Crocuses are breaking through the hardened ground and the daffodils’ buds have begun to burgeon in gardens everywhere. This is the time when, in many homes across the province, a ritual is about to begin.
At the first signs of spring, home owners are getting ready for this yearly observance that seems to grip us and not let go – spring cleaning.
Yes, the sun is shining through our (slightly grubby) windows, we feel energized by the warmth and we are struck by this great urge to grab a pair of rubber gloves, a pail, soap and a host of other cleaning agents and rid our homes of dirt and grime. It seems few rites of spring provide as much satisfaction as the annual clean. But it can seem like a big undertaking if you don’t know how to go about it.
For March’s entry on our 2015 Home Maintenance Tasks Calendar, REW.ca went to the experts to help guide you through this important spring custom. Christine Kishor, Everything Organized franchisee in Kelowna, was more than happy to provide her to-do list.
“Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a daunting task if you break it down into bite-sized steps,” says Kishor.
Kishor’s Top 10 Spring Cleaning Jobs
1. To begin Kishor always suggests working room by room and working from top to bottom and left to right. This helps one keep on task.
2. Remove items to be taken to dry cleaning or washed, such as drapes and decorative bedding. Many draperies and curtains are machine washable, but check labels first. Dry-clean fabric shades. Wipe down wooden blinds with a damp cloth and warm water mixed with a little mild dishwashing liquid – this also works well and safely on metal and vinyl blinds.
3. Damp-dust places that are not part of your regular housecleaning, such as high shelves, window ledges and art.
4. Wipe down walls and ceilings – concentrating on fingerprints and soiled areas. No need for chemicals – simply use a bit of water and baking soda to get scuff marks off. However, if you have really stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, tackle it with a solvent-free degreaser (it’s a good idea to test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface).
5. Clean, vacuum and treat upholstered and leather furniture to bring a new life and longevity.
6. Clean and treat wood furniture to bring it back to its original shine. Do you have heat damaged wood or stubborn rings (often caused by wet glasses) on your favourite wood table? They may be removed by rubbing a mixture of equal parts of distilled vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water. Then wipe off and apply wood protector of your choice. Voila! Back to new.
7. When vacuuming and cleaning floors and/or rugs, move furniture that has been in place during the winter season and clean underneath; perhaps move things around to get a new perspective. Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. However, rugs without backings, such as those expensive oriental rugs, require professional cleaning.
8. Pull out items in cabinets and drawers, vacuum out debris and wipe down both the inside of the drawers and the items in them, then return them back in place. This is a great way to downsize and feel lighter.
9. Wash down windows and window sills. For streak-free windows, mix equal parts of distilled vinegar and warm water. Use either a dry cloth or newspaper … yes, this REW.ca writer has tried using newspaper and it really works.
To clean out winter’s stale air, open the windows and breathe in that fresh air. There is nothing like the smell of spring to lift your spirits.
10. Head outside to sweep away old man winter and spray down decks and sidewalks. A pressure washer can be rented from tool and equipment rental shops or at some hardware stores. P.S. For another sense of renewal, consider buying a new door mat to welcome in the new season.
For more information and tips on Home Organizing go to www.everythingorganized.net.
Spring is also a great time to take a fresh approach to your home décor. Think about introducing new ideas to breathe life into your house. Reinvent a room’s use. Look at a room’s possibilities through fresh eyes. Make a clean sweep of more than just the dust bunnies.
Colleen Brome, a freelance interior decorator and real estate agent with ReMax Realty, says a great way to freshen up your décor is to add a new colour, spruce up your bedroom by recovering your duvet, bed skirt and throws or rearrange your furniture.
“Sometimes, it’s as simple as taking out a piece of furniture from your living room, such as an armchair, and incorporating it into your bedroom,” adds Brome. “It forces you to look at repositioning the flow of your house… It’s important to move with ease in your home.”