Updated: May 7
If you haven't caught the Spring Cleaning bug yet, you might be too busy to stop and think about all those things that need doing this time of year. That's why Liz and I have put together this simple and easy-to-manage list of the essentials, and how to get them done while you're doing all the other things you do.
Put aside just 10 minutes a day to do these once or twice a year tasks, and the rest will fall into place.
- Change the batteries in your smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors. Then wipe them with a dusting cloth and test them. While you're at it, replace any smoke detectors more than ten years old. It's the law in many states, and is a good common sense practice.
- Clean or change your filters.
Think water/refrigerator, HEPA, microwave, HV/AC, etc. and clean those puppies as recommended. I wash my window air conditioner filters in warm soapy water and a stiff scrub brush and let them air dry. The microwave filters are always greasy because my microwave is above my bacon-frying station..ahem.. my stove, so I soak them in a little white vinegar after scrubbing in warm soapy water. You may even take a minute to check out your dryer vent, as buildup of lint makes the dryer take longer to dry your clothes...and can become a dangerous fire hazard. Commit to one appliance a day and you'll be done in no time.
- Wipe down the windowsills.
Grab a damp dusting cloth and just walk around your home's windows. Wipe the grime, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and fingerprints off the sills and you'll hardly notice the windows themselves. It's amazing what a difference this makes, and you'll be able to look out your windows at the same time!
- Oust the cobwebs.
Cover a mop or broom head with a damp dusting cloth (I secure mine with a rubber band), and visit all the corners of your home. Then clear your hanging lights and ceiling fans. End with a few swipes under your bathroom vanity, kitchen appliances and beds, and your home will cease to look like the Addams Family's.
- De-gross the light switch plates.
How many times a day do fingers touch the light switches? And when you look closely at them, it's truly impressive how easily you've been ignoring the greasy smears on them. Put a pinch of baking soda in a bowl of water and dampen a cloth- the baking soda will encourage the grime to lift away without scratching your faceplate.
- Get outside.
Maybe you still have sand or salt left on your walkway from winter, or maybe there are dried-up leaves clogging your gutters. Take a few minutes either before leaving home for the day, or when arriving home, and sweep the walkway, clear those gutters, and pile up old branches in a separate place. You'll be pleased with how much of a difference this makes!
These tasks shouldn't take more than an hour or two in total, and if you break them up into little chunks of time, you'll be amazed at the difference you can make with very little effort. So, busy people, let's get cleaning!