After their brief visit to my magnolia tree last month, the birds are here to stay. I could sit and listen to their song for hours. But it’s time to get to work and tackle spring cleaning, so I’ll open my windows and let in the fresh, green tasting air and use the delightful sound of birdsong as my soundtrack to the day.
Time to get started. Here are my spring cleaning tips as we all jump in and ready our homes for the season.
First, go through junk drawers, desktops, and kitchens. Get rid of what you don’t need. If you know deep in your heart that you have no use for some gadget or decoration that just isn’t you, but you can’t quite bring yourself to donate/toss the object, get a big cardboard box and label it with a date for six months from now. Stick the box in your garage. Put an alert on your calendar, and when the six months are up go through the box. If you didn’t catch yourself thinking you needed those household items, or you weren’t even tempted to pull them out, then it’s time to donate.
Of course, it’s better if you can take the initial plunge, but some people live in fear of getting rid of the wrong things.
But if you had a parent that went on decluttering rampages and you still can’t get over those notebooks she threw out filled with your private thoughts or your doll that was given away before you were ready. Then use the six-month box with my blessing.
Start at the top of the room and go down. This way, you’re not covering your just cleaned, perfectly ordered room in dust from your ceiling fan.
Make sure to get any strings of cobwebs hiding out in the corners of your rooms and light fixtures.
Use a pillowcase to envelop each blade of a ceiling fan and pull the dust off. Then wipe down the fan with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Empty the dust into the trash and wash the pillowcase.
This is also the perfect time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Walls and Windows
Once again, start at the top. For your walls, wrap a broom with a soft cloth to dust the hard to reach places.
According to Maids.com, “Get two buckets, some soft sponges, and dry microfiber cloths. Fill one bucket with warm water for rinsing and the other with your wall cleaner. Start at the top of the wall and work your way down using light, circular motions. Work in sections to prevent spotting and discoloration. Wash the wall with your cleaning solution and then wipe off the residue with a sponge dipped in your rinse bucket. Dry the wall with your microfiber cloth and move on to the next section.”
Don’t forget the baseboards! A soft toothbrush can work wonders if you have trouble getting in the crevices.
For your windows, use your favorite glass cleaner or use a combination of equal parts of white vinegar and water.
But first, pop out the screens and wash with soapy water and rinse off with a hose.
For the windows, clean both sides and dry with a clean microfiber towel.
Don’t forget the window tracks. Vacuum them out and scrub with a toothbrush and your cleaner. Wipe down the frames with a microfiber cloth.
Clean your window treatments according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Cupboards and Doors
Go over your doors and cupboards with a damp microfiber cloth. If needed, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Don’t forget door knobs and pulls. Soapy water works great most of the time, but if you have brass, copper, or pewter handles, then you need to know the recommended methods for your metals. Check out Direct Door Hardware’s website for help. Apparently, in the old days people would polish pewter with green cabbage leaves! You can’t find a more natural, non-toxic cleaning practice than that.
Bathrooms and Linen Closets
Take everything out of your drawers, cupboards, and linen closet. Wipe down the surfaces and return what you want to keep. Get rid of expired products and wash linens if they smell musty.
Add a half cup white vinegar to the final cycle for soft fresh towels and linens.
Have a lovely spring. Make sure to take some time to appreciate its beauty. In the words of Anne Lamott:
I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.