10 Things to ‘Spring Up’ Your HousePublished 6:44am Thursday, May 9, 2013
1. Clean those windows! Invest in a squeegee with rubber edges. Using a solution of water with just a little dish soap and a sponge – wipe the dirt and grime from the windows. Finish by using the squeegee from the top of the window with down strokes to remove the water. Using a rag, wipe the excess water from the windowsills. If you get a squeegee with extension arm – you’ll be able to reach those higher windows.
2. Clear the clutter! In each room, either put away or throw away items that are no longer being used. Now is a great time to plan a garage sale or donate to charity those useable items you no longer need.
3. Wipe down walls from top to bottom to remove dust. Wipe down cabinet faces. Thoroughly dust bookshelves, wall art, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Now is a great time to make sure your fan is running counterclockwise – as it will provide a pleasant breeze during warm months. The fan should run clockwise in cold weather, creating an upward draft that redistributes the warm air.
4. Clean your curtains and blinds. Depending on the fabric and weight of your curtains, some can simply be taken down and gently washed and Dried in your washing machine. Heavier curtains or dry clean only fabrics may need to be cleaned professionally. If you have wood blinds, use a dusting agent for wood and wipe them. If you have aluminum blinds, you can take them down and outside, using your garden hose and a gentle sponge to remove dirt – then let dry in the sun and re-hang.
5. Deep clean your synthetic carpets by purchasing a rug cleaner or renting a carpet cleaning machine. Open the windows in your home to help the carpets dry. If you have wool carpeting or rugs – be sure to contact a professional for cleaning.
6. Go through those closets. If you didn’t wear an item of winter clothing last season – add to your garage sale or donation pile. Go through your shoes, handbags and belts, too. Don’t forget your coat closets, linen closets, storage closets. So it doesn’t seem overwhelming – plan just 30 minutes a day and one closet a day to tackle.
7. Clean out the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Throw away expired items. Then using a solution of baking soda and water – wipe down shelves and inside and outside of appliances. Take time to re-organize your pantry, and make a list of spring-summer items you’ll need to have on hand.
8. Restock cleaning supplies. Think of naturally safe items you can use to replace harsh cleaners – like baking soda and vinegar. Look for all-purpose cleaners that can accomplish more than one task. Be sure to pick up extra rags, sponges, brushes and rubber gloves to protect your hands.
9. Update your bed linens. Look for sales on fresh sheets, pillows and bed covers for spring. Or make your own duvet cover inexpensively by buying two bed sheets and sewing the edges together, leaving one edge open. Then just slip your current comforter or bedspread into the duvet and seal the open edge with a few stitches or Velcro.
10. Don’t forget your garage! If you’ve been just moving things from the house to the garage all winter – now is the time to throw, store or recycle items you won’t be using. Sweep the floor, then using your garden hose, spray all the winter dirt and grime away.