Each year, you see articles and videos about spring cleaning. Each article probably makes you think about doing it, but perhaps you put off this seemingly intimidating task. To ease your mind and make spring cleaning just a little less daunting, we’ve put together a brief guide to walk you through the process.
What Is Spring Cleaning?
You probably clean your house at least once per week. Spring cleaning refers to a deep cleaning that includes items requiring only occasional cleaning or that you clean in a more meaningful way.
Traditionally, spring cleaning provided a way to sanitize the home after the cold weather kept everyone indoors. They may have had winter colds or the flu. Once the weather changed and spring arrived, allergies began giving people problems. Since we’ve only had the likes of Sudafed and Zyrtec for a few years, homemakers relied on deeply cleansing the home to rid it of winter germs and spring allergens. Although times have changed, the tradition remains. We’ve changed it up a bit since we now focus more on sorting through closets and the garage to clear out the clutter.
Steps to a Successful Spring Cleaning
Let’s preface this list by saying that if you have little free time, you can hire a maid service to complete the cleaning portions of spring cleaning. You can choose a service that cleans while you work at your office or a helper who comes in to clean after you return home from work. You only need to sort through your own belongings to toss out what you no longer need.
- In every room of the house, you dust the furniture, including inside the china cabinet and curio cabinets. Go beyond vacuuming the carpets to steam clean them. Only 55% of homeowners deep clean carpets as often as the EPA recommends (every six months or more). Mop and wax any non-carpeted floors. Wipe down the walls and baseboards. Dust the crown molding. Knock down any cobwebs you notice. Clean the ceiling fans.
- Launder and press curtains, table linens, and bedding, including the comforters, quilts, and mattress covers/pads. Change the bedsheets to those appropriate for spring, such as sheets made of lighter cotton.
- You need to have cleaned the places you do not typically see, too. Check your basement for leaks or leaking appliances. The plumbing industry made more than $107 billion in revenue in 2018. Much of that was from undiscovered leaks that caused significant damage. Check frequently for leaks and always call a plumbing professional immediately to fix a problem before it grows. If you notice a musty smell, you either have mildew or mold. You need to call a professional mold/mildew remediation team because addressing this problem requires more than general household cleaners.
- Set an appointment to have HVAC maintenance conducted. This consists of having your ducts vacuumed and cleaned. The HVAC company will also change the filters in your system and run diagnostics to make sure it runs properly. This servicing appointment should take place before the weather changes that require you to use the air conditioning. This saves you money because one of the things the HVAC team checks for is leaks and coolant issues in the HVAC system. Your energy bill will show if either of these issues exists when you run the AC. Either of those two problems will also throw off the humidity in your home, something a properly running AC controls. When your humidity goes up inside, it causes mold and mildew growth which creates a second problem.
- Clean your appliances. That includes running a cleanser through your dishwasher and washing machine. You should also clean your lint trap and dryer vent.
- Clean out your garage and attic. Go through your closets, too, to rid yourself of items you no longer use and clothes that no longer fit. Also, go through your makeup and throw out any expired items. The same thing applies to over-the-counter and prescription medications. Once it expires, you throw it out. Concerning financial records that you squirreled away, once it reaches more than seven years old, you can throw it out. You should shred it using a cross-cut shredder, so you protect your identity and financial data. Check the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for any items that it considers exceptions to this general rule. The Internal Revenue Service collected $3.4 trillion in taxes in 2017, but some Americans might owe more or less. You need to have the right records on hand if they audit you.
Once you finish this deep clean, you can enjoy your home all spring and summer. Although you will probably spend a lot of time outdoors, this also lets you have a cozy and clean home in which to enjoy a respite from the sun.