It’s spring selling season which means it’s a good time to do a little spring cleaning.  Although a dreadful event for some, spring cleaning is essential when trying to keep a household healthy and a great way to keep your home in tip-top shape if you’re thinking of selling, either way it’s a win-win situation.

Spring cleaning is designed to help you de-clutter and a great excuse to clean those places that tend to get overlooked. With the right tools and plan of attack, your spring cleaning tasks will be a breeze!

Before you start you may have to invest in some cleaning products that you might not normally have in the house.  You can actually get by with very few cleaners; there are many multi-purpose cleaners that can be used on floors, walls, counters, and bathrooms.

A couple of hints:

  • Use cleaners with antibacterial properties when cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Use a vinegar based cleaner to use on windows, mirrors, or anything glass.
  • You will need a basic stain remover for carpets or upholstery.
  • Remember that some surfaces and materials require their own specially designed cleaners, like granite for example, and some regular household cleaners can damage surfaces like this.

Now for the plan of attack:

It makes the most sense to start from top to bottom, as the dust will fall to the floor.  Wipe everything and don’t forget about the lampshades, picture frames, or light fixtures.

Next on the list, tackling the windows let the sunshine in. This is any easy way to make any room look brighter. Dust the blinds and the shades first before cleaning the windows. If you have curtains, consider getting them dry cleaned.

A window solution that always works is to mix a solution of one part white vinegar to eight parts water, plus a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap, for a green window cleaner. Spray on and wipe with newspaper to avoid streaks. (Washing on a cloudy day also reduces streaking.)

The furniture in your home also collects crumbs, dust, pet dander and more.  You may want to think of cleaning the furniture more than during your big spring clean, but for now, use an attachment tool to vacuum all over including under the cushions. See if covers can be washed, if not use a stain remover for upholstery.

The same could be said about your mattress.  Did you ever think to vacuum your mattress?  Vacuum the mattresses and box springs, and then rotate and flip over. Here’s another good hint, after a quick surface vacuum, sprinkle baking powder over the mattress and let it sit for about an hour before vacuuming it all up. Doing so will fight off dust mites while providing your mattress with a fresh, clean scent.  This is also a great time to wash or dry-clean the dust ruffle and mattress pad.

Your kitchen is an area often referred to as the heart of the home.  It would be awful to walk into your home and have smells coming from mystery places.

Sniff out smells.

Even if you clean your fridge regularly, chances are you have some expired food. If you’re in doubt, throw it out. And since you are spring cleaning, we’re not cutting any corners.  This means wiping down the walls and shelves with an anti-bacterial cleaner. Sometimes if spills in your fridge aren’t cleaned up right away they are going to require some scrubbing. Lastly, don’t overlook cleaning the coils, when the coils get dusty and dirty, it causes the refrigerator to work harder and less efficiently.  Hint, you can add activated charcoal or cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice to help keep your fridge smelling fresh.

From the refrigerator to the dishwasher this another major kitchen appliance that will need some attention, more often than not, your dishwasher has built up quite a bit of grit, grease, dirt and debris over time.

Remove the pull-out racks to look for any debris that may be stuck at the bottom, every dishwasher should have a food trap at the bottom.  Once parts are cleaned and re-installed, pour about two cups of vinegar at the bottom of the dishwasher and run a load without any dishes.

Air and heat vents attract quite a bit of dust and dirt that accumulate and travel throughout the house. Keeping them clean throughout the year is essential to maintaining the health and working condition of your exhaust fans, as well as the clarity and quality of the air inside your home. While you’re at it, it’s vitally important to replace your air filters as well.

And finally, as much of a daunting task as it is washing the walls is definitely worth the time; take a good look at your walls.  Grease, smoke, and dust can adhere to walls and make even the cleanest homes look nasty over time. Resist the temptation to spot-clean walls since it will make the rest of the wall look worse.  A good way to wash walls is to use a damp, long-handled mop.

It’s your to-do-list, the best part is, you can do as much or as little as you feel. Do it all in one day or spread it out across a week or two.  Your home will thank you for it and you’ll feel refreshed knowing all of those little dust bunnies have found a new home.