The warm weather is finally here which means we can finally air out our houses! Woohoo. There’s no better smell than the fresh air that takes away all of the stuffy interior smells we’ve been forced to live with all winter long.
Spring cleaning is one of the best feelings in the world. You can’t beat sitting down for a night surrounded by clean organized rooms and knowing that your house has had the funky smells removed just in time for summer.
Whenever I begin to tackle my spring cleaning, I try to make a list aside from my normal cleaning routine. I want to clean the things that normally get neglected. I want them to be fresh, restored back to their original colors or be gleaming by the time I’m done with them. Here is my list of “Spring Cleaning Musts!”
Fan blades. This one I try to do at least once a month since our fans are constantly circulating but honestly I forget. Stop those fans, and get out that damp cloth with the light cleaner or a special dust removing wand and get rid of all that dust attached to the constantly revolving fan blades.
Bathroom Exhaust Fans. Get that vacuum extension and suck up as much surface dust as you can. Get up on a step stool and remove the screws holding the fan cover in place, and give it a quick wash in the sink. You’ll be surprised at how much nasty stuff comes out of it!
Move the Appliances. Dust (and old nasty food) collect behind stoves and fridges. Move them out of their best crevices and get the vacuum and scrub brush back there. Remove the dust from the back of the fridge, and give the entire fridge and stove a wipe down. Make sure you get the sides of the cupboards that normally don’t see the light of day because all sorts of nastiness collects there.
Linen Closet Shelving. The tops of the linen closet shelving is a magnet for dust and dirt. We typically don’t use the things we store on that top shelf, so take those things down and sort them while giving the shelves themselves a bit of TLC.
Duvets/Duvet Covers/Comforters. We have a summer duvet that is lighter than our heavy winter duvet. We usually make the switch around May or so. Take the heavier duvet or comfortable and give it a good wash or dry clean before you put it away. That way it’s nice and fresh when you pull it back out in October!
Pillows. Sleep pillows, bed pillows, throw pillows – all the pillows. They all need a good wash to get rid of the dust mites and other nastiness. Simply throw them in the laundry machine and then into the dryer with a few tennis balls to fluff them back up (check the manufacturers label before doing that last bit).
Shower Curtains. If you’re like me, you have some fabric curtains that hang on the outside of the shower. Take those down and give them a good wash. It will give you a good excuse to change them for more summery ones anyway!
Curtains. I have floor length curtains in all of my rooms that desperately need a good wash. They absorb all of the cooking smells, dog odor, kid odors and I’m sure they have a fine coating of dust of them from being near the window. In the washing machine you go!
The Windows. The windows are simple enough with some cleaner and paper towel, but also the window casings, the screens and the blinds covering them as well.
The Walls. Using a mild solution or just plain vinegar diluted with water, wipe down all the walls in your home. They’ve collected sticky fingerprints, dirt, dust and more over the course of the winter. Give them a good clean and watch how wonderful your house will smell after this!
Carpets. Give the carpets a good odor cleansing by giving them a shampoo. The carpets will be so fresh when you’re done, and the house will smell a thousand times better. Either rent an industrial cleaner or purchase a pet odor remover carpet cleaner from a department store to do the job. Make sure it’s on a day when you can open the windows to air the house out because it will smell very damp and wet otherwise! Hang rugs, welcome mats and other small carpets outside for the sun to work it’s magic.
Your Closet. Spring time is the perfect time to purge everything you’ve been stashing since last year. Go through your clothes and throw any clothes you haven’t worn in the past six months onto your bed. Decide if you REALLY need them. If it’s a formal dress that you don’t wear often (but it still fits!) then keep it. If it’s a shirt you bought two years ago and it bunches weird in the back, get rid of it. Best places to get rid of everything? Garage sales (new wardrobe money for you!), consignment sales or donation. Someone out there could definitely use it!
Pantry and Kitchen Cabinets. Everyone has a junk drawer or junk cabinet in their kitchen where endless supplies of random crap go and then don’t see the light of day for months afterward. Go through those cabinets and decide what’s worth keeping and what’s going out. Broken? Toss. Useless to you? Donate or sell. Legitimate need? Find a new home for it.
Your pantry will benefit from a good organization as well. You can see how many expired canned foods you have and check the dates of the spices you opened sons ago.
Linen Closets. Go through these with a fine tooth comb and decide whether or not you need that waffle maker you’ve used one time. There’s a reason why garage sale season is so hot in the spring! Purge! You’ll feel so much better.
Kids Closets. It’s time to change over the wardrobe from winter to summer. Box up the clothes that are too small for the next child or to pass on, and begin organizing their summer wardrobes. I use the same style, same color hangers for my daughter’s clothes and it looks so much nicer!
Garage or Storage Shed. My husband’s outdoor space is a nightmare after the winter time. He will toss all sorts of random stuff into the sheds and they will sit there for months. We live in the country, and so we are always on the lookout for critters invading our items as well. Go out there with some nice thick gloves and organize all the things within these spaces. Beware of mice and other pests. If you’re currently pregnant like me, it’s best to leave this to someone else because mice dropping’s can have harmful effects on both you and your baby.
Coat Closet. Time to switch out the thick winter jacket and boots for that nice spring windbreaker, sandals and flats! Wash all your winter items before storing them away so they’re ready to use in the fall.
Drains. The grossness that has collected over months finally needs to be dealt with. Snake the drains to remove hair and other nasty items, and pour baking soda, vinegar and hot water to finish bubbling and clean the inside of the drains.
Grout. The tile on the kitchen floor looks fine after mopping but the grout in between the tiles is discolored. This requires special scrubbing using an old toothbrush or other fine scrubbing material. This one can be tedious and hard on your hands, so listen to an audiobook, music or watch a show on Netflix while you do it.
Home Exterior. The house takes a punch after a long winter of freezing temperatures, dirt, ice and snow. The exterior will show excessive dirty wear. If you have access to a pressure washer, borrow it and spray down the exterior of the house. It will look so much better!
Shower Heads. This may not necessarily need a scrub, but it needs a good wash. Place a baggie or bowl of vinegar or CLR under the shower head to help clear out all the residue from the water. It will make it smell better, look better and improve efficiency.
Laundry tubs. A lot of people clean their laundry tubs out on the regular, but adding in that extra cleaning power will make the laundry tub smell so much fresher.
Hopefully this small list will give you some ideas to get your house in tip top shape for the summer. Clear out those winter bugs and dirt and throw those windows open and bask in the sunshine. Bring on the summer!