Spring Cleaning Must-Haves

by Jessica Brita-Segyde

Spring cleaning is a big job with many moving parts. As with all big projects, preparedness is your best friend. Motivation is your second-best friend. So rest up, get energized, and get ready to make your list of spring cleaning must-haves!

But before we dive into the tangibles, let’s consider the reasons behind spring cleaning. First, cleanliness is healthy. Dirty homes are a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Second, if you plan to entertain this summer, spring cleaning creates a nice, fresh presentation for your guests. A deep clean is also an opportunity to inspect your home for wear and to fix any issues early. Correcting small issues like a dirty furnace filter will cost little up front and could save you from a costly repair in the future.

Start With A Plan

First, think about what you did at this time last year. Have a pen and paper handy to jot down the activities and products that benefitted your home in the past. Then, build out a plan from there. If this is your first-time spring-cleaning a new home, try the top-down approach. Walk around the perimeter of your property to inspect the roof and gutters for buildup or missing shingles. If you have a chimney, now would be the time to review its previous maintenance and maybe schedule a professional chimney sweep. Next, check windows and other areas of your home’s exterior. Keep your list handy and jot down anything that will need attention. Canvass your home’s interior as well. Inspect each room starting with the light fixtures and ceiling fans, then work your way down to the furniture and flooring. Spring cleaning also includes dusting and polishing of the crown molding and trim. Bathrooms and kitchens size-up like any other room but feature permanent fixtures instead of furniture. A written list not only keeps you organized – it also helps make the project more manageable by breaking it into smaller parts.

Cleaning Essentials Checklist

                Here are the basics:

  • a broom and dustpan
  • clean rags and/or paper towels
  • vacuum for carpeted areas (even if you plan to hire a professional carpet cleaner)
  • commercial glass cleaner or diluted vinegar
  • furniture polish
  • floor cleaner specific to your flooring material
  • new furnace filter
  • sturdy disposable gloves
  • garbage bags, lawn and leaf bags, or a re-usable trash receptacle
  • toilet cleaner and brush
  • stainless steel cleaner
  • disinfection pellets for garbage disposal (if needed)
  • dishwasher cleaner
  • washing machine cleaner
  • scrub brush
  • bucket
  • bathroom surface cleaner
  • kitchen cleaner and disinfectant

All-natural options exist for the products listed above. If you’d like to learn more, check out Unconventional Cleaning Supplies and DIY Cleaning Supplies in the Ruoff blog archive.

Get Moving

Despite all of the advancements in smart home technology, the market has yet to produce a house that cleans itself. Put on your favorite record, don some comfortable clothing, and get moving! Your list can actually be a source of satisfaction if you cross off each task after completion. Reward yourself with a little treat after each room is completed. If you wash your own windows, consider taking yourself out to dinner.

When to Call A Pro

In some cases, it makes sense to hire a professional. Windows are time-consuming and may require a contractor’s ladder or scaffolding to be cleaned safely. Roof maintenance may be out of reach if your home boasts a second story. Clearing out gutters is a simple (albeit messy) job, but multi-level homes might necessitate the expertise of a professional handyperson.

Spring is also the time of pest control. Many insecticides and pest deterrent products can be purchased at box stores like Lowes, but some homeowners prefer to leave the chemical spraying to the professionals.

Next on the list of maybe-DIY is flooring. Professional rug and/or tile cleaning is relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of renting and hauling the related equipment. Some homeowners invest in a semi-professional unit like the Bissell ProHeat. The cost for this and similar machines would be around $250 at Target or other box stores. This price is comparative to the cost of one full-home floor cleaning for a home measuring at around 2,000 square feet.

The DIY approach to bigger jobs like windows and carpeting makes financial sense for homeowners who plan to clean these areas more than once a year. As mentioned, consider safety when deciding which of the larger projects to handle on your own.

One Last Thing Before Turning Out the Light

A hardworking homeowner deserves a good, clean night’s sleep. When the spring cleaning is complete and you’ve checked the final item off your list, treat yourself to a brand, new pillow.

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