Back to school: Where to donate school supplies, how to receive donated As you head up and down the school supply aisles in the coming weeks, consider teaching your children a valuable lesson:
Spring is in the air and with that comes spring cleaning! What a great way to kick off Spring. Starting with pulling back the shades to let the sun in then opening up the windows to let the house breath after a long winter. This time of year I love to take inventory to what is stale and old then tossing it to make room for the new. So before I hit the shops for new beautiful items I start the process of spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning is not your normal cleaning. Its the type of cleaning that will take some effort depending on how many people live in your home and how much you were able to maintain on an ongoing bases. It may take a weekend or two so give yourself some grace and don't become frantic over it. With our busy life styles some things just fall of to the way side. So lets begin by taking inventor.
Note: These tips are also very good when listing your home ... so lets take it to task
Cabinets - Depending on the finish of the cabinets this may be quick or not. With wood finish cabinets I have used Murphy Oil Soap. It gives a good cleaning without hurting your wood from my experience. Note: always read the labels of your cabinets to ensure its OK.
Counter-top - I do not have granite but if you do give it a good cleaning then seal them. Remember when water beads its properly sealed. To prevent stains from happening clean up all spills as soon as they happen throughout the year.
Appliances - While in the kitchen I clean my oven and vent hood with a good cleaner. I soak the vent filter in hot soapy water or just order myself a new one . The refrigerator always gets the overhaul as I remove all items out then wash the trays with warm soapy water, rinse and dry. I toss away old bottles and make room for new items. The dishwasher also gets a good cleaning. I pull the trays, wipe any hard spots, clean the bottoms then run it on empty and it will wash itself, Good Deal!
Stainless Steel - That final touch on all appliances. I use Weiman Stainless steel cleaner and polish. It works great and gives it a good shine. Always go with the grain. The trick to make it last is to open and close by using the handles. Never touch the surface so as to not leave finger prints. As a side note I did not get the water door dispenser on the outside. There is always a chance for drips on the door waiting to happen.
Wood Floors - Mopping wood floors will ruin them if you wet them often. Instead just damp/wet-clean once every one-to-two months and spot clean when needed. I used Murphy Oil Soap on them as well. If you love plants like I do place a saucers under your pots to keep the moisture off the floors.
Carpet - When I had carpet I would deep vacuum, then spot clean stains away, then shampoo after every winter to remove grim and have a fresh start in spring. If shampooing is not your thing turn this over to the professionals and have them do the heavy work. Consider having your rugs shampooed every three to four times a year in the heavy traffic areas for health reasons.
Tiled Areas - I have porcelain tiles in my home and I love how easy it is to keep them clean. The grout is very dark gray so it will take a lot to stain them. For the white grout in my bathroom shower walls I squeegee after every shower. But for the spring cleaning event I use baking soda and water mixture to keep the "neutral pH".
The Broom and Vacuum - When spring Cleaning I pull my sofas, TV, book cases, beds out then get down, under and behind to get all the dust bunnies out. If you hate those clingy annoying fur balls dust bunnies on the broom just swish the broom in warm soapy water. However I love my cordless Dyson vacuum. So easy to get all the dust without any cords. I have two, one on each floor.
Area Rugs - They look nice but are dust collectors. The good news is that you don't have to shampoo them every year. Heck you can just toss them and get new ones and have that bright fresh clean start.
And don't forget
to put on your favorite music
and have some fun while cleaning your
Bedrooms and Closets
Bedding - I habitually wash the sheets and pillow cases every one to two weeks but at spring cleaning when I remove the sheets I pull out the vacuum and vacuum the mattress crevice using the hand held tools. Also its a good time to wash the fluffy sleeping accessories. Its good practice to sanitize with a spritz of disinfectant spray afterwards then I'm all set.
The Closet - Where we all just toss our stuff and go on with life right! Well I got organized last year with built-ins and shelves. They are a life saver as I now know where all my items are at. It helps me stay organize. During this year spring cleaning I will go over my items and see what needs to go to make room for the new. I just love updating my clothes so I don't look dated and old. lol
Book shelves have a way of becoming stale in our lives. I like to go through the books to weed the ones that aren't relevant any more. I love art so I sort the books out in sections and get rid of the monotony. I line the rows of books purposely in a rhythmic pattern; some vertically and some horizontally. Then I add some pictures here and there.
Washing Machine - I have been told that front load washers get smelly. Mine do not with this little trick that works wonders. I disinfect it with distilled white vinegar and baking soda. It keeps it fresh and high-functioning. I often add white vinegar to the softener section when running a load. My clothes come out fresh and soft and it works wonders for my septic tank.
Behind and under the washer/dryer I always find plenty of dust and the main contributor is the dryer with all the lint from the clothes . My vacuum comes in handy here, and for under the machines a long skinny dust cleaner goes a long way to get those fur bunnies out (I may find a sock or two. LOL...)
Walls and Windows
Walls/Windows - I had my family over for the holidays and I know my grand-babies love to place their precious little hands on the walls. This task is not a hard one as its just a simple cleaning of the walls with a rag and a cleaning water solution made of a little dish-washing liquid, the milder the better. Test spot areas to ensure you have washable/wipe-able paint on your walls. You may have to repaint some walls if the paint comes off. Anyhow its a good time to add some accent walls you have been thinking about. When this task is done windows are next to get cleaned. I will only clean where I am able to reach on the Inside and out the rest my dear beloved husband will finish or get us a window washer for the second floor.
This messy dusty room always need cleaning and de-clutter. We are gardeners and at the end of a day of hard work we just dump our tools and go in for the day. This year I will invest in a shop vac. I always sweep but the dust easily come back in on windy days. My spring cleaning always entails major selection of items to toss out, spider web vacuuming, de-cluttered my shelves, power wash the cement then re-apply insect repellent when dry.
Garden and Patio Furniture
The Garden is my sanctuary, if you haven't read my prior blog on it and are interested here is the link. Being that my garden is an extension of my home I do spring cleaning there as well. Winter storms and change of season brings leaves on the ground and debris here and there. Raking up the leaves that are still around after the winter will go into my compost. Twigs are picked up and piled up for the fire-pit. Soil gets tilled where spring flowers will be planted and mulch to prevent unwanted weeds from growing.
Patio Furniture - Before outdoor season really gets going I like to wash up my outdoor chairs (minus the cushions) and tables with a mixture of warm water and a squirt of dish detergent. Then I hose off the solution with water from my garden hose and I let air dry before enjoying.
These Spring Cleaning tips are great for anytime of the year and especially when you are planning to sell your home. I wrote another blog called First Impressions that talked about what to do before putting your house on the market.
Spring is on its way here in Central Texas. Its the beginning of the buying season so sellers take note for items to clean when planing on selling your home or just to bring that new freshness to the home you love.
I am based in the greater Northwest Austin, TX area and I am determined to be the real estate consultant of choice and have some fun while we are looking for your next home or Lot. Just to share a b....