A Room-by-Room Check-Off List to Conquer the Task!

by Kimberly Blaker

The emergence of spring has long been associated with the deep cleaning of our homes. Although it’s origin is presumed of Iranian or Jewish culture, it’s a popular custom in America. It is gaining popularity in other parts of the world too. For most, it signifies a fresh home, or a new start to compliment the blossoming of spring.

So join the ranks of spring cleaners by using this guide to conquer the task. To keep the job from feeling overwhelming, schedule a block of time each day, or even each week, for your annual cleaning. Work on one room at a time and reward yourself for each room until you’ve completed the job.

The basics—for every room

• 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 or a clean rag attached to the head of a broom.

• Empty cabinets and drawers then wash them inside and out. Wash out and arrange drawer organizers, as well.

• Wipe off switch plates.

• Remove and wash window coverings, and dust the top of curtain rods and window trim.

• Remove wall hangings, knick-knacks, and other décor then rinse in warm soapy water.

• Wash doors and knobs and the dust that collects on top of doors and entryway trim.

• Wash walls with an all-purpose cleaning solution. Touch up mars and chips with paint.

• Wash baseboards, then vacuum carpet edges with a narrow attachment.

• Vacuum lampshades with a soft bristle attachment. q Vacuum upholstered furniture from top to bottom and under cushions, paying particular attention to creases and crevices where dust and grunge build up.

• Unplug electrical cords and run through a damp rag to remove built-up dust.

• Wash windows and sills, and don’t forget the unsightly tracks.

• Clean unupholstered furniture from top to bottom with an appropriate cleaner.

• Vacuum and mop under furniture and other stationary items.

Bedroom odds ’n ends

• Remove items from under the bed, dust off storage containers, and toss clutter.

• Vacuum under beds using attachments.

• Eliminate unwanted articles from drawers.

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.

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 built up grunge in the top of the garbage disposal with a rag, then add ice and lemon slices and run the disposal to clean and freshen the blades.

• Scrub countertops with a mild abrasive or degreaser.

• Wash table and chairs from top to bottom, and don’t forget the cracks where table leaves meet.

The bathroom—scour and disinfect

• Remove and launder shower curtain and liner, bath mat, 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.

• If you have young boys, 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.

Basement, 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.

• Dispose of unwanted items.

Outdoors—dirt, dirt everywhere

• Hose down siding and windows.

• Wash screens with soapy water, then rinse with a hose and wash window exteriors.

• 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 will make time pass more quickly.

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