Warmer days are just around the corner. But while we’re still stuck inside, why not get our spring cleaning done? After all, once it’s green and glorious outside, that’s where we’ll want to be. Not inside scrubbing the kitchen sink. And especially so at Stepping Stone where there’s so much natural beauty to enjoy, with parks and miles of trails that connect to regional trails. So kick off your spring cleaning with these strategies for efficiently knocking out the inside work. Then you’ll be ready for all the outdoor adventures to come.
Start by gathering your favorite tips at Shea’s Home Hints Pinterest board, a handy source for ideas on home and yard maintenance, cleaning, and updating home décor. If you’re not in the mood yet to get down and dirty, start with some high-level—yet highly satisfying—organizational projects. Like creating a home office filing system, including headers and sub-headers for everything from internet bills and garage door opener warranties to love letters and children’s artwork.
Another project sure to give homeowners peace of mind: Setting up an annual home maintenance calendar. Finally, you’ll have a plan for those once-in-a-while tasks that tend to slip through the cracks. The annual flushing of the hot water heater. The six-month vacuuming of refrigerator coils and replacing of smoke detector batteries. And so on.
You can also pick up general cleaning guidelines, such as how to speed clean your home in less than 30 minutes. (It’s a printable guide.)
And you’ll find nicely specific cleaning tips too. Such as how to make your dull hardwood floors shine again. Clean your grungy computer keyboard. Or make your towels smell fresh and new again.
Ready to get more serious? A little grubby, perhaps? Check out these 30 Quick and Easy Cleaning Tips from Women’s Day magazine. Based on the input of seven cleaning experts, this article has smart ideas for working over the whole house. In the kitchen, for example, you should “circle your way around.” Begin on the right side of your stove, then move clockwise around the room. Since the stove is typically the dirtiest part of the kitchen, ending with it keeps you from spreading dirt and grease. (While you’re working your way around, soak drip pans and knobs in warm soapy water.) Another good tip is to run an empty dishwasher cycle with Dishwasher Magic, a product designed to kill bacteria like E. coli. Or add a quarter-cup of bleach to the regular dish cycle to kill bacteria.
Good Housekeeping is a natural source to turn to for expert guidance in this area. Twelve Ways to Clean Up Fast includes the usual spring cleaning suspects, such as defunking your mattress pad and shaking out rugs, as well as more advanced techniques, such as cleaning your microwave with fresh lemons. Simply cut one in half, put the pieces in a microwave-safe bowl with water to cover, and cook on high for two to three minutes. The steam will soften hardened food inside (plus, the lemon will smell awesome). Another good tip is de-germing your sponges by soaking them in a mixture of ¾ cup bleach to one gallon of water.
No discussion of cleaning would be complete without input from the global guru, Marie Kondo. The Japanese author of the bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has a new book, Spark Joy. You can read an excerpt here.
And…if all else fails, spend some time with these tips about hiring a housekeeper.