Living Space: Spread out your spring cleaning
Spring cleaning is one of those seasonal chores you feel great about once it's done. The problem is, it takes time to do a thorough job. With family activities and a host of obligations outside the home, it's hard to devote a large chunk of time to get cleaning the entire house done all at once.
In reality, you don't have to do everything in one weekend, and some chores should actually wait - making a prolonged spring cleaning program efficient both in time spent and energy expended.
Because it's still cool, set the oven self-cleaner one morning early. Then start de-cluttering and emptying closets and drawers of unused, unwanted items. Scrub marred walls, either with a mild cleaner or try an eraser type sponge to remove scuffs and nicks. Touch up with paint if necessary.
Follow up with intensive vacuuming. Sweep under beds and over upholstery and lampshades using a soft brush attachment. Clean mattresses, window sills, the tops of doors, under appliances, the coils on your refrigerator and baseboards with a long-handled brush attachment. Give the corners in each room a once over for cobwebs. Finally, clean all light fixtures and dust light bulbs and ceiling fans.
Warmer weather starts to show up in earnest now, so you can move outside. In preparation for cleaning the garage in May, haul hazardous waste to your approved landfill or waste site. This can include anything from old computers to batteries, cleaning chemicals and paint.
This is an ideal time to clean windows. Using a squeegee and microfiber cloth, clean your windows inside and out with a diluted cleaning solution and polish with a microfiber cloth. Indoors, organize the pantry, freezer, refrigerator, closets and drawers that you de-cluttered in March.
Install organizers, label jars and storage containers in the pantry and garage. Take comforters and coats to the cleaners, and when they come back, slip them in a space-saving bag for easier storage.
Now the weather should be warm enough to tackle some bigger projects, especially outside. Hire a professional to steam clean your dingy carpets. Have floor tile grout cleaned, too, if it's showing some grime.
If you have a pressure washer, hose off sidewalks, the siding, porch or deck and wash your indoor and outdoor garbage cans. Check the gutters. Spend a sunny afternoon detailing your car and cleaning out the garage. You'll love parking your sparkling vehicle in a clean and organized space.
Lastly, take a look at your entrance. Dust the door and light fixtures, repainting where necessary, and give your entryway a thorough cleaning. Add color and interest with new plants around the door.
Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.