Spring is here at last! And one of the best ways to welcome the season is with a good, deep cleaning of our homes. Especially during these long stretches of time at home as we all do our best to avoid illness, there’s no better time to clear out some clutter, launder those musty linens, and bring some sparkle to our windows and countertops.
One of the best ways we can all stay healthy is to disinfect regularly used surfaces, such as doorknobs, countertops, light switches, and cabinet handles. The CDC recommends using a diluted household bleach solution (check the expiration date on the bleach to make sure it’s still good): Combine four teaspoons of bleach with one quart of water. Alcohol-based solutions are also effective if they contain at least 70% alcohol. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use with caution on soft surfaces. Rubber or disposable gloves will protect your skin. To give your home that fresh, new feeling follow these steps.
tlc for your houseplants
After several months of living in the dry, indoor heat, your plants are due for a thorough watering. Gather them into your shower or sink with a spray hose and sprinkle them with cold water. This not only revives them to brighten their green pigments, but it also washes away all that dust they’ve been collecting!
just toss it!
If you haven’t used it in the past year (or even less), get rid of it. There may be things taking up precious counter and closet space, collecting dust, and preventing you from being able to thoroughly clean and enjoy your surroundings. The sage advice of minimalism will serve you well here: If it doesn’t spark joy, toss it. Divide your things into piles of what can be thrown away, what can be given away (and might find more appreciation elsewhere), and what you’d like to hang onto but you don’t need within immediate reach. That last pile can be stored away in bins in the attic, garage, or basement for future use. The goal is to be surrounded only by things that serve a purpose in your life and are currently meaningful to you.
scrub and organize
Find a nice pair of rubber gloves and go at bathroom fixtures, mirrors, and medicine cabinets take all those drippy things out for a good wipe-down, and even assess how many of those items need to go back in. Soap and water will be effective enough to clean countertops; then use a diluted bleach solution to disinfect. Same with kitchen cabinets, counters, and appliances. Go through closets and pull things that aren’t needed, then wipe down the shelves. Sanitize the garbage cans. Mop the floors. Wash bedding and blankets.
clear away the dust
Now that you’ve tidied things up, it’s time to clean up those clutter-free surfaces to wipe away the dust. Start high with a good duster to reach ceilings, curtain rods, and ceiling fans. Then work your way down to tabletops, shelves (even the hard-to-reach ones), and dressers—get ‘em all while you’re at it. Finally, banish all the dust bunnies at your feet, moving rugs and furniture as necessary. And don’t forget the radiators. Vacuums and dusting mops work well here.
out with the old, in with the new
Wipe down the blinds and shutters for that final touch of clean, and launder the drapes. You can then stow away the heavier fabrics for the season and bring out some brighter, lighter window treatments. Consider doing the same with your bedding—replace the wool and flannel with lightweight sheets and comforters, and be sure to give the winter bedding a thorough clean before storing.
everyone’s favorite…window washing
It’s an overwhelming task, but it is well worth your time and effort. You’ll be amazed at how much better the view looks from a grime-free window, and how it even feels like more light is pouring in. Use newspapers and vinegar for a natural way to clean glass or use rubber squeegees, which are a quicker way to clean big windows.