Saturday, April 12, 2014

Eight Tips for Spring Cleaning

Woman spring cleaning her shelves and cabinets

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition for many. The extensive de-cluttering and organizing that takes place as soon as the weather warms up can be quite the undertaking. Here are eight tips to make the most of your spring cleaning, and you can even use them to keep your home looking great at other times of the year as well.

Take Cleaning Seriously

If you fully embrace your spring cleaning, tackling it head-on from the get-go you will not be disappointed. You may have a lot to do, but you will benefit in the long run. The most important tip to keep in mind throughout the process is that the better job you do with your initial cleaning and home organizing the less work you will have to do later.

Start with the Closets

It can be hard to figure out where to get started with any big cleaning task. The best place to begin organizing your entire home is with your closets. Get rid of all of those unused clothes and other items you may have stashed there over time. Organize the remaining clothing by how you get dressed or by color. For hall closets and other storage closet organizing, you want to have the items you use most often where they are most accessible.

Do Not Forget Bookshelves

After sorting through your closets, the next best area to organize are bookshelves and other shelving in your home like your movie collection. Get rid of damaged dust jackets along with books and items you no longer need or want. Donate your unwanted books and then organize the rest by subject and size. This will ensure that you have room in the future for new books and collectibles.

Dealing with Stains and Odors

After de-cluttering your closets and straightening your shelving, move on to eliminating any smelly stains or large stains that you have neglected on your furniture. The first step to making your upholstery look great again is to blot up as much as you can of the troublesome stains. While doing so put a plastic liner like a garbage bag between the cushion and the fabric to avoid spreading the odors further into the cushion. Use cold water to blot, and to take care of lingering odors use a vinegar and water solution, rinse and repeat.

Managing Floors

Carpet stains can be removed with commercial carpet cleaners and odors taken care of with vinegar just like upholstery. Give all carpets a thorough vacuuming as part of your spring cleaning. Taking care of wood floors should be done with a damp mop and mild soap.

Addressing Countertops

Cleaning countertops can be as simple as a wipe-down of composite material or as a difficult as removing stains from granite. If you have the latter, you can remove most stains with diluted ammonia. After taking care of stains to get it looking its best again, get it re-sealed in the spring. Re-sealing will help to prevent future stains and make maintenance cleaning easier.

Pay Attention to Stainless Steel

Stainless steel looks great when it is cleaned and taken care of, but if neglected it gets spotty and dull. Spots as well as scum accumulation are easily wiped away. After cleaning and polishing all of your stainless steel faucets spray them with a very light misting of a wax-based aerosol. This will keep the fixtures looking shiny and their best for much longer. Wipe them down with a lint-free cloth and avoid using any oil-based products. Bleach should also be avoided because it contributes to a loss of that great luster.

Cleaning Tile

Bathroom and kitchen tile can sometimes be a hassle to take care of. You may have put off cleaning your tile only to find that the situation continually gets worse. Definitely give any tile a good cleaning this spring. A great trick is to use baking soda and water to create an affordable and highly-effective cleaning solution. Mix half of a cup of baking soda with two gallons of water and then apply it with a sponge. It will even take care of build-up in the cracks and can be used on grout.

Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos