/ 14.3.11 / 16 Comments / ,

The Art of Spring Cleaning

  
It’s that time of year isn’t it? Blossoms, birds, bees…and the lovely smell of fresh clean air when the windows are open wide…

I just know the first thing that enters your mind is…. spring cleaning! Right?  Well..maybe not the first thing. But I must say that when the sun moves over to that ‘spring’ position in the sky…it throws into stark relief a myriad of little dust bunnies that have been hiding in my house all winter.

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I’ve been having that “Oh the weather’s lovely—let’s clean!” feeling for two weeks now. After keeping the house closed up all winter, it’s great to throw open the doors and windows and pull out the mop buckets! “Let the sunshine in..is my motto!” Of course, if you clean your windows it can shine in a lot better. LoL!

Spring cleaning used to be a job that took a week of non-stop work from sun up to sun down, but most of us just don’t have time for that. I sure don’t.   

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It’s fine to top clean most of the time, but deep cleaning has to be done eventually. I have heard lots of approaches the best being clean one room a day from top to bottom..or even one room a week for two months.  But my favorite way to ‘spring clean’ is to do one big cleaning task per day or week.  

electronics

Spring cleaning is different from regular cleaning because you clean every nook and cranny, knowing you won’t clean it this hard again until late summer. It means focusing on details and being just a little bit picky.  I’m not referring here to kitchen appliances or even bathrooms here because most of us tackle these rooms thoroughly on a weekly  or monthly basis.
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Here are the tasks that I’m tackling over the next week or two:
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Dusting…high and low since dust falls down. Start with ceilings (looking for cobwebs), then hit the ceiling fans and a/c vents. Then get your dusting cloth out and a good step ladder and dust the picture frames, and anything else up high in the room.

hat rack

Check the tops of kitchen cabinets, bookshelves, and refrigerator. They may be pretty bad if you are as short as I am and ‘out of sight is out of mind’.
vacuum lampshades

Then vacuum the lamp shades and furniture because  a lot of dust collects in them. I get   my little vacuum cleaner out and vacuum my laminate wood floors. Dust bunnies travel a lot when there is no carpet to catch them.

sweep

Sigh..so for me, dusting requires a lot of sweeping under furniture and hard to get places. 

clean typewriter

Dust and wipe with a damp cloth all of your collectibles too.

books

Anything on a shelf..books, antiques etc. is going to get pretty dusty over time.

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Cleaning and polishing wood. I use Don Aslett’s wood to wood to polish my furniture, but first I use some Murphy’s oil soap to give all of my wooden things a good cleaning. 

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Tables and chairs especially need this thorough cleaning.

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  Bookshelves, pianos, desks, coffee tables..anything with a horizontal surface that is made of wood are the main things needing to be polished.

clean glass 
Now think GLASS. My favorite way to clean glass is to use plain old Windex (or in a pinch alcohol and water) and paper towels. I go out ‘hunting’ for glass all around the house…with my trigger ready!  I usually hit everything plastic or electronic at the same time. From one end of the house to the other, clean glass.

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For the outside of windows, simple dishsoap and a bucket of water and good squeegee works great.    You can also clean ceramics and other glass objects d’art while on this ‘mission’. :o)

By the way, I would never use 409 on a piece of hand-blown glass from Italy...just mild soap and water.
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Don’t forget lamp bowls and light diffusing bowls!

clean walls

Next comes fingerprints on doors, walls, and other surfaces. For wall paper, the best cleaning tool is a dry sponge or magic eraser. I was amazed how subtly dirty a papered wall can get without you realizing it. Doors and door knobs, cabinet doors, and walls near tables or beds need special attention. I use 409 or some other all purpose cleaner for doing this job.

Mini-blinds will need to be washed too.  Sometimes it’s best just to take them down and wash them in a tub of warm soapy water.  But at least give them special attention rather than a quick dusting.

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After that, wash fabric things if needed…curtains, floor rugs, shower curtain, throws, even some pillows. If necessary, you may want to see about carpet or furniture cleaning. I have to say that’s one thing I don’t miss…cleaning carpet!

clean carpet

I really dislike constant sweeping..but hardwood floors are easy to clean compared to carpet. Blankets and comforters may need to be taken into town and dry cleaned or washed in a supersized washer.
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The last major task is floors…vacuuming, scrubbing, mopping, spot cleaning, carpet cleaning and perhaps waxing. I would start with floors because they give the biggest sense of ‘reward’ over anything else just because they take up so much visual space. But it seems a pity to go mopping only to cover the floors with dust during the other steps.  

This is the perfect time to pull out the stove and refrigerator and clean underneath. They really do need it!

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Like windows, clean floors have the biggest VISUAL impact because they are so BIG. I’ve been remiss about floors because laminate wood floors just don’t show messy like some other floors do. But I’m getting a lot better about it. 

I must say I was amazed that it took most of a day just to clean ‘half’ the floors in our house!  There is just so much dust! Of course, my hubby and sons track in a LOT of ‘the great outdoors’ and then the pets like to shed a little..and the bird spills seeds and occasionally molts..so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised.

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There’s lots more that COULD be done..but these tasks are the most important. Just take it easy and focus on one task at a time. If you focus on even one of these jobs per week, in a month or so you could have your house completely spring cleaned. And you can probably skip the gym this month if you decide to work at your spring cleaning. :o) Spring cleaning can be a real workout!



How about you? Are you getting that ‘fresh air’ feeling? Ready to roll your sleeves up and get some serious cleaning done ?

Linking with

Friday Show and Tell at My Romantic Home
Raising Homemakers Wednesday Link Up
and
Metamorphosis Monday at BTNOP



Comin' up this week....

Tuesday Tea..Prayer..A Mother's Calling and a Special Song by a Reader's daughter
Three Tried and True Crockpot Recipes..Yummy!
A Darling Spring Cake with Iced Cookies and Candy Melt Daisies
The Countryside in Bloom
How to Sew a Computer Cord Sling

Check Comin' Home's Facebook Page for sneak peeks

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16 comments:

Butter said...

Hey Donna! I've really enjoyed getting some early spring feelings from reading your blog and heartily thank you for it. Spring is still a good bit out there up here in MinneSNOWta. We changed up our spring cleaning routine this year. I tackle one room a month (smaller apartment) so everything gets hit twice a year. I did the kitchen in January, living room in February (plus rearranging and new paint)and the master bedroom this month. My son's room, bathroom, hallways and closets will be tackled in coming months and the cycle will restart in July. This system seems to be keeping me on track and is a lot less daunting than the week long chore fest of regular spring cleaning. To each his own, right? Good luck to you and all of your readers on this much dreaded mission!

On Crooked Creek said...

Donna,
Thanks for the continuing encouragement needed to make the final Spring Cleaning effort! The chore I dread. . .cleaning the oven! I, too, have been pacing myself and can see "the light at the end of the tunnel". The light on that oven I leave off until the weekend! HA!
Fondly,
Pat

Kerrie said...

You are so inspiring and I love just seeing your home! I have a picnic basket with the leather closure like the one on the floor in your living room. I keep yarn in it-ha! what is in yours? I have been doing a little cleaning at a time since right after Christmas and also outside in the yard, too. Strangely, I LOVE cleaning-ha! Lots of hugs, Kerrie

Amy said...

What an inspiring post. We've started a bit of deep cleaning--yes the sun's position seems to be showing me some hard truths regarding dust bunnies.
I, too, like Windex. For awhile I used alcohol and water. . . but you're right, it's not quite as good.
I'm not familiar with the wood polish you mention, so I'll need to try that.
Oh, and I'm short as well. Adds a whole fun dimension to cleaning!

Donna said...

Funny Kerrie..I too have yarn in my 'picnic basket'..what else? LoL!

Donna said...

Wow..Butter! Great job! Really girls..you are all queens of clean, I'm sure. I'm trying to keep 'myself' inspired though...don't you know.

Nothing like cleaning really good for a 'photo shoot'..Tee-hee!

Jill said...

Hi Donna!

I know it sounds crazy, but I can't wait till it's warm enough to open windows and deep clean!! LOL Just something about a freshly scrubbed home. :-)

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Blessings
Jill

Lorraine said...

hello donna thanks for visiting my blog today and your lovely comments..didnt realise you went to the same church as shona (does trudy go to your church too?)..such lovely arty souls. OK your post has inspired me to do just a little bit of cleaning..lol! I use newspaper and vinegar to clean windows usually

Caroline said...

wow, you have been busy! Good summary ... I should probably come up with some sort of plan for "deep" cleaning...

Trudy Callan said...

Love your pictures, all of the detail and textures. Great tips on cleaning, too. Now if I can just muster up the energy and drive to do it.

Nand said...

i love the music and i will sung the song.


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Nand said...

wow very good Art love the music and his musician.
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Desi said...

I'm new to your blog and am horrible with cleaning! I'm lovin all your tips. I hope to do some spring cleaning soon!

Tim said...

Donna, this is an excellent post and must have taken you some time to put together. Many thanks for your excellent suggestions and also including the photographs. It is especially important to follow the steps in the right order for example the high then low level dusting before vacuuming

Many thanks Tim
House Cleaning London

Natasha said...

Well, your post has inspired me to get organised and do a bit of Spring cleaning...in Autumn! Thanks for your great tips and wonderful ideas. I am so glad you shared them at my little link-up. If you could send me your mailing details I would love to send you a kitchen towel to say "thanks"! My email is on my profile page.

Best wishes for a beautiful week,
Natasha.

seo agency india said...

you have been busy! Good summary ... I should probably come up with some sort of plan for "deep" cleaning...

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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