Sunday, March 20, 2016

spring cleaning {including cleaning tips}

Happy first day of spring!!! Daffodils are blooming, birds are chirping {we even have a brand new nest being built next to our front door}. Another thing quickly associated with the word spring, is spring cleaning. So I am going to share my spring cleaning with you.

I can't really give you my spring cleaning list without including with my bi-yearly cleaning, my quarterly cleaning, and my monthly {yes, monthly} cleaning lists. I'll spare you my daily, weekly, and bi-weekly cleaning for now.

Notable - this list does not include outside spring cleaning. Cause, darn it, there's things to be attended to out there as well!

I know this list is long, and to be honest - it's really never ending! However, most of these things are relatively quick chores, especially if you keep up on them.

Monthly cleaning:
 {I usually schedule these for the first monday of the month, and I've got them listed in the order I do them - it usually takes just over one hour to complete my list}

1. wash all bath mats {and toilet covers, if you have them}.
2. mop bathroom tiles. I use lysol and hot water.
3. wipe and sanitize all door knobs/ handles
4. wipe scuffs and hand prints from walls {this one could be done daily in my house!}
5. wipe down all outside kitchen cabinets. {this more of a spot wipe for me}
6. a good wipe down on the outside of your fridge. I use stainless steel wipes}
7. wipe down inside your microwave. I put in a small bowl of half water, half vinegar and squeeze in a lemon - then microwave for 2 minutes. Take the bowl out, and wipe it all down
8. the washer - I wipe out the silicone guard of my front loader with a lysol wipe. Then I run one of the Tide washer cleaning packets as directed.
9. coffee maker. run half water, half vinegar through your coffee maker.

vinegar + lemon = natural cleaning duo {as noted with my microwave cleaning}
I would also like to mention that vinegar can be used on several cleaning jobs,
but it's favorite use for me is on carpet stains

Quarterly cleaning:
{a couple of these are longer chores, so I typically schedule them all but the mopping on my normal cleaning day every 16 weeks, but I save the mopping for the next day}

1. scan all linen closets for expired medicines, anything that's not being used or empty - and trash them.
2. dust {and wipe down if needed} vent covers. Wall vent covers will get the dustiest.
3. windex light fixtures.
4. wipe down all doors {especially bathroom doors, and door going out to garage}
5. throughly vacuum sofa cushions, and spot clean as needed.
6. mop hardwood. I spot mop on a regular basis, but I wall to wall mop at least every 3 months. I use a spin mop bucket of hot water, with half a cup of Murphy's oil soap.

Bi-yearly cleaning:
{this is my long list! The last five are the most time consuming. I try to get most on them in one day, but the last five I schedule across the months of October/November and April/May}

1. wash shower curtain, and shower liner {I use a washable one}.
2. wash base boards as needed. Don't confuse this with dusting... I do that bi-weekly.
3. windex picture frame glass.
4. wash comforter {or duvet}, and pillow shams.
5. pull out all in house trash cans and give them a good wipe down.
6. dust lamp shapes using a lint roller.
7. pull out your long extension and vacuum behind, between, and as far under your washer and dryer as you can.
8. pull everything out of the fridge to wipe down all shelving and drawers. Double check for anything expired before putting it back in.
9. clean the inside of your oven. Make sure to follow the directions on your oven's manual. Some don't recommend using harsh oven cleaners they sell.
10. remove all toys, books, etc from play spaces {even closets}. Wipe down shelving. Donate/sell unwanted toys. Throw away anything broken. Reorganize back on shelves.
11. go through all clothing closets. This one really needs it's own post! So I'll just say for now - clean out anything you haven't worn in the last year {with the exception of dresses and special occasion pieces}. Same goes for anything is dressers or drawers.
12. wash & windex inside windows. Don't forget to open up windows, and wipe down the wells too. Washing windows is one of the two least favorite chores of mine. I hate it!

I'm not a huge Windex fan... right now this is my glass cleaner of choice.
I use it on my light fixtures, picture frame glass, mirrors, and window.

lint rollers made quick and easy clean for lampshades. 
I also do the same the bottom of drapes that accumulate dust quicker.

Spring cleaning:
{my once a year cleaning list. This list I get help from my husband - specifically numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7. I spread these during the months of March, April, and May - usually being small weekend projects}

1. spackle and paint any knicks on the walls.
2. move any heavy furniture to vacuum and wash down baseboards.
3. open up cabinets, and pull everything out. Wipe down shelving. I don't recommend moving a lot of your things around... because you will get your brain out of wack when going to look for something. My husband always thinks he can organize better than me {hah!}, but I tell him "hands off!" I have everything organized according to the way I use my kitchen, not as to what will fit where best.
4. then do the same for your kitchen drawers. I don't recommend doing cabinets and drawers at the same time. Talk about an overwhelming situation.
5. get down and wipe down as far back as you can reach under your fridge and dishwasher {and oven if it's on the ground}. I only pull out of my appliances, if I feel like it's needed.
6. remove lint from dryer's exhaust vent
7. remove and wash down exhaust fan covers {found in your bathrooms}
8. clean your mattress. step 1 - vacuum. step 2 - spring baking soda lightly over your mattress, and let sit for about an hour. step 3 - vacuum thoroughly.
9. launder all curtains. iron. and put back up. {this is my least favorite thing to do in the world}

baking soda is a great deodorizer. 
perfect for cloth surfaces that are not easily washable, like mattresses

I know, it's exhausting just looking at these lists. Yours will probably vary depending on your space and how you utilize it... hopefully my list gives you a good place to start. I'm a huge list person, and I always place my chore lists on my calendar to help motivate me to actually complete them.

Happy spring cleaning!

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