It’s our Favorite Time of Year
Spring is here again! It’s time to move the furniture and make your house sparkle as the sun shines in and highlights those things you might have overlooked in the darkness of winter. Here are five chores that might seem trivial, but will ultimately contribute to both your health and happiness in the home.
Wash Your Windows
Windows collect a lot of dirt and grime in the winter. While you might not notice it as it happens, the first time the sun shines in you will see the dust, streaks, and even pollen on the outside. On the inside, dust and particles that have been floating around your house all winter should be washed away as well. Around the frames and sills, remove any dry material using a small cleaning brush, a dry cloth or even a small vacuum before adding water or liquid cleaners. Soap, water, and a small amount of vinegar are great for removing any remaining dirt and debris. For the panes, choose non-streaking cleaners designed specifically for windows. You might need to choose different products for indoors and outdoors for the best effect.
Clean Your Moldings
Moldings collect all kinds of dirt and grime. Scuffs from shoes and even vacuuming, dirt that is kicked up as you clean, and splatters from spills or animals all contribute to a generally dingy appearance. Although it is very easy to overlook them, moldings should be cleaned annually or they will detract from the overall look of your home. You can use an all-purpose cleaner, and for ceiling moldings you can dip a rag or sponge in the solution and use a broom or mop to wipe them down. Consider cleaning the edge of your carpets or floors at the same time, because your vacuum has probably left behind crumbs that it could not reach.
Move and Clean Behind Your Fridge
This is a good project for any time of the year, but it is easily overlooked. Spring-cleaning is a good reminder of the task. Over the course of the year, a large amount of food, dust, lint, and grime will collect here despite your best efforts. Move the refrigerator out to make sure you don’t miss anything. Sweep and mop the floor, clean the edges and back of the fridge while being careful of any exposed coils, and don’t forget to clean the air intake on your appliance’s fan. While you’re down there check the shelf inside the refrigerator under the produce drawers. All of this can be done using the same all-purpose cleaner as the moldings.
Move and Clean Behind Furniture
Much like the refrigerator, it is easy to forget how many dust bunnies crawl under your furniture in a year, even more so if you have pets. A vacuum or dust mop will have difficulty getting along walls and in corners, so it is best to move the furniture from the walls once a year to do a thorough cleaning. If you use glides or sliders under your furniture, confirm that they are free of dirt and dust. Make sure not to forget the moldings here, too! For hardwood floors, use an oil soap to both clean and condition the wood. For carpets use the crevice tool on your vacuum. If you don’t have one, use the sticky side of packing tape to pick up debris.
Organize Your Closets
Finally, organize your closets. In a year shoes, belts, ties, and scarves become disorganized, clothing becomes disarrayed, and inevitably items and boxes that do not belong will be tossed in there. Check for clothing that has fallen off hangers, or items that need ironing. Take the time to move winter clothing to less accessible areas of the closet, while moving spring and summer clothing to the most easily reached locations. Organize your shoes in a similar manner, after vacuuming the floor in the closet. If you have an upper shelf dust it and wipe it down with a damp cloth, then you can store seasonal clothing in dust-free containers until it is time to rotate them again.
Although some of these tasks may seem tedious or trivial, they are important to do when freshening up your house after it has been closed-up during the winter months. Removing dust, cleaning up overlooked grime, and generally reorganizing will make for a happier, healthier, more comfortable environment throughout the spring and summer months.