Anyone who has lived in the same place for a while knows the feeling: your home just doesn’t seem fresh or appealing anymore. That’s a good sign it’s ready for a thorough cleanup, to make it look and feel new again. What better time for a true spring cleaning than right now?
First step: Declutter. Get rid of anything that’s visible but doesn’t belong in the room. A simple strategy: set all that “stuff” aside, in a closet, storage bin or another room. You can decide what to do with it all another time. For now, though, don’t let it overwhelm you. Just get it out of your way. That will make it far easier to do a deep cleaning.
When you clean, start at the top and work your way down. Do ceilings, ceiling trim, ceiling fans and light fixtures first. (Don’t forget to dust the bulbs.) Then tackle walls, wainscoting and baseboards.
A vacuum cleaner is your first ally when doing windows. Use the crevice tool to clean the sills and tracks; then you’ll be ready for the glass cleaner, inside and out. Screens can be cleaned with warm water and mild dishwashing detergent.
Keep the vacuum handy for window treatments. Use the brush attachment on blinds or shades. Take down curtains so you can wipe off the rods and rings, and fluff the curtains in the dryer for a few minutes before putting them back up.
Now it’s time for the upholstery. Carry all the cushions outdoors and beat them to get rid of dust. After you’ve checked for loose change, get that trusty vacuum again and clean out the cracks and crevices.
When dusting the hard surfaces, including wooden furniture and shelves, don’t forget fan blades and the tops of cabinets. A useful gadget for dusting lampshades is a lint roller.
When you’ve worked your way down to the floors, move the furniture so you can get to every nook and cranny. Use gliders under large furniture. A trick from professional furniture movers: carpet samples or scraps under the legs make heavy desks or sofas easy to slide on hardwood or tile. Vacuum both hard surfaces and carpets, using the crevice tool along the baseboards and in corners. Then use a mop for the hard surfaces.
Now is the time to give the carpet a thorough cleaning. Consider renting a professional-grade carpet cleaner or hiring a professional.
Don’t forget a few other important tasks. Reseal grout in kitchens and bathrooms. Dust the refrigerator coils and defrost the freezer. And by all means change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This should be done twice a year.
Outdoors, get living spaces ready for warm weather by cleaning dirt, mildew and cobwebs from porch ceilings and walls. Scrub decks, patios, driveways and walks – rent a pressure washer or hire a pro. Wash the outdoor furniture and inspect the exterior light fixtures.
One important piece of advice: Allow a realistic amount of time for a thorough cleanup, especially for such tasks as shampooing carpets. They will have to dry, after all!
Once a good spring cleaning is done, though, you’ll see and feel the improvement. Congratulate yourself on a job well done and enjoy your “new” home.
Michelle Clark is a broker with Intracoastal Realty, based at the Wrightsville Beach office. She is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist, ALHS and also a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing, know that Michelle and her team will go the extra mile for you. To learn more about Michelle and Intracoastal, go to www.intracoastalrealty.com. You may contact Michelle at [email protected] or 910-367-9767. Like Michelle’s team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MichelleClarkTeam.
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