When I decided on this topic for a blog, it was long before the COVID-19 Pandemic had hit the United States. After thinking on the subject for a few weeks during the Pandemic, I decided there wasn't a better time to reveal my Spring Cleaning, over-the-top methods for you all. I cover organization and cleaning tips. I want to share with you that my favorite overall cleaner for a healthy home is Clorox Clean-Up with Bleach. You can use it in your bathroom and kitchen, granted I don't have fancy countertops, so use at your own risk if you do. I have also included some links for other products that have proven to be a no-fail for me. I hope you enjoy and share your tips and tricks with us.
Make a Schedule
The ultimate Domestic Diva, Martha Stewart, has us covered on this one. She has created this epic check-list to help you get started on your spring cleaning. Also, the lovely people at Good Housekeeping have created the definitive schedule for how often you should be cleaning everything in your home. These are both great places to start. Ultimately you should create a plan and follow it.
Clean out those junk drawers and get rid of unnecessary items throughout your home. If you need a little inspiration, check out "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix. Kondo uses the KonMari Method to help you organize and clean your home. You can even purchase neat tidying items directly from her at her website.
Always Work from Top to Bottom
Start with cupboards up high, and when those are organized and clean, move to the lower level. Once a year, I recommend going into all cabinets and drawers, taking everything out, wiping down with an excellent cleaner like Murphy's Oil Soap, and then re-arranging and organizing those cupboards and drawers. This way, once a year, you are clearing out things and keeping your home organized.
High Use, Low Maintenance Items
Things you may not think about; Cutting Boards, Refrigerator, Doormats, Reusable Grocery Bags, and Shower Curtains. Did you know you should sanitize your cutting boards? Even the fancy wood ones? You can use quite a few things from lemons, vinegar to hydrogen peroxide. This is a great idea to do a few times a year, no matter how clean you keep your cutting boards.
How about that refrigerator? When was the last time you took everything out and cleaned the shelves and drawers? At least once every six months, pull everything out and wipe down the walls, shelves and pull the drawers out and wash them. When you put everything back, it will be organized and clean. I also love using the drawer liners on refrigerator shelves to help keep the sticky messes to a minimum. Plus, they jazz up the inside of a fridge.
Also, don't forget about the cloth/plastic combo items you use a lot. You can throw those shower curtains and reusable grocery bags in the washer on HOT every once, just to keep their dirt and odors under control. Especially now, you never know what your grocery bags are bringing home. Your shower curtain may just need the occasional refresh, so this is a good time to do it.
Disinfect That Trash Can
Oh man, the trash can… that may be the most abused item in my home. I like to clean this guy every fall and every spring. In the spring, I wash it out when I can connect the hose again outside, and in the fall before I disconnect the hose for winter. I take my trash bins outside, spray them down with the lemon-scented Lysol All Purpose Cleaner and then hose them down. I like to do this on a sunny day, so I can let them sit in the sun and dry before I bring them back inside the house.
Steam Clean Furniture
So I have dogs, and the first purchase I made for cleaning up after my fur babies was a Bissel Spot Bot. This was the best investment as it not only spot-cleans potty training accidents, but it also has a hose attachment that can steam clean your upholstered furniture. I don't recommend using it on leather furniture, but it works beautifully on upholstered couches and chairs. Oh, and a bonus feature — you can use it on your car upholstery as well.
Wash Your Pillows
Washing your pillows really depends on the type of pillow. I think a solid rule is to clean them every three months in hot water with the bedding setting on your washer. I also like to add the Lysol Laundry Sanitizer in the wash when I do my pillows. I actually use this one every time I wash any of my bedding because I allow my dogs onto my bed.
Walls and Windows Need Love Too
How often do you wash your walls? Never? I know, its not something you think about and then one day you look up and there are handprints clearly visible on the walls and doors. Or how about those windows? I really notice it because of wet dog noses pressed up against the windows for a better view of their neighborhood, but I probably still don't wash them often enough.
You can clean your walls easily with a Swiffer. I know it sounds weird, but let me tell you, the Swiffer Wet Floor Cleaning pads work wonderfully on your walls and are easy to use. I have never had an issue with paint coming off, and they smell lovely. Windows on the inside of your home can be done any time, but outside is usually a bigger undertaking. Spring and Fall seem to be good times to get it done with the hose, so the exterior windows are something to add to that schedule.
Don't Forget About Your Air
Especially with animals, and closed windows all winter long, it is essential to air out your home when the weather gets nice. I like to open my windows and run my ceiling fans to get the air moving throughout my house. For the long Montana winters, I have an air purifier to help keep the air in my home healthy. My favorite is this one by Lêvoit; it's under $100 and works beautifully.
Well, there you have it — my inside tips and tricks for Spring Cleaning. Let me know what your favorite tips are for keeping your home clean and healthy. Stay safe and happy cleaning!
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