By: Maureen Spell —
New seasons are great reminders to take care of quarterly tasks. With spring right around the corner, it’s time to focus on our homes. Having a plan, breaking down jobs into doable chunks and utilizing the right tools are keys to tackling and conquering spring cleaning checklists.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” —Alexander Graham Bell
If the thought of doing a complete cleaning overhaul of your home is daunting, choose to work only on one or two areas. Having realistic expectations about what can be accomplished will help set you up for success.
First prepare by decluttering. Throw away trash, broken and worn out items. Next sort belongings into three categories; giveaway, store away (for seasonal articles like clothing or sport gear) and keep. Don’t stop there– actually move them out of the house. Consider donating items in good condition to local charities such as the Muncie Mission. The Muncie Mission Attic Window accepts donations of clothing, household items, accessories, appliances, furniture and more. Go to http://www.munciemission.org/donate/household-items/ for more information.
Next make sure to have the right tools available and take inventory of what you have. Gather your supplies and create a cleaning kit. This kit might include things such as an all-purpose cleaner, micro-fiber rags, Magic Erasers, scrub brushes, toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas, a duster, and garbage bags. In addition, a broom, dust pan, mop and vacuum cleaner should be on-hand and in working condition.
When creating your cleaning kit, consider choosing safe cleaning products. Read labels and know what is being used. The Environmental Working Group has found that “53 percent of cleaning products assessed by EWG contain ingredients known to harm the lungs. About 22 percent contain chemicals reported to cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy individuals.” [http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/findings] There are many green cleaners and DIY options available that can be safely used around children and pets.
Glass and Mirror
1 to 1 ratio of white vinegar and filtered water.
Fill spray bottle with vinegar and water. Wipe surface clean with a lint free cloth
All Purpose Cleaner
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon castile soap
3-5 drops tea tree oil filtered water
Baking Soda Scrub
Sprinkle baking soda on surfaces that need scouring. Spray the water/vinegar solution listed above,and scrub with a brush.
Seven Easily Overlooked Tasks
One main focus of spring cleaning is to take care of those tasks that don’t need to be done on a regular basis. Here are a few jobs that can be easily overlooked:
- Cleaning the inside of the washer and
- Cleaning the dryer
- Cleaning behind large appliances such as the This includes dusting the refrigerator’s condenser coil with a vacuum attachment to keep it from overheating.
- Changing smoke detector
- Dusting ceiling fan
- Cleaning light
- Wiping down walls, chair rail and baseboards
And finally, just start! Getting going is often the hardest part, but most will find that once in motion, the little gains will quickly turn into big wins.
Maureen Spell is a writer at SpellOutloud.com and lives in Muncie.