spring means it’s time to stop hibernating and clean things up around the house. The obvious thing to do is get rid of things you aren’t using anymore and are just taking up space. But the actual cleaning part is usually different from house to house. Here are some of the things which need to be done at my house each Spring.

This is by no means a complete list, nor is it a list of things you absolutely must do exactly as described. I’m sure as soon as this post goes live I’ll think of enough other things to make a whole new post. Since I’ll be focusing on the things which are specific to my house there might also be some things you don’t need to do. You also don’t need to do it all in one day. If it takes you a month to get through everything it will still leave your home cleaner than not doing any of it.

I’m not going to suggest specific products to use. Everyone has different opinions of whether they prefer more natural cleaners or if they don’t mind chemicals. This is more if a list of things you can clean more than it is a detailed description of how to clean everything. You may want to do some things in a different order depending on how things are set up in your house or how much time you have.

Soft Cleaning Indoors

One of the first things to do is dust all of the flat surfaces, starting up high with fans and door tops. We have decorative horizontal posts in the loft ceiling above the kitchen which are about a foot wide and span the width of the room. They are a gold mine for dust. As you make your way down to the floor think about shelves, TV stands, any cabinets which have exposed tops, your refrigerator and other appliances and end tables. Some things I didn’t realize growing up would collect dust, or at least didn’t think about it, are lamps and lampshades, light switches and outlets –yes they can collect dust– and baseboards. I never really knew how bad dust could get until I checked my baseboards

While you’re getting rid of dust, your vents are another great place to collect some. Unscrew the air duct covers and brush off anything which has collected. You may even want to wash them with soap and water if they’re getting gross. Then use a vacuum to suck up whatever you can reach. Once you’ve got it put back together and air ducts are on your mind, replace the air filter in your furnace. You may need to replace yours more than once per year (I certainly do with two dogs and a cat), but if you tend to be forgetful you can at least make sure it’s done once per year while you’re thinking of it.

Now that you’ve gotten dust off everything and onto the floor it’s time to get rid of it. Vacuum and sweep where appropriate in each room. Make sure while you are doing this you move your furniture to get anything which may have accumulated underneath. You may even decide it’s time to reorganize the furniture in each room.

After that go around to each room and wash the insides of the windows. They may look fine but just like many other things you’ll be cleaning you won’t see how dirty they are until after you clean them. And another group of things you don’t realize need to be cleaned are walls and doors. You’ve already wiped the dust off but now you can get them really looking good with a quick wash. Once they’re dry you can touch up any dings or stains on the walls with paint. Hopefully you have the correct color from when it was originally painted.

If you have any furniture with exposed wood you’ll want to wash and polish that. Just make sure you don’t damage any fabric in doing so. I suppose you could also polish wooden doors, though I don’t do it myself. But one last thing to do with the doors is make sure the hinges are clean and lubricated.

Time For Some Deep Cleaning

I like to make sure appliances are given a good deep clean at least once a year and spring time is as good a time as any to do it. Empty the fridge completely and take any drawers out. Once you’ve scrubbed it clean put each thing back in one at a time so you can make sure nothing is expired or not needed. You can do the same with the pantry while you’re on the subject of food. Empty it out, clean the shelves, and sort the contents.

Make sure any electronic appliances are unplugged before you clean them. If you have a blender or food processor you’ll want to clean the base of it. Make sure you check the manual to see if there is a specific way to clean it so water doesn’t get inside. Check inside any coffee makers or kettles to make sure there isn’t anything growing in the water.

Whether you do it first to get it over with or last in hopes you’ll run out of time you’ll need to tackle the oven. If you have a gas oven make sure you take necessary precautions to prevent any issues with gas if the pilot goes out. Do the same when cleaning the stove top.

Once more place to make sure you deep clean is the bathroom. Your shower collects gunk and grime when you bathe. Your sink collects gunk and grime when you wash your hand and face. And all toilets are built with a secret device which attracts gunk and grime around the base and on the undersides. Scrub, scrub, and then scrub some more.

A Few Things Outdoors

If you have any rugs inside take them outside and hang them from something so you can beat the dust and dirt out of them. Do the same with any rugs or door mats you have outside.

Next sweep any porches or decks you might have and move things out of the way to get ready to clean the surfaces. Even if you don’t have a power washer to do so, you’ll still want to use some kind of soapy water to deep clean the porch and deck.

Some other things to power wash are doors, windows, the siding of your house, and any walkways which are collecting grime. You may want to wait on the walkways until you get rid of any dirt and grass which are encroaching from the yard. Also be careful when washing the siding, windows, and doors so you don’t force any water inside or create ways for things to get in.

Next you’ll want to wash your roof. We have a large tree which casts a shadow on the southern end of our roof. This helps moss and other things grow so we need to make sure to get to it before it starts. Just don’t use a power washer on your roof unless you know what you are doing. It’s easier to destroy your roof when cleaning it than it is to rinse it off when you’re done. And you might not even notice you’ve done any damage until you’re replacing it 5 years early.

Once you’ve got the roof clean, get all the gunk that came off of it out of the gutters to make sure they are moving water away from the house. You’ll also want to check that they aren’t leaking while you’re sending a controlled amount of water through them.

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