Spring is a time of new beginnings in Washington – and now is a great time to take on some cleaning and organization tasks around your home. If you’re anything like many of us here at Totem Insurance, some of these tasks are long overdue!
Here are some tips to get you started – and keep you focused. We’re looking forward to using these tips ourselves!
First, get some help
If you’re doing a deep spring clean, try not to put all of the pressure on yourself. Make the event a family affair and assign your spouse or your kids some chores. Or throw a cleaning party and offer pizza to everyone who comes to help.
Second, make a list
It’s extremely helpful to have a plan before you get started. Is the kitchen your biggest trouble spot? The master bedroom? Create a detailed plan of attack and you’ll increase your chance of success. Many people find it best to go room by room so there’s a sense of accomplishment when they finish in a particular area.
Third, remember safety!
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have protective gear like rubber gloves if you’re dealing with chemical cleaners, and even a particle mask if you’ve got some serious dust. Or try using some of the many green cleaning products that are now available. Spring cleaning is also the perfect time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment. And it’s a good idea to refresh (or start) your family emergency kit.
Room–by–room quick tips
The tips below will help get you going. If you need more, just do a web search for spring cleaning and you’ll find tons of sites with useful information and detailed checklists.
- Clear out the contents of your refrigerator and freezer (but not at the same time) and discard any expired items. Then, clean the appliance thoroughly, removing shelves and racks – you’d be surprised how dirty the bottom of a refrigerator can get. And don’t forget to clean the coils underneath, too; it will boost energy efficiency.
- Clean all small appliances – toasters, coffeemakers, etc.
- Clean the oven and stove, including burners and spill catchers.
Living room and dining room
- Dust all light fixtures and shelves, along with window blinds (or, if you have drapes, take them down and have them cleaned). Don’t forget to dust the ceiling fan!
- Clean and dust couches and chairs. This is easily done with a vacuum attachment. Removing cushions will not only give you a deeper clean, but can fill your pocket with change!
- It may be time to shampoo your carpets or rugs. You can have a professional do the work for you or rent a machine at a local store.
Bedrooms and closets
- How long has it been since you flipped your mattress? Now is the perfect time. Dust your bed frame (and other furniture), strip your bedding and turn over your mattress, rotating it as well. It’s also a good time to wash bedding that you don’t wash often, such as the mattress pad.
- Pillows should be washed occasionally. Most can be cleaned in your washing machine, but check the label beforehand to be sure.
- Go through the items in your closet. Do you have winter clothing you can put into storage? Do you have items you no longer wear that can be donated or sold at a garage sale?
- Remember to clean under the bed.
- Clean fans and vents (this should be done more than once a year, typically).
- Go through your medicine cabinet and throw away expired medications or items you no longer use or need. Then move your medications to the kitchen – away from the moisture of a bathroom – where they will store better.
- Scrub toilets, sinks, faucets, showers and tubs, including the shower head!
Hey, you’ve done enough for one spring cleaning cycle, haven’t you? Let’s leave the garage for another time!
One final tip: It’s best to leave sweeping and vacuuming for last in each room.