17 Super Actionable Spring Cleaning Tips [from the pros]

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17 super actionable spring cleaning tips

 It’s spring cleaning time which means, bringing that electric leaf blower INSIDE! (more on this in a bit)

We all get it, spring cleaning means finally getting to those items on your list that we continually procrastinate. There are plenty of lists out there with standard items like dust behind this, clean out that, but we’ve come up with a list of lesser thought of items that are just as important and WAY more gratifying.

This list is designed to make living in your home more enjoyable and make you, HAPPIER. They don’t all involve cleaning and they don’t all involve long processes of things to do right now. Do one, some, all or none, I really don’t care but trust me, if you do them all, you’re in for some delightful spring and summer days.

SO, back to that leaf blower…

leafblower inside - house cleaning cottagecare

1) Use the leaf blower to attack dust under large furniture and in things like pianos 

A leaf blower is perfect for eradicating dust from under, behind and in large furniture items, especially pianos. Using only electric blowers, you can finally clean out around those strings and other pieces of the piano that you are never supposed to touch. This particular item on the list is best performed BEFORE your house cleaning service comes or before you begin any further spring cleaning on your own.

social media puzzle

2) Make yourself smarter and happier by cleaning up social media accounts 

It’s puzzling (pun intended), that we continually become enraged by our social media feeds because the same person keeps going on about some conspiracy or about how they could do things so much better than that politician. Unfollow the negativity! Make a real effort to like things you’re interested in and that make you happier and more effective at living the life you want.

3) Ceilings fans should rotate different directions depending on the season 

In warmer months, the fan should rotate counter-clockwise as you look up at the fan. This has a cooling effect, blowing the air straight down. In the colder months, the fan rotates clockwise which draws the air up and disperses it down along the walls which will avoid blowing air directly at you.

organized and junk drawer

4) Dump that junk drawer

If your junk drawer looks more like the one up top, it is time for some organization. If you have any doubts about the usefulness of anything in that drawer, just dump it in the trash and start over. Wouldn’t it be nice to know where your batteries, pens, and scissors were located instead of having to guess, point fingers and argue about who touched it last? Go buy some drawer organization hardware before you start throwing crap back in here or you’ll find yourself here again next year.

5) Let the ovens run on self-clean to eliminate the buildup 

This is pretty self-explanatory but it rarely gets done if we don’t have some sort of a reminder to do so. Make sure to wipe out any major buildup you can beforehand and then again once the cycle has finished running. Additional oven cleaning sprays and such aren’t needed aside from using your usual household cleaning spray to spruce it up after everything is turned to ash.

white vinegar

6) Run the dishwasher, empty, with some white vinegar to eliminate odors, grease, and icky grime 

Place a cup of white vinegar in a container on the top rack of an otherwise empty dishwasher and run it on a hot cycle. Once complete, let the dishwasher dry completely with the door open. If the inside is not sparkling clean, throw some baking soda in the bottom without the vinegar this time and repeat the cycle.

   7) Deep clean the washing machine

Washing machines can get to be pretty disgusting with the stuff we put them through. A good practice for everyday use is to leave the door open until the washing machine is dry to prevent mildew and gross smells from developing. To clean the machine, set it to the hottest and longest cycle and rather than adding laundry detergent, add white vinegar and baking soda. Once the cycle is complete, wipe out the inside and let it dry completely with the door open.

Be charitable, donate your unused clothes!

8) Clean out that closet and donate 

This is another one of those fairly self-explanatory items but really, if you haven’t worn something in the past year, it is probably time to move on. Luckily, there are many other people who could use that article of clothing so make a pile, throw it in some bags and take it over to the Goodwill store. (It’s tax deductible, too!)

 

garage comparison

 

9) Clean out the garage

In most parts of the country, we deal with nasty weather at least a few times during the winter months and our cars and garages pay the price. For most of us, it’s likely a good time now to take everything out of the garage, assess that items utility, and then put everything back in its place once we’ve cleaned the surface. What a difference this makes in our homes as well, keeping that road gunk out.

10) Deep clean the carpet 

There are many different methods to deep cleaning carpets and each claims to be the only effective method of doing so but, there is only one way that REALLY cleans the fibers and truly eradicates the buildup, the dry extraction method. Some bullet points regarding this method:

  • Dry-extraction method of cleaning that rids your home of dirt and allergens permanently
  • Eco-Friendly products assure you that everything used is safe for your family and pets
  • Ready immediately to walk, roll, jump and play on because they never get the carpet wet
  • Eliminates stains permanently because each carpet fiber is scrubbed individually and is never wet so it won’t wick back when it dries.
  • Preferred by carpet manufacturers because it extends the life of carpets so you can spend your money elsewhere instead of replacing them.

old bag of chips

11) Toss old food from cupboard and fridge

If you have kids (or possibly a spouse), you know the struggle of going to grab that bag of chips you just purchased only to find a mostly empty bag rolled up with one remaining chip left in the bottom. Or, the 5 nearly finished jars of peanut butter that for some reason, we refuse to throw away. It’s time to empty out the pantry and the fridge so you can decide what needs to be tossed due to expiration dates or attacks by hungry munchkins.

12) Clean and revive those drapes

Take down any drapes in your living areas and bedrooms. Have them steam-cleaned, dry-cleaned or throw them in the dryer for 20 minutes on the fluff air only setting with a damp cloth to remove dust and revive!

bed and curtains

13) Switch out clothes from winter to summer 

Switch (and store away) cold weather clothing and linens to warm weather clothing and linens. Storage idea: flat plastic totes that can slide under the bed are a perfect (and out of sight) storage solution for this!

14) Rearrange furniture

It seems that there are really two camps of people when it comes to rearranging furniture, there isn’t much of a gray area here, you are either very much pro-rearranging or you very much like to keep things as they are. It really is a swell way of finding a new appreciation for a room you’ve been bored with for so long. Finding new perspective in something as simple as your living room can influence your brain to think differently about other areas of life as well so give it a try. AND, if you don’t have a leafblower, this is the other way to clean under those bulky furniture items.

clean window

15) Clean windows 

Originally, from another one of our blog posts…

What You’ll Need

  • a bucket
  • warm water
  • castile soap
  • cleaning cloths
  • squeegee
  • possibly: a natural sponge and strip applicator

Squeeze a little (less suds the better!) soap into the bucket, and fill it with warm water. Next, dip your cleaning cloth into the bucket. You might want to keep a towel close by to wipe up any dripping! Apply the soapy water to the window with a back and forth motion. Use the squeegee to wipe the window dry with a single stroke from top to bottom. Make sure to wipe the squeegee blade clean after each stroke to prevent smearing. We suggest using a dry cleaning cloth to wipe up any remaining drips or water that has collected on the sill.

If you’re washing windows with window panes, we suggest scrubbing them with a natural sponge before cleaning the glass. Also, should you be cleaning large picture windows, a strip applicator will be more effective and efficient for washing the window than a cleaning cloth.

16) Stop wearing shoes inside 

There are so many reasons to leave the shoes at the door, many of which involve not wanting to spread the dirt and toxins from outside, inside your home. If the cleanliness factor isn’t enough, consider that your feet need time to breathe and become stronger with the freedom of being barefoot.

FDA medication disposal guidelines

17) Clean out the medicine cabinet 

This one can save lives. Leftover prescription medicine is an accident waiting to happen. It’s a good idea to take inventory at least once a year so you know what you have on hand and what needs to be tossed. Prescription medication can be deadly if misused so the FDA has published guidelines on how to dispose of them properly. Many areas have DEA-sanctioned drug take back days throughout the year which is the ideal way to rid your home of unwanted medicine. As a last resort, the FDA suggests mixing the medication with unpalatable substances such as dirt, kitty litter, coffee grounds or used coffee grounds, placing the mixture into a sealed plastic bag and throwing it in the trash. Always make sure to black out any private info before disposing of medication.

https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely

 

Ultimately, this list could be expanded to include hundreds of more items but it’s really more about the mindset of creating a space in your home that allows you to be happy and thrive. Many of these items could be done at the same time and the whole list could be completed in a day if you decided but that is up to you. Seriously, though, try the leafblower and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Happy Spring!