We look forward to some annual traditions, like the Memorial Day kick-off to summer, Thanksgiving (whether or not you “do” Black Friday), and you favorite team’s first game of the season. Getting your home ready for spring probably isn’t high on the list, but it’s there, lurking and waiting for your attention. Sandlin Homes can offer help (no, we don’t do windows). Use these spring cleaning tips to make it easier.
Create a checklist.
Start the annual purge by making a spring cleaning checklist. Go through your home and make a list of tasks to be done per room. Be specific. Instead of “Clean the linen closet”, break it into individual tasks. “Empty the linen closet. Wash the linens. Dust the shelves.” Post each room’s plan in that room, so that others know what you want done. If they don’t appreciate subtlety, assign each task on the list to a family member.
In every room, place the necessary cleaning products, trash bags, and microfiber cloths instead of paper towels because they do a better job and are less expensive. Leave bins or boxes that are marked “Donate” and “Discard”.
Do one room at a time.
Stay focused by keeping your efforts limited to one space. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Stick to your room and your list, crossing off each item as you complete it, which gives immense gratification.
De-clutter before you clean.
There’s no sense in dusting and cleaning things that are just cluttering up your space. Spring cleaning is about giving your home a fresh start. Purge! Keeping to one room at a time, decide what can go—whether it’s to be donated or just not salvageable. If you have projects that have lingered for more than 6 months, accept the reality that they are not destined to be done. The same goes for clothing that never sees the light of day. Donate the usable items to thrift shops, shelters, or churches, where someone else will truly appreciate your taste.
Do the kitchen first.
Between the appliances, cabinets and pantry, light fixtures, countertops, backsplash, and floors, the kitchen is a big spring cleaning project. But if you do this one first, the heart of your home will be a welcome sight that inspires you to keep going. And, to be perfectly honest, if you never get farther than the kitchen for spring cleaning, you’ll have a sparkling space where it counts.
Start with your oven. If you have a self-cleaning oven, this is fairly easy. Remove and scrub the racks while the oven is cleaning itself. The oven gets very hot when it’s on the self-cleaning mode. Let it run early in the morning or later in the evening when you can stay out of the kitchen. And never set it to self-clean when you’re not home, because debris inside the oven could get very smokey as it disintegrates. After the oven is clean, put a non-stick liner on the bottom to catch spills, making it easier to remove the mess.
Move on to cleaning your dishwasher. Remove the racks and check the drain. Pieces of paper or broken glass may have collected there. Then, replace the racks and put a small bowl of white vinegar on the top rack. Run the appliance on the hottest setting, allowing the vinegar to disinfect the inside. When that cycle is complete, sprinkle about a cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run it on a hot-water short cycle to deodorize the dishwasher.
And now, the dreaded refrigerator. Completely empty the contents. Discard the items that have passed their edible date. Thoroughly clean the interior. Purge the freezer of old items, too. Pull out the refrigerator and vacuum the coils in the back and then underneath.
To clean your microwave, cut a lemon in half and place both pieces face down on a microwaveable plate. Sprinkle it with a tablespoon of water. Close the door and cook the lemon on high for about a minute. The inside of the microwave should be steamy from the lemon juice and water, a natural and safe cleaner. Finally, just wipe the microwave.
Maybe you’ve never thought about disinfecting your disposal, but it’s easy and worth the simple effort. Reuse those lemon wedges you just used to clean your microwave and drop them into the disposal. Add salt and a handful of ice cubes. Turn on the disposal. The crunching ice and salt clean the inside of the disposal and the lemon leaves it smelling fresh.
You can also disinfect your sponges after a day of spring cleaning. Squeeze out the excess moisture and microwave them on high for one minute.
Scrub the bathrooms.
Even when you clean your bathrooms regularly, you can give them extra attention during spring cleaning.
If you have a shower curtain and liner, remove them. Put them in the washing machine with towels to scrub away mildew. While they’re in the laundry, scrub the shower with white vinegar. The natural acid does wonders to wash away build-up. If you’re feeling really ambitious, make your own tile and grout cleaner and see what a difference it makes.
Change the air filter on your central air conditioning system.
A dirty filter makes your HVAC work harder. Replace it every two to three months. If you have one that you can clean, take it outside to scrub and spray it with the hose. Otherwise, replace the air filter and discard the old one.
Refresh your bed.
Give every bed in your home a spring cleaning. Remove the bedding, including the mattress pad and bedskirts. Wash it all. While the linens are drying, flip the mattress (or turn it 180 degrees if it’s a pillow-top style). Springtime might also be the right time to replace the bedding with something new!
As you work your way through the spring cleaning chores, have you noticed that your home is still not quite what you want and need? Maybe it’s a sign that you should start looking for a new home that better fits your lifestyle today. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Sandlin Homes builds communities of new construction, single-family homes—in cities and towns like Arlington, North Richland Hills, Grand Prairie, Argyle, and Joshua. We have move-in ready homes available right now, or you can plan to build a new home from the ground up. Start by talking to us about making a fresh start this spring.