Spring is well-known as THE time of year for cleaning. But if you aren’t really feeling the deep-down nooks-and-crannies wash-absolutely-everything bug this year, here are the bare bones items that you can squeak by with.
When spring arrives, the flowering trees burst into beautiful displays, but this display only lasts a few weeks before the petals fall away to make room for the leaves. These petals, along with the leaves left from the end of fall and twigs taken down in the winter snow, can block your gutters and cause big problems. You need the gutters cleared so they can properly take on the spring showers. If there are any blocked areas, the gutters will not function properly and can send excess water to parts of your home where it shouldn’t be, causing foundation problems and other big messes. If you don’t clean anything else this spring, make sure you clean the gutters.
Carpets and Rugs
After you spend the winter cooped up indoors, your carpets are likely in dire need of some relief from all the cookie crumbs, dust mites, smoke residue from the fireplace or kitchen, and general bacteria and dirt that they’ve gathered. The short-hand version of this is to only clean the carpets in the main living areas (family room and bedroom) where you spent the most time, but small rugs in the kitchen and front hall are easy to tackle as well if you’re already doing the carpets. You can hire a professional, rent a Rug Doctor machine, or just do a simple carpet powder cleaning that’s as easy as sprinkling a light dust of baking soda over the carpet and vacuuming it up a couple hours later. (To be fair though, it may take more than one vacuuming to remove all the powder, but that’s a good way to fluff the carpet pile anyway.)
Rotating the seasonal items in your closet just makes life so much easier. It will happen naturally as you pull a short-sleeve shirt from the far side of your closet, wear it, then put it away in the front. But if you do it all at once, you get to re-familiarize yourself with your entire warm weather wardrobe again, saving you from having to dig for long lost items in the coming weeks. If you’re feeling inspired, this is also a great time to thin out your pile of winter items too. Anything you didn’t wear much this winter is an easy pick to send to a donation center. If you wait until the fall, you probably won’t remember what you did and didn’t wear.
The true meaning of a spring cleaning is to clean the things that you almost never get to – the top of the refrigerator, along the baseboards, and so on. If you let dust pile up, it can quickly overtake the home in a coat of allergy-causing grime that attracts even more dirt and dust, especially during the spring and summer months when pollen counts are high. But, it doesn’t have to be a big ordeal and you don’t have to wash absolutely everything to take care of the problem. Just resolve to do a little extra vacuuming in one room every time you vacuum until you’ve gotten the entire house dusted. Reach the vacuum wand all the way up into the corners of the ceiling and swipe it along walls. Stand on a chair for a minute to get into the top shelf of a bookcase. It’s things like this that can make the difference between a well-kept house and a neglected house in the long run. You can always get out the soap and water if you catch the cleaning bug later in the year, but just a good dusting can usually hold you over until next year if needed.
Porches and Decks
‘Tis the season for outdoor accommodations and nothing will make them more accommodating than exposure to a broom. Sweep out the cobwebs in the eaves, get out the dirt piles in the corners, and shoo away any leftover fall leaves that are still hanging around. Once all the excess dust and dirt has been removed, take out your seasonal outdoor equipment from storage – deck chairs, planters, etc., give them a quick once-over with the broom or a damp cloth, and start enjoying the beautiful weather. While you’re at it, you can start pulling out any dead plants from the planters or flowerbeds and enjoy putting in your new blooms for the year.
- If spring cleaning really isn’t your thing, consider switching to fall cleaning instead.
- If you end up finding the time or gumption to do a full spring clean after all, here is our checklist: Spring Cleaning Checklist.
- Want to freshen up your whole house without much effort? Just open the windows for a few hours. Try to open at least one window in each room, though the more you open and the longer they stay open, the better the results will be. Any areas that aren’t near a window can be vented with a fan.