Spring Cleaning Tasks to get done before spring is official.
Have I mentioned that spring is my favorite time of the year? Being spoiled in March with sunny days reaching into the 70s does two things for me. First, I root through my summer clothes for a springtime dress (which leaves a bit of a mess in the closet). Second, I notice all of the spring cleaning routine things to do– windows that need washing, flower beds that need cleaning out, closets rearranged, and so on. Not to mention the sunshine seems to really expose the handprints on the wall.
But, knowing spring is just not quite here yet, I hold back the urge to start some of these spring-cleaning tasks. It just isn’t time to do some of them. But, if you are like me, you also don’t want to go into the spring with that ever-increasing list of things to do. You want to enjoy the sunshine and leave hibernation to play with the family outside. So, here are a few things to get knocked off the list while you wait for the last few weeks of cold weather to taper off.
Oh, so overlooked baseboards. So underappreciated, so necessary and so beat up. They take the brunt of the wear and tear of both the walls and the floor. They collect dust, take blows from the vacuum, and a number of other abuses.
Dirty and beat-up baseboards (and trim work in general) can really age a room. Even though they may not be what you focus on in a room, the eyes do see them.
Start here with a good wipe-down. To add a fresh aroma throughout the house, including a few drops of your favorite essential oil into your cleaning bucket. If they are really beat up, break out the paint and give them a quick once-over with fresh paint. While you’re at it, check your doors and door trim.
Tip: A quick way to paint baseboards is to take a large metal spackling knife and press it firmly at the top of the baseboard and the wall. The knife creates a backsplash to paint against. Wipe the spackling knife as you go down the baseboard to prevent any smearing of paint onto the wall.
2. Kitchen Appliances
Another large task is the larger kitchen appliances. However, cleaning appliances such as your fridge and freezer, washing machine, dryer, stove, and dishwasher are chores you can get knocked off the list while the weather is still chilly. As a matter of fact, cleaning your stove will be a job best suited for cooler weather, as it tends to heat the house up.
Your larger kitchen appliances will have taken a beating through the holiday season, so freshen them up and give them a deep clean. One of my favorite DIY cleaners is a ½ & ½ ratio of regular blue Dawn and white vinegar. It is great for getting glass, sinks, porcelain, windows and the exterior of appliances sparkling clean. This combination does wonders on greasy areas such as stoves and microwaves.
Mix the two ingredients in a spray bottle, spray, and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Wipe off with a damp rag and finish the glass off with a lint-free towel. (This cleaner is also great for the bathroom.)
Don’t forget the washing machine. Run an empty warm/hot wash with lemon and vinegar and let stand for a few hours before finishing the cycle. This will get any smells and yucky grime out of your washing machine.
These freshened-up appliances will help you cheerfully bring in the spring season, as you look forward to picnics and barbecues.
3. Air Filters
Another one of those spring projects you can get done ahead of time is cleaning out the air filters in the house. Whether you replace them or you clean the reusable ones, you’ll be grateful for getting the filters ready for the pollen onslaught.
Tip: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your house filters to add a lovely aroma throughout the home.
4. Ceiling Fans and Overhead Lights
Often overlooked, ceiling fans and light fixtures can get pretty nasty throughout the winter as dust builds up. Besides, giving fans a good clean before you crank them up or reverse them for warmer weather is a really good idea.
For heavy-duty work, use a vacuum hose to collect the dust. Follow up with a deep cleaning. Don’t forget to take off the glass light fixtures to clean in soapy water as well. You'll be amazed at how much brighter the room is!
This is also a great time to upgrade your bulbs. If you don’t already have energy-efficient light bulbs, now is a great time to add them. My new favorites are the natural light LED bulbs, especially where I need the brightest light such as in my kitchen and bathroom. Plus, they are only 7 watts!
5. Junk Drawers
Now that you have a jump start on the "dirty" work before spring has actually started, take a look at some of the organizing you can get knocked out of the way. And, since you can’t quite tuck away those winter sweaters and coats, look to some of those stubborn “junk” drawers to get checked off of the list.
We all have them, usually one in the office, maybe a few in the kitchen. And, likely, you’ll find one in the bathroom as well. Although these drawers once served a purpose, sneaky miscellaneous items filled the drawers to capacity.
Start by emptying them out completely and deep cleaning the inside of the drawers. Perhaps you could add pretty contact paper, drawer organizers, or even cut cardboard for dividers. Take your time to really nail down the ideal function of the drawer. Well-thought-out plans mean you don’t have to do this task again until next spring!
Ditch partially used items, expired and dried up items, loose items, and anything you forgot was even in there (I mean, you obviously haven't missed it). Restock items such as batteries, scotch tape, or anything you see you’re running low on. And, if you are always looking for that one thing (eg flashlight) give it its own prominent spot in one of the drawers - maybe even labeled.
When you get to the bathroom drawer, imagine you are preparing it for guests. Keep the necessities easily accessible and well stocked. Simple rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball do wonders when cleaning up makeup! I like to go through my makeup bag and clean all of the containers this way. Once I am done, it is like I have a brand-new bag of makeup!
With these spring-cleaning tasks out of the way, you’ll be free to get outside to enjoy the warm sunshine and colorful blossoms! Tackling a few of these over a rainy weekend or doing a little each day will keep you from being overwhelmed. You and your family will be grateful you knocked these tasks off the list already!
So, what are some of the spring-cleaning chores you get out of the way as soon as the first spring bulbs start to push up through the ground?