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Guide to Spring Cleaning

When winter is over and the gloominess of the season is past, many homeowners are motivated to do a thorough spring cleaning of their houses, both inside and out. Spring cleaning is an age-old ritual and it’s one that serves to add new life to a home that was closed up for winter, taking on a musty odor and looking dull and boring. When spring arrives and the cleaning is done, you can decorate with bright colors, floral prints, and anything else that says winter is gone and the season of rebirth is upon us.

Spring cleaning is a big task and it’s often tough to figure out just where to start. If you’re like most homeowners, your home requires not only a good cleaning but also some organizing as well and you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Make your spring cleaning easier this year by including these steps:

o De-clutter – It’s impossible to clean if your house is filled with clutter of all sorts. So, the first step is to pick up all that extraneous stuff and find a place for it. A good way to do this is to attack one room per day or no more than two if they’re small rooms. Bring several garbage bags as well as a few boxes or baskets into each room before you begin. Any items that do not belong in the room should go in the basket for storage elsewhere, or if you haven’t used these items for a while, consider tossing it. Or, if there are items that are in good condition but of no use to you, consider donating them to a good cause. Once you’ve done all the rooms, find an out-of-the-way storage spot (basement, attic) for the excess stuff.

o Have a garage sale – If there are items that you don’t wish to give away or throw away but don’t need anymore, consider having a garage sale. A well-organized, well-advertised sale can result in some extra dollars for new curtains, new outdoor furniture, or any other item you might need for the upcoming season.

o Freshen up – Many rooms in your house will need a facelift for the new season. In your bedrooms, you can provide a fresh look by washing all the bedding and putting it back on or putting it away for the season in favor of lighter-weight linens. While you’re at it, flip the mattress, wash small carpets or mats, and add a fresh scented candle for a great spring aroma. You can do the same in your bathroom by washing bath mats and changing your shower curtain.

o Clean large items – While you may dust and vacuum regularly, there are some items in your house that only get cleaned a few times a year. This is a good time to tackle them. Take down hard-to-reach light fixtures, dust them, and then wash them in the sink, if possible. Do the same with metal Venetian blinds. Climb up and dust those paddles on your ceiling fan. Wash or dry clean your curtains and, while their down, wash your windows inside and out. Scrub floors the old-fashioned way so that they’re really clean!

o Tackle the Kitchen – The kitchen is often the hardest room in the house to clean. Not only do you need to wax the floor, wipe off the wood cabinets, and clean the stove, but you’ll also need to empty the pantry and cupboards and get rid of the old stuff. Check the expiration dates on items you haven’t used in a while and if they’ve passed their prime, throw them away. Do the same with the refrigerator and freezer and freshen them to eliminate all stale food odors.

o Go outside – Don’t forget to spruce out the outdoor area around your home as well. You’ll soon be spending more time out there! Clean the patio furniture, remove the cobwebs from the grill, sweep the patio and/or the deck, and remove any dead plants, bushes, or trees.