Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning- Inside Edition

  We are all getting so excited for SPRING and the warm weather it brings!  We realize it is already warm (Like 90's already in Arizona--Stacy and Michelle), warming up in other places like the South, and still cold enough to be snowing (Like the sisters in Idaho and Utah last week!), but most of us have been itching to do some spring cleaning.  We have been sharing ideas with each other for what we are doing, what we have done in the past, or what we would like to try this year.

*  This is one I am going to do for my grout!  Using 7 cups of water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup vinegar you will spray this combination onto a small area your grout at a time.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub.  Have a bucket of warm water and a cloth with you so you can rinse your scrub brush out and wipe up the dirt you scrub up.  It will also leave a residue, be ready to do a light mop after.  (It really does work and will amaze you how much stuff comes up from it).



*  Vacuum window blinds and curtains.  Some curtains you can even wash in your washing machine once in a while to avoid getting a large dust build up on top of and down them.  (Especially important for those with allergies in the home!)

*  Wash windows inside and out.
          -For the inside, after washing go over again with a newspaper to diminish streaks. 
               ~Another idea is to dry horizontally inside and vertically outside  (or vice-versa) so you can    
                 see if you had streaks on either side or if one side needs more cleaning.  
          -For outside, we recommend using a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee.  Use either a cloth to  
           wash the window or a squeegee like you would use to wash the car window.  To dry, however, 
           use a straight squeegee like this:  Unger 12 in. Stainless Steel Window Squeegee with Rubber Grip and Bonus Rubber Connect and Clean Locking System
           Something like this can be purchased at Home Depot or similar for around $10.00 but will last a
           really long time.  This will keep the streaks from forming and your window gleaming!

*Dust top to bottom.  I have one of the "feather duster" type dusters that can extend it's arm out and I go from top to bottom in every room, getting all corners (with spiderwebs) clear down to the floor.  After I do this through out the whole house I vacuum thoroughly and then clean the carpets and couches.

*Check and change batteries in smoke detectors.

*Wipe down walls.  Again, I take a bucket of warm water and vinegar and a rag and go from room to room wiping down all the walls.

*Light switches.  I am sure that you all have the same problem I do with the light switches, maybe not, but mine get all gross and grimy.  I give my kids Clorox Wipe and assign them a section of the house.  They then clean the light switch and all around it.  There is always so much dirt and grim around them when they are cleaned it looks like a totally different light switch!  Gross!!  (Do the same thing with door handles.  Kids also like this job.)

*Clean baseboards.  This is a great job for the kiddos.  I fill an ice cream bucket with warm water and vinegar an old sock and a section of the house.  They think it is pretty fun (now).
       *** a little tip*** When socks get a hole in them, keep them.  They are great cleaning rags.  I slip one over my hand and go to town dusting.  I also use them for almost all of my cleaning projects ... cleaning the bathroom sinks, baseboards, walls, chicken eggs.  I have an ice cream bucket that I keep full of them and replace when they start looking yucky.

*Take rugs outside and beat with a broom handle.  You won't believe the dust and dirt that comes out of them!!


*  Wash your couches.  If you have a cloth couch that has removable covers for the cushions and you feel comfortable, you can try running them through your washing machine.  I would suggest only trying one on the delicate cycle.  (Stacy tried this with her extra cushion first to make sure it would not ruin it before trying the rest of the couch).  If you are uncomfortable trying this, you can us a steam cleaner with the hose adapter.  Do not try this if the couches are made of micro-fiber or leather!
         -You can also wash the throw pillows for the couches with cloth material.
         -This always makes the couches look and feel fresh and they smell GREAT!
If you have leather couches, this is a good time to apply the leather conditioner.  I also go and apply it in my vehicles at the same time.
*  Steam clean your floors.  It is always good to do this in the spring and fall.  If you don't have a steam cleaner, you can always rent one for very cheap at most stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
           -Try spraying Oxiclean pre-wash on the big stains prior to cleaning
           -Also, either use one of the cleaning products with Oxiclean added or add about 1/4 scoop to
            each load of water/cleaner.

*Deep clean Fridge and Freezer.  This is a great time to defrost your freezer too before you start stocking you on the great fresh fruits and vegetables that will be ripe soon!
*Deep clean your stove top and oven. I usually pick the first nice day outside to do this.  That way I can open my windows throughout the house and the smell from the cleaning will blow out.  Plus, my oven tends to set off the smoke detectors if the windows are not open. (I guess I would know if my smoke detectors were working or not)
*Clean the fronts of the kitchen cupboards and the hood for the stove.
*Clean and organize pantry.

*Clean out and organize medicine cabinets.  Throw out all medications that are expired (or empty that you just kept the bottle for sentimental reasons, right?  Why else would I have 5 empty childrens' tylenol bottles in there???)
*Organize bathroom drawers.  No matter how hard I try to keep them neat and organized, they always get messy.  Throw out anything you don't use.
*Wash shower curtains.  I like to buy the shower curtains that are fabric and washable.  If I have a liner I usually replace it in the spring (after I have deep cleaned the shower).

*Organize kids closets.  I do this 2 times a year, once in the spring and once before school starts.  I have a donation box and a tote for all nice clothes to pass on to siblings or cousins.  We pack away anything that does not fit and make a list of things we may need to get for the upcoming season.
*Organize my closet.  That is not as much of a task as the kids, but I do try to get clothes out of my closet that I don't wear or like anymore.  I also go through mine and my husbands t-shirts and such and refold/make them look nice. (mostly my hubby's, he is not so neat when it comes to his clothes)

Now we know that this is not going to get your whole house, because everyone has different homes, but this will at least get you started.  Make yourself a list of things you would like to accomplish and get to work.  Do one Spring cleaning job a day (or more if you catch the spring cleaning bug) and you will have a sparking home in no time!!

After you have your home all clean here are some tips to keep it that way.

Some more great tips can be found at this website.

how to fake an immaculate house



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