Ever wonder how your grandma kept her house so beautiful and tidy?
Elyssa Andrus, author of “Happy Homemaking: An LDS Girl’s Guide” shares a few secrets from past generations to make spring cleaning a snap.
Ever wonder how your grandma kept her house so beautiful and tidy? Here are a few secrets from past generations to make spring cleaning a snap:
A place for everything, and everything in its place: Before you pick up a duster or mop, take some time to clear the clutter from your house. Get rid of anything you don’t use or love, and spend an afternoon going through closets, medicine cabinets, junk drawers, etc., to get rid of, well, junk.
A stitch in time saves nine: Spring cleaning is a breeze as long as you haven’t procrastinated the daily surface cleaning your house requires. Stay on top of basic household chores year round – don’t let dishes pile up in the sink, regularly discard old food from the refrigerator – so you can devote seasonal cleaning to serious scrubbing.
Many hands make light work: As the seasons change, pick a Saturday and gather the troops to make your house sparkling clean (see the Spring Cleaning Checklist below for a rundown of tasks). Everyone in the house should pitch in – Grandma would never let you get out of chores! – and even young children can do simple tasks like dusting or wiping down baseboards.
Mother (nature) knows best: Grandma used organic cleaners long before it was trendy, simply because many of the harsh synthetic cleaners abundant today weren’t available two generations ago. Distilled white vinegar is a wonder product that will clean everything from grout to mirrors to toilets, baking soda will deodorize your refrigerator and upholstery, and a small dab of baby oil will make chrome fixtures sparkle.
Clean top to bottom, and around-the-clock: Clean in the most efficient manner by starting at the top of the room and working your way down. In the kitchen, for example, first dust the tops of cabinets, then wipe down the countertops, then scrub the baseboards. Also, clean in a clockwise pattern so that you are sure to hit each area of a room.
Spring Cleaning Checklist
Here is a room-by-room breakdown for seasonal cleaning. You can do as much – or as little – as time permits.
· In every room, dust ceiling fans, artwork, knick knacks, and vents.
· Dust, and polish furniture with appropriate polishing agent.
· Vacuum and shampoo rugs and carpet.
· Sweep and mop floors with cleanser appropriate for your specific type of flooring.
· Clean windows and window screens. Clean window treatments according to type and manufacturer instructions.
· Clean baseboards throughout home with warm, soapy water. (You may need to vacuum them first.) Wipe down walls to remove dirt and fingerprints.
· Vacuum upholstered furniture and launder cushions if necessary. Carefully spot clean leather furniture with a damp washcloth if needed.
In the kitchen:
· Wipe down cabinets with damp washcloth, clean inside drawers.
· Clean oven according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
· Unplug refrigerator and dust the coils. Remove contents of refrigerator and freezer. Discard any rotten or un-useable food. Wipe down and clean all shelving.
· Clean microwave.
· Wipe down small appliances such as toaster, blender and slow cooker.
· Run dishwasher empty, with a dishwasher-specific cleaner such as Finish.
· Wipe down countertops and backsplash.
· Scrub sink.
· Organize food in pantry, discarding outdated items, and wipe off shelving.
In the bathroom:
· Scrub toilets, sinks and shower.
· Clean mirrors. (I like to use a vinegar-based cleanser and newspapers.)
· Wipe down all fixtures. (Baby oil works well on chrome!)
· Dust cabinets; go through drawers and medicine cabinets to dejunk and reorganize.
· Empty and clean trash cans.
· Inspect shower liner and replace if necessary.
In the bedroom:
· Remove and launder bedding. Vacuum and flip mattress, according to manufacturer instructions.
· In closet, switch out cold-weather clothing for warm-weather clothing. Donate any unwanted items to a thrift store.
In the office:
· Organize papers and de-clutter drawers.
· Dust books on bookshelves.
· Dust computer keyboard and screen with a microfiber cloth.
Elyssa Andrus blogs with Natalie Hollingshead at www.twohappyhomemakers.com.
They are the authors of “Happy Homemaking: An LDS Girl’s Guide.”