Clean Sweep

A Room-by-Room Guide to Freshening Up Your Home this Spring
illustration of friends cleaning and organizing kitchen
illustration of friends cleaning and organizing kitchen
By Kim Blaker

The Basics – for Every Room in Your Home

  • Dust wall and ceiling light fixtures, then remove globes and wash them out.
  • Dust ceiling fan blades.
  • Remove cobwebs with a vacuum and brush attachment.
  • Remove and wash window coverings and dust the top of curtain rods and window trim.
  • Remove wall hangings, knick-knacks, and other décor, and rinse in warm soapy water.
  • Wash doors and knobs and the dust that collects on top of doors and entryway trim.
  • Wipe walls with an all-purpose cleaning solution. Touch up scuffs and chips with paint.
  • Clean switch plates.
  • Empty cabinets, drawers, and organizers, then wipe them inside and out.
  • Wash windows and sills, and don’t forget the tracks.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture from top to bottom and under cushions, paying particular attention to creases and crevices where dust and grunge build up.
  • Vacuum lampshades with a soft bristle attachment.
  • Unplug electrical cords and wipe with a damp rag to remove built-up dust.
  • Wipe baseboards, then vacuum carpet edges with a narrow attachment.
  • Vacuum and mop under furniture and other stationary items.

Kitchen — Contamination Zones

  • Dust the top of kitchen cabinets.
  • Remove grease and grime from small kitchen appliances.
  • Clean stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher inside and out.
  • Wipe the built-up grunge on the top of the garbage disposal with a rag, add ice and lemon slices, and run the disposal to clean and freshen the blades.
  • Scrub countertops with a mild abrasive or degreaser.
  • Wipe the table and chairs from top to bottom.

Bedroom Odds’ n Ends

  • Remove items from under the bed, dust off storage containers, and dispose of clutter.
  • Vacuum under beds using attachments.
  • Eliminate unwanted articles from drawers.

The Bathroom — Scour and Disinfect

  • Remove and launder shower curtain and liner, bathmat, toilet cover, and rugs.
  • Scour tub and shower from top to bottom, inside and out. Use a toothbrush to remove mold, mildew, and soap scum accumulation around the drain, faucet, knobs, and showerhead.
  • Clean glass shower doors inside and out, including the track.
  • Spray exterior of toilets with a sanitizing solution and wipe down.
  • Remove the toilet seat, and clean the bolts where odors linger.
  • Use a deodorizing solution on the baseboard and wall behind the toilet.
  • Wash toilet brush container and wastebasket.
  • Scrub sink and countertop, including grooves around the drain, faucet, and knobs.
  • Dust the top edge of mirrors, towel racks, and other accessories.

Closets — the Always Forgotten

  • Dust shelving, brackets, and rods.
  • Organize shelves and eliminate unneeded items.
  • Remove clothing you haven’t worn in two years.
  • Dust shoe racks and rarely worn shoes.

Attic and Garage — Clutter Havens

  • Install racks, shelving, and hooks, then organize and eliminate clutter.
  • Dust shelving and stored items.
  • Store odds and ends in same-size boxes or containers for easy stacking.
  • Remove oil, paint, and other stains from concrete with trisodium phosphate. Be sure to follow directions carefully and protect the skin and eyes.

Outdoors — Dirt, Dirt Everywhere

  • Hose down siding and windows.
  • Wash screens with soapy water, then rinse with a hose.
  • Scrub doormats with an all-purpose cleaner and a brush, then rinse.
  • Spray off patio furniture, then wipe clean.
  • Clean light fixtures.
  • Remove lint from dryer vent and nests and hives that have formed on or near the house.

Time-Saving Tips

  • Gather cleaning tools and supplies before you get started. Have plenty of rags, an old toothbrush,
    q-tips, toothpicks, cleaning solutions, spray bottle, step stool or small ladder, and vacuum and attachments.
  • Work room-by-room for efficiency and to avoid duplicating or missing tasks.
  • Work around the room from top to bottom.
  • Play music as you clean. It may not save time, but it will make time pass more quickly.  

Get more cleaning tips HERE on LivingMagazine.net

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