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 FixturesFirst, 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 WindowsNext, 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.
3) RugsRugs 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 BeddingHopefully 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.That’ll be your ‘a-ha’ moment for sure.Happy Spring Cleaning!
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Thank you so much for your advice to scrub the light fixtures and clean off the outside windows with some soapy water so they shine! With it getting warmer outside, I have begun to notice how dirty the exterior of my house is. I think the paneling could use a good clean too. It is so much for me to tackle myself. I think I will look for professionals to help me!
what about the sofas that have leather?
could you do an under the bed vid plz, mines a mess
First impressions count! Even if the inside of my house is a mess, I like the world passing by to at least think I am in control by the neat & tidy outside! I always take a few minutes once a week to sweep my front porch, wipe over the front door, dust the light fitting, de cobweb etc. it is the little things that can make a huge difference. Love all your tips Melissa – remember when vacuuming your rugs to vacuum both sides to remove all the dirt!
Some great tips, cleaning windows is one that we always miss! Thanks
What about stationary fans? I live in AZ and we have several stationary fans that seem to be constantly covered in dust and grim. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to clean these fans effectively and efficiently? we have several type and the idea that all of them are just constantly moving dust and allergins around my home drives me crazy, but unfortunately they are a necessary evil in my home. Thank you for your time.
your posts and YouTube videos help a lot keep doing the good work!
I think the first step with cleaning starts with identifying the areas/places/things that need cleanliness. External beautification through cleaning the external window or internal dirt management i.e. seasonal bedding and rug; every single things demands care and cleanliness. Thanks for sharing these tip, I am sure they will be a great help 🙂
I especially like your instructions for cleaning the outdoor light fixtures. too many people let them get really yucky!
You forgot to include the guttering system. Its always important to clean those gutters before the heavy rains come. A lot of people forget to include gutter cleaning on their spring cleaning to do list until its to late or water damage starts to occur. Keeping the gutters clean also helps to give them a longer life. You should also check all the down-pipes each winter and make sure nothing is blocking them.
I’m a new fan of yours…your videos are very helpful..you are my new inspiration…you make everything so simple…I’m 54 and still struggle with keeping a clean home…I have 4 kidz…I have known friends who keep their house. Like a museum….one thing I have learned is I’m really happy if my house is clean… thank you for sharing with me ….btw I found you web site from cleaning tips in a magazine…I can’t believe how young you are and so accomplished…I enjoy your videos so m uch keep up the good work..I will be watching a nd learning
I enjoyed reading this blog. Some really great tips. Thank you!
Cleaning out the rugs is always normal, but I never considered washing the outside lights. Thank you!
Great tips! We live in an new apartment building. I notice that the siding has accumulated quite a bit of dirt and other debris over the winter. I would like to clean the siding around our unit, but I do not want to trap moisture or set ourselves up for mildew. As far I as I know, there are no plans to have the building washed. Your best advice is appreciated. Thanks, you are the best!
Interesting. I’ve never given any thought to cleaning our porch light…. ever. And I’ve lived here since I was 16!!
what about cleaning the bird poop off the siding of our house?