Spring Cleaning

For many of us, spring cleaning is a satisfying—and symbolic—departure from the dark, cold days of winter. Of course, you can follow recent pop culture icon Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and thoroughly “KonMari” your home. (Yes, it’s become a verb for piling up all your stuff and disposing of absolutely everything that doesn’t “spark joy.”)

Or you can follow more conventional ways of getting your home ready for spring that you can accomplish room-by-room, hopefully without a multi-week commitment. And while this list is not exhaustive, it’s a good, basic guide to refreshing your house for the season—one you can customize for your own needs and use year after year.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist:

  • Open all windows. Start by vacuuming and wiping the walls and ceilings (a handheld vacuum is great for this purpose).
  • Empty all cabinets and vanity. Wash inside, and throw away expired medications and cosmetics before replacing items. Consider lining cabinets with drawer or contact paper.
  • Wash the outside of cabinets and vanities, wash mirrors and the insides of windows.
  • Clean surfaces efficiently: Rub strong cleaning products into shower walls, tubs, floors and sinks, then let them soak while you do something else, like gathering rugs and towels for the laundry.
  • Take the same approach with the toilet, starting at the top of the tank and moving to the rim and bowl. For extra credit, remove the seat and clean around the bolts.

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist:

  • Get rid of clutter: Remove items from drawers and closets, and create a donate bag.
  • Empty your closets, and sweep and wash the closet floor.
  • Move your bed and furniture to vacuum up any pesky dust bunnies.
  • Wash bedding and curtains, and consider replacing pillows and/or covering with special covers that repel dust mites and other allergens.
  • Take out and wash window screens, wash floor registers and vent covers, and replace air filters.
  • Deep clean floors, paying attention to often overlooked areas such as baseboards.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist:

  • Open windows, and remove and clean window coverings and screens.
  • Remove everything from cabinets and drawers; clean and re-line them.
  • Check your stored food and spices, and discard anything that has expired.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, sharpen knives, and clean the oven and stovetop.
  • Clean underneath your refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, including vacuuming refrigerator coils.
  • Clean and organize your refrigerator and freezer, checking for expiration dates and throwing away expired foods. Consider using nontoxic cleaning products like white vinegar for this job.
  • Go after those jobs that never seem to get done, like cleaning the microwave, cleaning the crumbs from the toaster, thoroughly washing frequently used counter appliances, and descaling teakettles and coffeemakers.
  • As with other rooms, save the floors until last, washing floor registers and vent covers, sweeping and washing the floors, and resealing grout lines.

Living Room/Family Room Cleaning Checklist:

  • One of the most used rooms in the house, the living or family room can have lots of hidden grime. Vacuum under sofa cushions, spot clean sofas, and launder throw pillows and blankets.
  • Get rid of accumulated stuff: stacks of magazines, obsolete media, and old toys.
  • Give kids’ items your family still uses a good disinfecting.
  • Clean your television screen and dust electronics. Consider investing in wire hiders or cord covers.
  • Wash screens, window sills, floor registers and vent covers, and replace air filters.

Follow these rules of thumb, and you’ll have a fresh new outlook come spring. But if the task seems overwhelming, it might be time to call in the professionals—in which case, get rid of clutter first, including old food items, clothing, cosmetics, medicine, toys and other ephemera, then have a cleaning service to complete the job. For the time-strapped or those who have simply accumulated too much, getting rid of the junk and then giving your service room to really scrub is an efficient use of everyone’s time.

Originally Posted in CHUBB’s Monthly Accent E-Mail here.

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