Every home benefits from a really good clean once a year. And what better time than the spring, when the weather is warm enough to throw open the windows and blow away the cobwebs? (And if it’s not spring don’t think that’s a good enough excuse not to do it!!!) So, no matter what time of year it is a spring clean simply means getting to the places that your regular cleaning hasn’t reached.
Plan the Campaign
Walk around the house and make a note of all the tasks that need to be done in each room. Then gather the troops and delegate some of the chores. Everyone can play their part and share in the satisfaction of watching the list get shorter and shorter.
10 Spring Cleaning Jobs
Clean the cupboards
Take everything out of your cupboards, clean the insides, sort out the contents and return the items you are sure you want to keep. Take it one cupboard at a time so the task doesn’t overwhelm you.
Clean the curtains and the tracks
Some fabrics can only be dry cleaned so do check the care instructions on your curtains before chucking them in the washing machine. Dust the curtain track thoroughly. If it’s plastic wipe it with a damp cloth. When it’s dry, polish it with a cloth sprayed with a little silicone polish to keep the track running smoothly. Rub metal tracks with a little metal polish then buff up with a clean dry duster.
Move the furniture
Shift the furniture so you can clean behind it and under it. You may be amazed at the long forgotten items you’ll discover!
Dust the ceiling
Tie a large duster onto the head of a clean broom and gently sweep it across the ceiling, making sure you don’t hit or damge the light fittings along the way.
Clean the lights
Switch of the electricity AT THE MAINS then remove the bulb and lampshade. Wipe the outside of the ceiling fitting with a dry cloth then dust the glass part of the bulb and clean the lampshade.
Clean behind the radiators
Parts of the radiator can be reached using a vacuum cleaner with a narrow attachment but you’ll need a paddle duster to reach right down behind it. Improvise if you haven’t got one by straightening out a wire coat hanger and tying an old sock over the end.
Dust and wash the walls
Dust the walls using a long handled duster. Before you wash painted walls test a small patch out in an unobtrusive area before you start. Most painted walls can be washed using a warm solution of water and washing up liquid. Rinse with warm clean water after washing. For papered walls, if your wallpaper is washable it can be sponged down with warm water and washing up liquid as before. Wring out the cloth or sponge really well so you don’t get the paper too wet! Clean the marks of non-washable wallpaper by using an artist’s white eraser. Try to remove grease stains by holding a piece of absorbent paper over the stain and ironing with a warm iron.
Wash the paintwork
Start at the top of the room and work downwards, using a warm solution of water and washing up liquid. Don’t use detergent as this can alter the colour of some paints.
Shampoo the carpet and clean the floor
You can shampoo carpets on your hands and knees but if you have a lot of carpet in your home you may not fancy it! Consider hiring a carpet cleaner or calling in the professionals.
Completely empty your bookcases and get rid of any books you no longer want. Dust the books with an acrylic duster holding the book firmly shut so you don’t damage the pages. Clean the shelves thoroughly and replace your books.
Keeping It Clean
My golden rule; before you start cleaning any room – TIDY! (But now that you are fully de-cluttered I know that won’t be a problem!)
Now… cleaning on a regular basis may not rate highly on your housewifely Top Ten but it is satisfying and it needn’t be a chore. If you follow a few simple rules and establish a personal routine that fits your lifestyle it’s a breeze. And there’s a bonus – its great exercise!
10 Cleaning Rules
You’re not aiming for operating theatre hygiene or to create a show house – just a home that’s clean, tidy, works and you and makes you feel proud.
Tackle cleaning in bite-sized pieces
Attacking all of your household cleaning like a domestic whirlwind at the weekend is not a good idea – you’ll be wiped out! If you go to work schedule small tasks for the evenings and tackle larger ones in the morning or at the weekend.
Make chores easier
For example, put an extension lead on your vacuum cleaner so you won’t have to keep plugging and unplugging it, and carry your cleaning materials with you to avoid frequent trips to the utility cupboard.
Work out your own plan of action
A daily timetable may work for you – allocating a different day of the week to clean each room. I tend to be a ‘lists’ person – making a list of jobs that need to be done that week and working my way through them.
Encourage everyone in the family to tidy up their own things as they go. And get the kids to clean too… give them clean white socks to put over their hands and tell them to see how dirty they can make them!
Create the perfect utility cupboard
Make your utility cupboard a vision of organised bliss, where cleaning products are easily identifiable and accessible.
Listen to Grandma
Many of Grandma’s traditional cleaning methods work just as well as pricey chemical products.
Do things in ‘bulk’
Certain chores, like washing clothes and ironing are best done in bulk. Don’t keep lugging out the ironing board to iron just one or two items and don’t put a wash on for just a handful of grubby socks!
First impressions count
Keep your front door clean as well as the front step and porch. A dirty front door doesn’t say much about what’s on the other side.
Always wear an apron, preferably with a pocket! In mine I keep my mobile phone, Post It Notes and a pen. Always wear gloves too to protect your hands and nails.