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Putting The FUN back Into Spring Cleaning

Jenell Fontes
Spring is in the air and it’s that time of year again for Spring Cleaning.  According to Wikipedia  “Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. The practice of spring cleaning is especially prevalent in climates with a cold winter.  The most common usage of spring cleaning refers to the yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom which would take place in the first warm days of the year typically in spring, hence the name. However it has also come to be synonymous with any kind of heavy duty cleaning or organizing enterprise. A person who gets their affairs in order before an audit or inspection could be said to be doing some spring cleaning.”

Spring cleaning is that time of year where you pull out the couch and vacuum behind it, and who knows maybe this year you will get lucky and find enough change to celebrate with a Martini at Maestro’s or a beer at the Red Barn…  You might just find the earing you lost or that key to the storage closet that you have looked everywhere for….Spring Cleaning can feel like an over whelming daunting task so let’s put the fun back into spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tools
First and foremost, choose a good bottle of wine… If you chose to drink it now and then start cleaning you don’t need to read the rest of this just get out your cork screw, buckets, soap and tools and just go for it…Option two: put the wine on ice and be ready to enjoy a fabulous glass of wine in your Spring Cleaned house.  Your sense of accomplishment and pride will marinate with the wine to a sense of rich fulfillment.   Now that you have the wine on ice make a list of the top three items that you want to tackle…  for me it is always to move all of the furniture and give everything a good vacuum and I use baby wipes to clean all of the base boards.  Number two, clean the filters in the AC, refrigerator and dust my ceiling fans and while you have got the ladder out CHECK your SMOKE and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.   Third for me is my kitchen, cleaning out the fridge and all of the drawers and cupboards.  Taking everything out for a good wipe down and evaluation of what is still relevant…. Do I really need four machine that pulverize and make a smoothie?  

Now, let’s get to the fun part(y)…I know YOU thought that making the list was the fun part.  Well for all of you list lovers like me, that was only a prequel to fun.  Here is the fun part four ways to make getting this done fun:



Beat the Clock This is an easy game.  Look at task number one how long do you think it will take you to get this task done.  If the task is over an hour break it down into smaller pieces.  Then set a kitchen time for the allotted time it is best to have one of those manual timers that actually tick.  It puts the pressure on…  Start the timer and try to beat the clock… If you were the one that opened your wine you might reward yourself at the end of each task but, this will slow you down.   The point is this the clock gives you something else to think about it also helps you say to those pesky distractions like…  maybe I should just check my face book or I can’t throw this magazine away until I’ve looked at it one more time.   Beat the clock is a sure fire FUN way to get more done in less time.

Name that Tune and Crank it up Ok, this one is a lot like beat the clock in this one you put on the radio chose something upbeat and that will get you going.   As long as the music is playing you cannot take a break from the task until the commercial breaks again most stations take a break every 15 min so this is just another way to keep you motivated.

Tom Sawyer This is one of my favorite strategies....You must have a friend that also needs to clean their house so make a deal to spend three hours at your house working together and then then next time spend the same amount of time at the other house.  Having a friend will keep you both on track and FUN to have someone to joke around and even commiserate with .  For this one you will need two bottles of wine but the progress that two people can make in three hours is outstanding.

Fork out the dough This one is absolutely my favorite solution…. Get the bottle of “REWARD” wine ready, call a professional cleaning service,  go out for a day of shopping, spa and a couple errands, come home to a slightly septic and immaculately clean home and now open your bottle of wine, put your feet up and sip, swirl and revel in the FUN of Spring Cleaning.


Check out these home cleaning tips from I *LOVE* spring cleaning. It is an opportunity to throw open the windows, let some fresh air in, and make our homes clean, happy and efficient spaces.  Don't be daunted by the size of this list, many of the jobs are small ones that will go by quickly, and you'll be so glad you took the time to do them!

FOYER
  1. Dust lighting fixtures.
  2. Wash walls and trim
  3. Wash doors, knobs and switch plates.
  4. Wash bench or other furnishings.  Launder bench cushion, if applicable.
  5. Empty out coat closet.  Wash walls and floor, if needed.  Sort items as you return them to the closet.  Store out of season items, donate unneeded items. 
  6. Clean or replace entry mat.
  7. Sweep and scrub floors.  
  8. Reseal grout lines, if necessary.

BEDROOMS
  1. Open windows
  2. Dust furniture.
  3. For each drawer: remove items, wash drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate Items you no longer need. 
  4.  Remove everything from closets. Sweep and wash closet floor. Put everything back neatly.  Donate items you no longer need.  Try not to store things on closet floor.
  5. Move Bed.  Sort and put away anything that was under bed.  Sweep or vacuum under bed.  Try not to store things under bed.
  6. Put bed back.  Freshen mattress by sprinkling with baking soda, letting sit briefly, and the vacuuming it up.
  7. Launder bedding and curtains.  Wash pillows and duvet in hot water.  Air out mattress pad, if you have one.
  8. Dust lights. Clean lamp shades.
  9. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  10. Wash switch plates.  Wash walls and trim as needed.
  11. Wash mirrors or dust art.
  12. Wash doors and doorknobs.
  13. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  14. Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.

BATHROOMS
  1. Open windows
  2. Empty all cabinets and vanity.  Wash inside, replace items neatly.  Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
  3. Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
  4. Clean tub. Wax if necessary. Clean drain.
  5. Clean toilet, inside and out.  Remove seat and clean around seat bolts.
  6. Clean sink and drain.
  7. Shine faucets.
  8. Clean mirror and frame .
  9. Dust light fixtures. 
  10. Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
  11. Wash switch plates.  wash walls and trim.  Wash doors and door knobs.
  12. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  13.  Sweep and wash floors.  
  14. Reseal grout lines if necessary.

KITCHEN
  1. Open windows.
  2. Remove and clean window coverings.  Click here for instructions on cleaning mini blinds.
  3. For each cabinet or drawer: Remove items, wipe out drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate unneeded items.
  4. Wash and sanitize cutting boards
  5. Sharpen knives
  6. Wash cabinet doors and knobs
  7. Clean and organize pantry.  Check food expiry dates.
  8. Clean oven.
  9. Clean stove top.  Remove elements and drip bowls, if applicable, wash and put back.
  10. Clean and organize fridge and freezer.  Defrost freezer, if necessary.  Check food expiry dates.
  11. Clean under fridge and stove.
  12. Vacuum refrigerator coils.
  13. Clean microwave.
  14. Clean crumbs out of toaster.
  15. Clean and descale kettle.
  16. Wipe down any other counter appliances
  17. wash counters and back splash.
  18. Wash and shine sink.  Shine faucet. Clean drain.
  19. Clean Dishwasher.
  20. Dust light fixtures.
  21. Wash windows and window sills.  Remove window screens and wash.
  22. Wash switch plates.  
  23. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  24. Wash doors and door knobs.
  25. Wash floor registers and other vent covers
  26. Sweep and wash floor.  
  27. Reseal grout lines, if necessary.

DINING ROOM
  1. Open windows.
  2. Wash curtains.
  3. Wipe down table and chairs.
  4. Wipe down or dust other furnishing.
  5. Clean chair pads, if applicable.
  6. Polish table, if necessary
  7. Create a pretty spring vignette on table!
  8. Dust any displayed china or serving dishes.
  9. Launder table linens.
  10. Shine silverware.
  11. Dust art.
  12. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  13. Wash switch plates
  14. Wash walls and trim.
  15. Wash doors and door knobs
  16. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  17. Clean floors.

 LIVING ROOM/ FAMILY ROOM/ PLAYROOM
  1. Open windows.
  2. Vacuum sofas.
  3. Spot clean sofas, if applicable.
  4. Launder throw pillows and blankets.
  5. Dust shelves, furniture and decor.
  6. Clean lamps and lampshades.
  7. Wash windows and window sills.
  8. Take out and wash window screens.
  9. Clean television screen.
  10. Carefully dust electronics.
  11. Tidy electronics wires.  Tuck nicely out of sight.  Label them, if practical.
  12. Sort through music and DVD collections.  Purge things that no longer suit your families interests.  Organize what is left in an attractive manner.
  13. Sort books and magazines.  Donate or recycle ones that no longer suit your families interests.
  14. Wash hard plastic children's toys with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry.  Launder stuffed toys.  Donate or store toys that your children have grown too old for.
  15. Wash switch plates.
  16. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  17. Wash doors and knobs.
  18. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  19. Clean floors.

LAUNDRY ROOM
  1. Open windows.
  2. Wash windows and window sills.
  3. Take out and wash window screens.
  4. Wash cabinet doors.
  5. Wash inside cabinets.
  6. Wash laundry sink.  Shine faucet.  Clean drains.
  7. Wash outside of washer and dryer.
  8. Wash inside of washing machine.
  9. Wash lint trap with soap and water to remove filmy build-up from laundry soaps and dryer sheets. Let air dry thoroughly before putting back in place.
  10. Wash switch plates.
  11. Wash walls and trim.
  12. Wash doors and door knobs.
  13. Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
  14. sweep and wash floors. 
  15. Reseal grout lines, if applicable. 

STAIRWELLS
  1. sweep/vacuum stairs
  2. Spot clean walls.
  3. Wipe down handrail.
  4. Dust art and light fixtures.

OUTSIDE
  1. Sweep porches and walkway.
  2. Wash thresholds.
  3. Wash exterior doors.  Give front door a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.
  4. Clean or replace welcome mat.
  5. Wash siding.

REMEMBER TO:
  • Clean blades of ceiling fans.
  • Sort through and organize family photographs (digitally or into albums).
  • Sort and clean any extra zones such as linen closets, utility closets and office spaces.

I think I deserve a glass of wine after simply writing the list.
Happy Cleaning
J

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