Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Yup, it's that time of the year.  I groan out loud, knowing that it was coming.   It's starting to warm up, not snowing as much as during winter, birds are singing, the grass is starting to green up, the earth is starting to wake up from it's long winter nap.  What am I talking about?  Spring Cleaning. 

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Not the basic daily and weekly cleaning like bathrooms, vacuuming, and dusting.  I the mean the dust out the vases, clean out the closets and breathe new life into the old home.  It means that I will have to go through the clutter that I have been hoarding over the winter.  What should I keep and what shouldn't I.  I am the first to admit that I love my stuff.  It makes me happy.  But this happy stuff is starting to take over.  I am tired of moving it from room to room.  It's time to cast off my useless accessories, relegating unused items to either the trash or give to charity, making room for air and life to flow through my house. 

Since I had a touch of adult ADD, I decided to look on the web to find a list of how and what to clean.   I found the attached list below by Martha Stewart. 

Room by Room:

• Dust refrigerator coils.  Turn off power to circuit breaker or fuse box.  Coils are usually at the bottom of the refrigerator, under the grill.  Clean coils with the crevice attachment of a vacuum or a specialty refrigerator-coil brush, available at hardware stores.
• Defrost the freezer. Turn off power at circuit breaker or fuse box. Empty freezer’s contents; wipe interior with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda per 1 quart hot water.

Living Room:
• Swap heavy curtains, rugs and throws for light weight ones. Clean items first. To store, roll material around an acid-free tube; wrap in a clean sheet of cotton, muslin, or polyethylene; secure with twill tape, and label each bundle so you’ll know which is which.

• Rotate bed and change blankets.  Turn over your mattress to distribute the wear evenly.  Replace cool-weather bedding with warm-weather bedding.
• Clean pillows.  Whether made of natural fibers (such as down) or synthetic (often polyester), most pillows can be machine-washed. This rids them of mold, bacteria, and odors.

• Discard expired cosmetics and beauty products. Secure these items in a plastic trash bag, and keep it out of reach of children and animals.
• Update first-aid kit. In addition to bandages and ointments, the kit should include a list of emergency numbers, especially the one for your nearest poison-control center.

Home Office:
• Organize files. Review insurance policies, contracts, and household inventories.
• Clean computers. Scrub casings with a solution of 1 drop mild dishwashing liquid per 1 quart of water and a lint-free cloth; dust crevices in keyboards with cotton swabs; wipe screens with a soft cloth or a dry screen-cleaning sponge.

• Replace cool-weather clothing with warm weather clothing.  Wash or dry-clean garments before storing them in a zippered sweater or blanket bag.
• Donate apparel you no longer use.  Many charities are happy to accept old clothing and may send a truck to pick it up. They may also provide receipts for tax purposes.

Utility Spaces:
• Clean attic and basement, giving away or discarding unwanted item.  Divide whatever is left into two zones: one for things you’ll need to retrieve in the next six months, such as clothes, and the other for objects that may be there for years, such as furniture.
• Protect objects in basement.  Use concrete blocks to keep storage boxes off the ground.  Place washer and dryer on elevated pedestals (made by the appliances’ manufacturers) to prevent electrical shock during flooding.

Outdoor Spaces:
• Clean porch ceiling and walls.  Sweep up cobwebs and debris with a corn broom, and wash walls with a solution of all-purpose cleaner and water using a polyester sponge.
• Scrub decks, patios, driveways, and walk ways. Treat mildew spots with a solution of 1 part oxygen bleach to 3 parts water using a deck brush.
• Wash outdoor furniture.  Most materials, including aluminum, plastic, wood, and wicker, can handle a solution of mild dishwashing liquid and water and a soft-bristle brush.
• Inspect light fixtures.  Wash covers, and check for damaged wires and connections.

Not sure I will do all the things on this list, but it gives me an idea where to start.  Spring cleaning is about making choices.  Clutter and chaos have to be cleared away and stale rooms need to renewed.  It's up to me to have the right frame of mind and strength to get it done.

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  1. You can do it! Take a room at a time or a chore at a time and you'll get it done before you know it! I liked her list, there were things I wouldn't have thought of doing. We have this incredible knack that we seem to move every 1-2 years and this type of cleaning gets done as part of the moving out process. One year I might actually have to do spring cleaning without involving a move, that will be weird :)

    good luck!! It will be sparkly clean before you know it!


  2. my spring cleaning was forced when I had 3 rooms of floors done and the house was in chaos

  3. I'm getting extremly sleepy now and think I'll go to bed. I need a maid. But we don't all have to aim for perfection like Martha, a home does need to look lived in...at least that's what I like to tell myself!!

  4. I had no idea those things even needed doing. How is that going for you?

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