Aside from cleaning the usual stuff during spring cleaning, here are 5 ways you can turbo charge your efforts and earn extra brownie points. These are critical spaces in your home which are often forgotten but need some love, too.
1) Outdoor Light Fixtures
First, head outside with a bucket filled with warm soapy water, a cotton cloth, a microfiber cloth, a few lightbulbs and a screwdriver. Disassemble the outdoor light fixtures, dip the glass into the bucket, clean with the cotton cloth (let that get super dirty), dry with the microfiber cloth, and then change the lightbulb if needed.
If you are feeling up to it, instead of hand washing, you can place the glass portion of the light fixture onto the top rack of your dishwasher and that way you’ll have zero elbow grease to put into this task. This small effort will make the exterior of your home look gorgeous – those lights will shine much brighter now.
If you had two cups of coffee instead of one and are feeling especially energized, you can even wipe your house numbers down.
2) Exterior Windows
Next, we’ll head to our windows and give those a good exterior cleaning. I’m not a fan of tall ladders (um, honey-do list?), so I will be omitting the second storey windows but please feel free to do them if you are so inclined, no pun intended.
Get a bucket filled with hot water, add to it a cup of white vinegar and a couple squirts of dish soap. Dip a double-sided squeegee into the bucket and swipe the windows with the wet microfiber pad, and then quickly flip over to the rubber blade and wipe everything off. Use a rag to get rid of any excess liquid. This shouldn’t take long at all, and the results will be amazing. I can do a window in about 2 minutes.
You can get really zippy with a double-sided squeegee. You may even think of starting a little side venture…like your own grown up version of a lemonade stand (except you’d be speed cleaning your neighbours’ windows). You’re welcome.
Rugs are like big, fancy sponges. I mean, they don’t look like ’em, but they are equally as crusty. They absorb everything and are rarely given the reprieve they need to look clean and smell that way too.
Take your rugs outside and start flapping them around and shaking them out. Some people hang them over a railing (if you are on a balcony) and beat the rug with a hockey stick or a broom. Get angry, let it all out. Do whatever you need to do to shake out that deeply ingrained debris. Then, leave it outdoors to air out. You can even sprinkle baking soda on the rug while it airs to help deodorize it, and then vacuum it quickly before it goes back into the house.
This is great to do for entryway rugs as well.
4) Seasonal Bedding
Hopefully in your neck of the woods, it’s warming up enough to make you want to peel your duvet off in the middle of the night.
So, if the time has come for you to do that, wash and change seasonal bedding. Get a bedding bag, and fold your bedding up neatly, place it in the bag and store it under your bed. These airtight seals help keep moisture, dust and critters out. Consider adding a sachet of baking soda to the storage bag to help keep odours at bay. If you would like to, you can wash your bedding and thoroughly dry it for at least 48 hours before stowing it away. Then, take out your summer bedding and get to it!
I tend to wash mine before putting it back on the bed, it’s always nice to get into bed under a freshly washed blanket.
5) Furnace Filter
Finally, your furnace filter should be changed 4 times per year, once with every season.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough, this filter is responsible to clean your air, people!!
So, purchase the furnace filter appropriate for your furnace (or if you don’t know, yank yours out and run to the hardware store stat), remove the old one, and pop in the new one. Maybe keep a few filters on hand so you don’t need to run out and buy a new one each season. If you have allergies or if dust is an issue for you, you should notice a difference with a fresh filter. It takes under a minute to change the filter and it really makes a difference, especially when you pull your old dirty one out.