BY ELISA WALLACE COPPEDE
While the COVID-19 crisis may seem somewhat in the rearview mirror for some, for many, the fear this pandemic ignited is still very freshly imprinted on their minds. And with the spring season upon us, it is absolutely time to do a thorough cleaning of your home. There are those who highly enjoy “Spring Cleaning,” as it can be an excellent method to purge some household items that no longer are needed. However, for many, this task can seem incredibly daunting and impossible to accomplish—especially considering that nights/weekends are usually booked with family and friend events. Do you feel dread about the upcoming “cleaning season”? Want some tricks and tips to help knock out the biggest cleaning assignments? Read on for eight simple cleaning hacks sure to get even those who avoid cleaning, up and moving.
Cleaning Hack #1: Make a schedule! Yes, treat “cleaning” as a true job, and make time for it. The first step will be to scope out each room in the house. Then one, by one, make a list of what assignments need to be completed. Put on the calendar which task is scheduled for completion. Spring cleaning will be finished in no time!
Cleaning Hack #2: Tackle from the inside out. One of the biggest cleaning challenges is cabinets/ drawers. These seem to be where everything is shoved during busy times. As you go through each room, make sure to keep cabinets/drawers on the top of the list. This is the time to declutter and throw out, donate or sell any unwanted / not needed items. This big task will help make other jobs streamlined.
Cleaning Hack #3: Look up, then down. Don’t forget the corners of the rooms! These are easy spots for dust, cobwebs, and critters to hide. Break out the vacuum and begin sucking up all dirt and dust. Then move to the lower floorboards and carpet.
Cleaning Hack #4: Let the sun show you the mess. Wait for an overcast day, and let the sunlight show you the streaks on windows. Now is the time to clean them thoroughly. Do not forget to open them and vacuum out the dust/dirt inside the windows. This is easily one of the dirtiest, yet most forgotten, areas!
Cleaning Hack #5: Don’t just wipe down kitchen counters. There are so many areas in a kitchen that get overlooked that are dying to be cleaned. Do not forget to clean out the inside of highly used kitchen appliances—like the microwave (especially under the tray), oven, fridge, and coffee maker. Another item to consider scrubbing is cutting boards. Think a spot is permanent? Scrub the cut side of a lemon over the board to remove food stains and smells. Want extra cleaning oomph? Sprinkle it with salt or baking soda beforehand!
Cleaning Hack #6: Go green to clean! It is important to consider what your “Spring Cleaning” is doing to our environment. Remember to use items that are ensured to not release toxins into the environment. This is especially important if you have little ones, pets, or elderly family members living in the house. Consider investing in a steam cleaner. It can be used to clean your microwave, tile, hardwood floors, kitchen appliances, and bathrooms. Since steam cleaners only use hot water vapor, they are 100% natural and chemical-free.
Cleaning Hack #7: Don’t forget about the air. One of the most commonly overlooked cleaning tasks is changing one’s air filters. It is important to keep in mind that not all air filters are created equal. As a matter of fact, replacing a standard filter with a more robust one with a high MERV rating will help keep the family healthier as they enter spring.
Cleaning Hack #8: End with the bottom. The last task to consider is how to clean floors. If working with hardwoods, consider only wet-cleaning them once every one to two months with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, and spot-clean as needed. Then make sure to place trivets or saucers under plants to avoid water damage and use furniture protectors to avoid scratches. If working with carpets or rugs, consider hiring a professional steam cleaning company. Many will pick up and return rugs for a reasonable price, while others provide onsite cleaning.