HOW TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR HOUSE

It may not feel like spring on the west coast these days, but spring has sprung in most parts of the country. While we naturally want to spend every second outside, it's officially time for spring cleaning. We're talking the co-star to "get organized month", where we tackle everything from organizing closets and drawers to cleaning your home from top to bottom. And, since it can be a little overwhelming, we've put together some ideas to guide you along the spring cleaning trail.

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Best words of advice? Work by room and complete one project at a time so you are not overwhelmed.

Photo: The Home Edit

TREAT YOURSELF: When it comes to any big cleaning or organizing project, it's important to have something to look forward to. Whether that means a room or area you've been dying to makeover or tackling the pantry under the influence of that Instagram shot you've looked to at least 30 times, or creating your very own tea drawer, just because.

 

     Photo: Martha Stewart |  Drawer Organizers                                                    

     Photo: Martha StewartDrawer Organizers                                                    

GETTING STARTED:

- Make a date. You might need a few hours, a Saturday, the weekend or a month, but whatever that time looks like, decide when you're going to tackle your cleaning, do it at your own pace and stick to your schedule or commitment.

- Invest in good cleaning solutions, supplies and tools. We recommend The Laundress and Murchison-Hume, they're all natural, planet-friendly and two of the best cleaning brands on the market, which is why we offer them at The Organizing Store. You'll definitely need a bucket, storage caddy and cleaning gloves, but here's a complete list of Spring Cleaning Tools you're going to need.

  • bucket
  • cleaning caddy
  • microfiber cleaning cloths
  • bar mops or cotton cleaning cloths
  • feather duster
  • vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • mop
  • carpet cleaner (optional)
  • blind cleaner
  • scrub brushes – large and small (or an old toothbrush)
  • window squeegee
  • lint roller
  • trash bags

With tools in hand, the only thing you'll need now is a proper Spring Cleaning Checklist. Our favorite is from Clean Mama.

Photo: Clean Mama

Photo: Clean Mama

Before you get started, here's a few tips:

1. Declutter. Moving from room to room, toss or donate using the questions "have I used this, do I need it"? Anything that was in question in January when you made all those New Year's resolution and didn't get rid of. Yeah, those. They're gone.

2. Spring Cleaning means "deep cleaning" and digging into areas that you might not see, but you know there is some serious dust lingering there. Vacuum and clean upholstered furniture, cushions and toss pillows. Shake throw pillows well (outside) and fluff out dust until no longer see any particles flying. Use a damp cloth to clean any spots and depending on the fabric, use a sweater comb to remove any 'pilling'. Clean windows inside and out, including the screens. Dust lampshades, windows, blinds, window sills and baseboards, hard to reach ceilings, ceiling fans, and areas that are not cleaned weekly by you or your housekeeper.

3. Plan on spending the most time in the kitchen and know this is not typically a one-day job. Thoroughly clean counter-tops, food prep areas, the inside (and out) of the microwave, refrigerator, freezer and anywhere food is prepared, cooked, kept or served. Wipe out upper and lower cabinets, empty and wipe out drawers and drawer organizers with a damp cloth. Clean and polish small appliances such as coffee pots and the dishwasher, using white vinegar.

4. Love your pantry. This is an area where you'll see big results. If you've checked your favorite organizing Instagram account lately, we promise you'll find plenty of pantry inspiration there. Discard out of date spices, organize canned goods by type and remove boxes wherever possible. Store cereals, flour, sugar, pastas, beans, tea bags and other dry goods in containers, covered glass jars and canisters. Organize spices to meet your needs, either alphabetical or by use with cabinet, wall, countertop spice organizers. To keep spices looking really neat, use clear spice jars. Add labels or your hand-written skills to each jar.

5. The extras: Wash your bed pillows, flip your mattresses, clean vents and replace filters, wash or dry-clean throw rugs and shampoo carpets. Vacuum behind the washer and dryer, and remove any lint from the hoses that lead to the outside. Replace batteries in smoke alarms, replace light bulbs, toss out of date medicines and refill anything from the medicine cabinet that might be running low, such as band-aids or cold and fever medicines.

 

TRY SOMETHING NEW:

The drawers in our kitchen are really, really deep, so I was able to create themed drawers for whiteware, bakeware, mixing bowls, and items that usually would go into a cabinet. I think one of my favorites is my entertaining drawer, where I keep ramekins, individual trifle bowls, appetizer forks, spoons and cheese knives and appetizer plates. With everything at my fingertips, I can pull together an app platter in literally, minutes.

-xx allie + deb