Welcome back! Spring is well and truly here, making it the perfect time to pull on your marigold gloves and get organising and cleaning your home. Time to load up your car and do a skip run getting rid of any unwanted items and rubbish that has accumulated over the past year.
So where do we start? I have put together a guide of what I do a little more often than once a year but this will help those of you that need some structure and a helping hand. Don’t feel that you have to do all of this in one day, you can take your time and do one job at a time. Choose a nice day put your favourite music on open your windows and enjoy this, don’t see it as a chore, so it as a life changing exercise that will make you feel good and burn calories at the same time.
1 – Kitchen
Lets start with the cupboards, remove all items and check the sell by dates if anything is past then please chuck it away. Clean the cupboards inside and out with a multipurpose cleaning products and if you have high gloss front cupboard doors give these a really good buff and if you have wooden doors use a bit of furniture polish to get them nice and shinny.
Make sure you also get a ladder out and do the tops of the cupboards, dust really settles here and with cooking fats and greases it can also be rather sticky. Give then a really good clean and don’t forget the top of the extractor fan too!
Now lets move onto the fridge, empty this out and again look at the sell by dates. Take out any of the shelves that are removable and trays. Soak this is warm soapy water and whilst these are soaking clean the rest of the fridge. If you have any sticky patches pop some bicarbonate on soda on these and leave for a while to soak in, this will pull the stain up and remove any nasty fridge smells. If you strong enough or if you can get a helper pull the fridge out whilst its empty and give the floor and the sides a good clean. Dirt will really build under the fridge and you may even find odd bits of food that could start to smell unpleasant. Also don’t forget the clean the top. If you have items stored on the top of the fridge remove this and also clean before.
Use this deep clean to put your dishwasher and washing machine on a deep clean cycle with the correct product. Check your dishwashers filter and clean as sometimes food can build up in this area. With the washing machine take out the tray and soak in warm water, if there is any mold or mildrew add a cap-full of bleach to this. Once the tray is out wash around where the tray goes. When it comes to the drum add some bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice onto a tooth brush or a sonic scrubber and scrub in between the rubber. Make sure you also wipes the outside of the appliances if you can move it get it out and clean the floor and the sides.
Wash down any chairs and pay attention to the legs and the feet then do the same with the table. It not just the top we need to be worried about. Food spills and splashes so will be present on table and chair legs.
Empty the fruit bowl and soak, these can be forgotten but remember you keep your fresh fruit in these bowls, when fruit starts to go off it gets sticky and leaks and this will go into your bowl.
When it comes to your oven to keep it clean you should give it a good wipe down after every single use, but we sometimes forget or don’t have the time. Take all the shelf out and use a good oven cleaning product. Spray this very liberally into the oven and using a scourer scrub pad. Pay particular attention to the glass door. Leave the product to soak if its quite bad for a few hours and then come back to it when any grim should be easier to remove. A tip for ovens if you prefer not to use a product is to sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and then scrub away this will really fizz and lift the built up dirt.
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2 – Bathroom
If you give your bathroom a good clean a couple of times a week these rooms should be realistically easy.
Gather up all the towels, bathmats and flannels and get these in the wash, if they are looking worn or discoloured then replace. Now these days we can pick items up like this really cheap, so its not a big expense to know that they are all fluffy and looking good.
Change tooth brushes. Its important these are changes every 3 months if not more if you can. Keep brushes somewhere a good distance from your loo, and put the lid down before you pull the chain because fine particles of toilet water spray out each time you flush.
Go through your medicine cabinet and check dates. Do the same with toiletries, If you have not used them or if are unwanted gifts then now is the time to get rid of these. No need to hoard.
Use a plunger on the bath and the sinks to ensure drains aren’t getting blocked.
Pick a good generic bathroom cleaner that you know will work on all materials in your bathroom from the tiles to the ceramic sink and then go for it. Scrub away using a good hard cloth. Invest in a sonic scrubber to get around the taps and in small gaps and use a limescale cleaner on the taps and in the shower area. Buff with a soft dry cloth to leave a nice shine and gleaming look.
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Finally don’t forget to clean on the top of any cupboards and inside any cupboards before you put your items back in.
3 – Windows (all rooms)
Knock of any dust and cobwebs with a brush before you start the cleaning. If your doing the outside you may have leaves and possible insects to deal with.
Then use hot soapy water rather than just a product to do the frames inside and out. I just pop a a squeeze of washing up liquid into a bowl of warm water. I will then go over the window glass with a fresh bowl of soapy water, dry off and then use a window cleaning product to finish. I always clean the windows on a cloudy day so the sun doesn’t dry the product before I have a chance to dry them. I never want smear marks. With drying TOP TIP always wipe dry horizontally.
Having clean windows can make such a difference to your home and cleaning the windows is a task many will put off but with the right cleaning tools you can get crystal clean windows in no time at all.
4 – Carpet cleaning (all rooms)
Invest in a carpet cleaner, hire someone of hire your own and get your carpets smelling and looking fresh again. Its important to look after your carpets and buy cleaning them a few times a year you are helping to prolong their life in your home.
When using a carpet cleaning move what furniture you can and try to make maximum use of it, open the windows and let your carpet dry naturally to leave your home smelling fresh.
5 – Freshen up the walls. (all rooms)
I always clean my walls but many of us don’t. Its a really easy job to do and it will make your house smell so good. Pay particular care to the hallway with this one as when people enter the house they tend to touch the walls more upon balancing when taking off their shoes.
I simple get a bowl of warm water add a squeeze of washing up liquid and a cap-full of washing detergent and then with a cloth I simply wipe all over the walls. Don’t rub to hard as you don’t want to ruin any decorating its just a light rub.
No need to dry as they will dry quick with the windows open.
You will be surprised at how the water turns brown quickly, dust settles on walls and we need to tackle it every so often.
Stubborn stains then a Flash Magic Eraser will be what you need. Lightly damp and gently rub onto the wall to remove unwanted stains and marks
6 – Lounge/Sitting Room
One of the easiest rooms to clean in the home. Mine has very little in it and not much clutter at all.
I would start with the sofa, give them a really good vacuum, take the cushions all off and get the base of the sofa and spray with a Febreeze or a Dettol antibacterial spray. If you have cushion take of the covers and pop in the washing machine, add some Lenor Unstoppables to this wash so they come out smelling lovely. http://www.lenor.com/uk/Product-Overview/Unstoppables?gclid=CPnLnOn3ydICFdQaGwodjPIB7g
Pull the sofa out from its position and wash the wall behind it and the floor underneath it, if this hasn’t been done in a while you will have a build up of dust.
Clean all skirting.
If you have a book/DVD shelving system or case. Take all the items off and look through anything that you no longer require pop aside for charity and then give the unit a good clean with a damp cloth, polish alone is not enough on dust build up and then once you have dried off use a furniture polish to give it a shine and a fresh smell.
Magazine/paper racks if you have them look through and dispose of any old outdated reader material and use this opportunity to start a fresh with your magazine reading. If you collect or keep magazines. Pop these in a magazine storage box in date order.
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If you have rug clean you can soak up any bad smells by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda over it and leaving to soak for a while then with a hard brush and warm water scrub the rug, to bring the pile back to life. Alternatively if you have a carpet cleaner use this to freshen it up. Or go back to the good old fashioned methods and hang the rug outside in the fresh air and beat with a big stick. I have done this a few times and the amount of dirt that falls out is amazing. I hoover my rug at least twice a day but it still had bits fall out of it. So maybe the old fashioned ways do work best!
If you have any old candles, fake flowers or broken ornaments now is the time to say goodbye to these items. Purchase a few new bits and pieces like this to make your lounge feel fresh and new.
7 – Bedrooms
Change all bedding and turn the mattress. Spray the mattress with a Dettol spray to kill germs and lightly steam. Leave the window open for a few hours so it gets a very good airing and dries well.
Move cabinets and dressing tables and thoroughly hoover. Clean all the skirting and windows.
Use a disinfectant spray on furniture and then dry with a buffing cloth and polish or use a glass cleaner.
Empty out draws and then clean the inside of them before putting back the items you need.
If its a child’s bedroom, clean the toys, you can put some plastic toys in the dishwasher and for those you can’t disinfect.
Pop soft toys into the washing machine as dust sticks to these.
Take downs the curtains and wash or if dry clean over run the hoover over them and spray with a Dettol spray.
8 – Cupboards – Downstairs
Here I am talking about the under-stairs cupboard, the airing cupboard the shoes and coats cupboards. Cupboards are great for storage and allow us to put away items that we don’t really anywhere to put them. Out of sight out of mind is the general attitude a lot of us will have. But to keep an organised home we can’t do this. Every item in our house must have a place. If you are a cupboard hoarder this needs to STOP!
Start buy removing everything from the cupboard and sort into piles as you are doing so, (ie) Coats, shoes, paperwork, arts and crafts, games, kids toys, iron boards and so on.
Look at the items you do not need or haven’t touched in the last 6 months and either give this to charity, have a car boot or start to use.
Keep cleaning items such as hoovers and iron boards to one side make this the cleaning side of your cupboard. invest in storage hooks and hang up anything that you can this will save space. If you don’t have shelves add them and then dedicate a shelf to a particular area. So you could put children’s arts and craft items on one shelf, old books on another shelf, family paperwork on a shelf and so on. Having a place for everything is key.
Add a rail for outside coats, pop scarfs gloves and hats in a storage box so they are all neat and not just chucked in.
Keep shoes paired together, use a peg to paid them and line them up neatly or have a storage container per person so the other family members know where to put there shoes when they come in.
Whilst the cupboard is empty you have a chance to get in their with the hoover and get up all the bits that have accumulated. Also wash down the walls and the door. Hang an air freshener to keep it smelling good.
You will find that having a organised cupboard will really help you and will keep your home in a much better order.
8 – Upstairs Cupboard
If you are lucky enough to have an upstairs cupboard this will be perfect for bedding, towels, laundry etc.
Keep towels in a an order. Have guest towels, towels for the children, towels that match particular bathroom all in an order. Fold them well so they sit straight in the cupboard. Don’t just chuck them in. Keep smaller towels in a pile and then sheets and larger in a pile. Face flannels keep in a storage box.
Keep your toilet roll in a cupboard, neatly in a box or tub. Keep cleaning products for the upstairs in this cupboard this will save you from going up and down and will ensure that if you see a sudden issue that you need to clean straight away you will have products right there to hand.
Bedding should be stored sets together, this includes bottom sheets, sheets, pillow cases and cushion covers. Don’t store pillow cases within the duvet covers as they get creased and do not air well.
I also use the cupboard for spare bathroom toiletries, this way your bathroom isn’t clogged up with unwanted products and you always know you have spares when you run out.
9 – Organise your wardrobes and draws in the bedrooms.
Wardrobes are another place in the house where you can hide items away. But like with the cupboards this needs to STOP. Take everything out of the wardrobes and have a good look at the clothes you have. Then ask yourself these questions. Are you wearing it? When did you last wear it? Do you like it? Does it still fit? Is it in Fashion? If you have answered NO to two or more of these questions then its time for that piece of clothing to GO!
Organise a fashion swap shop with friends, have a car boot sale, sell on EBAY or offer to charity. Someone else will get benefit from your unwanted items so don’t just let them hang there its time to get them out and make room for new pieces that you actually will and want to wear.
10 – Home Office/Work space
Take everything off your desk and sort through paperwork and clutter. Organise into labelled trays and folders and keep these neatly in a cabinet or on a shelf. If its not needed then throw away don’t hang onto unwanted bits and pieces as it soon mounts up.
Clean your computer keyboard. Turn upside down and shake out any crumbs and use an ear bud to clean the keys and get into the small gaps.
Wipe down the computer monitor with a disinfectant spray and a damp cloth.
Disinfect the telephone and your computer mouse.
Wipe down or vacuum your chair.
Wipes any wires where dust can potentially build up
11 – For all rooms
Disinfect all door handles and knobs, use a spray and a damp cloth. Also do all light switches and any cabinet handles.
Test batteries in smoke alarms , door bells etc.
Replace any light bulbs that aren’t working.
12 – Outside the Home
1 – Patio furniture cleaning
Plastic Furniture and Wrought Iron Furniture
Wipe with a clean cloth dampened with a mixture of water and a mild dish washing detergent Rinse by hosing down and leave to dry naturally in the sun.
Wicker and Teak Furniture
Use a soft scrub brush dampened with water and a mild oil-based soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap. Rinse by hosing down. For maintenance, hose down every few weeks to prevent dirt buildup in crevices.
Wipe with a clean cloth dampened with a mixture of water and a mild dish washing detergent. To remove scuff marks, use a soft cloth dampened with water and a small amount of Soft Scrub. (Abrasive cleaners and brushes will scratch.) Rinse by hosing down.
2 – The Garage Door
Before you start the cleaning get yourself a brush and knock of any cobwebs dry leaves etc.
Then get yourself a nice bucket of soapy warm water, you can use washing up liquid for this and with a sponge wet the door liberally. You will need a ladder for this job to get right to the top but please be-careful not to fall, ideally get someone to hold it for you. Once you have got the door nice and soapy and wet. Grab a pressure washer and thoroughly rinse this will help to remove any stubborn dirt and build up of cobwebs etc.
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3 – Wheelie Bins
My bin day is a Friday and to be honest I do use a wheelie bin cleaning service although I am not impressed! Its not a great job but it ensures the inside has had a burst of product and water. But I do clean the lid as much as I can, if its a nice sunny day I get out there and give it a quick wipe.
But look at the dirt I get off in less than a week! Its disgusting.
For a spring clean though its a matter of just getting the jet wash out and giving it a really good blast but before doing so spray it in a good strong cleaning product to get rid of those gastly horrible bin smells.
4 – Front Door
As with the garage knock of any cobwebs, leave and debris that has been caught on the door. Again use a nice bucket of soapy warm water and cover paying attention to the frame, letter box and window and then rinse clean with a power washer. With the door as I like mine to look shinning with no streak marks I will buff dry with an old towel. Its so important that the entrance of your home is nice and clean as this is peoples first impression of you.
If you have any flower pots tidy these up to make your front porch more inviting and a create a perfect first impression for your guests.
5 – Organise the garage
Choose a dry day and get everything out that is movable. Sweep the floor and give it a jet wash if you have one.
Sort through the items before you put them back in decide what you do and don’t need.
Try to keep items in section. Bikes, pet care, decorating bits, gardening equipment and so on. This way everything has a designated area.
Well that is the end of my spring cleaning guide, I hope you enjoyed reading. Remember if you keep onto of your home using my basic schedule you won’t need to be this intense next year. Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to start a fresh with your home and make yourself some more room and you never know you may even discover a few items that you may have forgotten about!
Thank you for taking the time to read
Your Queen of Clean xoxoxox