The annual ritual of spring cleaning has been around for centuries, in all different parts of the world, for all different types of structures, for a variety of reasons—some cultural, some religious, and some purely hygienic. Here in the States in the year 2020, we faithfully engage in this tradition to both sweep out the old (as in fireplace residue, pent-up dust and debris, and winter staleness) and usher in the new: open windows, clean air, sparkling surfaces, and gleaming furniture!
But because we treat it as a once-a-year event, the sheer breadth and depth of the task can feel very overwhelming and very time-consuming, turning something that’s supposed to be invigorating and regenerative into something that’s just stressful and tedious. The result? We put it off as long as possible, sometimes even until … well, until it’s summertime!
So let’s break down good ole spring cleaning into a clear 10-point checklist that will make the process far more practical and manageable:
- Allow two weeks. During week one (or over the first weekend), cover the inside of your home, whether that means downstairs to upstairs or rooms at the back of the house to rooms at the front of the house. For the second week, you’ll move outside, to your garage, driveway, and front and back yards.
- Wash windows & clean window treatments. Since it’s the time of year to unlock latches, pull back drapes, and open blinds, start with the chore that will bring you the immediate satisfaction of sunlight streaming into your home. Clean window panes inside and out, vacuum drapes top to bottom (or send them out to be dry cleaned if applicable), and clean all sides of all blind slats.
- Clean carpets & floors. If you’ve got carpeting, steam clean it—you can rent a machine yourself or call in a professional company that can be in and out within hours. If you’ve got tile or hardwood floors, go the extra mile to scrub or polish them this time. After this thorough cleaning, regular vacuuming and touch-up mopping as needed should keep all your flooring in check and in control for months to come.
- Attend to baseboards, molding & ceilings. So many people take such good care of floors, walls, and doors that are in plain sight, but they neglect the nooks and crannies that connect all the parts of your home. Now’s the time to clear ceiling corners of spider webs, wipe down all the gunk that accumulates on baseboards, and clean all your molding, both at or above eye level. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel and how much cleaner your space will be when both the obvious and not-so-obvious surfaces are free of dirt and buildup.
- Dust the furniture. Feather dusters sure come in handy … but once in a while, we have to actually dust all our items by hand, with an actual furniture cleaner and old-fashioned dust rags or more modern microfiber cloths. Not only will you polish away streaks and prints, but you’ll remove allergens from surfaces to prevent them from becoming airborne.
- Make a list of odd jobs & tackle them one at a time, in small doses. Kitchens, bathrooms, dens, bedrooms—we all know what’s required to keep our everyday living spaces and places safe and sanitary. But then there’s all the miscellaneous fixes that get put on the backburner indefinitely, like paint touch-ups, replacing a cracked lightswitch plate, changing burnt-out lightbulbs, dusting ceiling fan blades, or flipping mattresses. To get your interior in tiptop shape, do a walk-through with pen and paper in hand, noting the small stuff that needs a little extra attention. It’ll make a big difference when you finally check those items off your list.
- De-clutter the home. Using a laundry basket, go around collecting anything and everything that is cluttering up your rooms. You can sort through the bin later—putting things back where they belong or storing them away—but for now, just clearing them from your line of vision and path of movement will produce order and efficiency.
- Organize the basement. Throughout the year, we’re all guilty of just stashing things down in the basement (or up in the attic or out in the garage) to take care of later—outgrown clothes, loose holiday decorations, empty boxes, faulty equipment. Set aside an hour or two to separate things into piles—donate, trash, keep, repair—then follow through as planned.
- Head outdoors. Once the inside of your home is in order, you’ll be energized to tackle the outside: sweep the garage floor, clear away fallen branches and dead leaves from your perimeter, trim your bushes and hedges, spread new mulch, clean your mailbox, and plant your bulbs. Then spring will be blooming inside and out!
- Hold a garage sale. By this point, you’ve likely come across lots of things, both big and small, used and unused, valuable and trendy—that you just don’t need or want anymore. Spring is the optimal time to hold a garage sale, turning one man’s trash into another’s treasure and finding a new home for things you no longer use in your own.
Not enough time at your disposal or too much on your plate to proceed through this checklist yourself? That’s what Home Services Enterprises is for! Call us today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll have your home, office, or personal space spring ready in no time!
Home Services Enterprise | 301-674-9564 | www.homeservicesenterprise.com