Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Spring is a time for fresh and new and unclutter! Okay, perhaps that's not entirely a REAL word, but it should be. The origins of the spring cleaning tradition can be dated back to the Persian Empire, but for around here the tradition has lived on as a way to celebrate the end of a cold and wet winter and to welcome a nice breath of fresh air in the springtime! Here are some tips and tricks to make your spring cleaning an absolute breeze.

1. Stock up on cleaning supplies.
Dollar Tree or Walmart or Costco may be the best places for you to head out and stock up on cleaners because you can buy in bulk. What you'll probably need in your spring cleaning kit:
-Dish soap
-Dishwasher detergent
-Bleach
-Laundry detergent
-Dryer sheets
-Fabric softener
-Swiffer
-Stain remover
-Murphy's Oil Soap
-Lysol or another multipurpose cleaner
-Pledge
-Windex
-Soft rags or microfiber cloths
-Broom and dust pan
-Trash bags
-Latex gloves
-Vacuum
-Paper towels
-Sponges
-Dish brush
-Toilet brush
Make your spring cleaning kit fit your home! Here is a more comprehensive list as well as an explanation for each item that you may need!

2. Does it smell?
During the winter time, many houses can get a bit stuffy, so here are a few things that you can do or use to make your house smell nice and fresh:
-Pour a bit of vanilla extract into shot glasses and place them throughout the house, this will act as a mini air freshener
-Take a cookie sheet and cover it with aluminum foil, pour a bit of banana extract or vanilla extract on it and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for about twenty minutes, turns your house into a bakery!
-Febreeze air spray
-Glade plug ins
-Candles

3. Get organized!
Come up with a game plan for your spring cleaning. Figure out what really needs to be taken care of and what needs to be kept up on. Perhaps set some spring cleaning goals to keep up with throughout the season. If you also start with your least favorite rooms, like the bathroom or cluttered closets, everything else will seem like a cake walk. Set up a reward system for yourself or with the people you are cleaning with. Example: After I get the closet organized and the tub scrubbed, I'm going to order some pizza.
Don't try to tackle a big cleaning project yourself either. Make sure you can gather a few helping hands ahead of time! 

4. Never thought of cleaning it before? Clean it now.
Some people never think of cleaning out the dishwasher: scrubbing down the inside and washing the racks. Window blinds? Dusty! Trash cans? The can probably smells worse than the actual trash. Don't forget to clean out the sliding glass door track and spray it with some WD40.

5. Rotate your supplies.
You don't want to be using the same wet and dirty cloth for the counter tops, tables, floor, behind the toilet and all of the other grimy spots in your home. Be sure to change out the cloths or switch to paper towels. Same with your gloves. Pick up a ten pack of latex gloves from the dollar store, or get two pairs of the heavy duty rubber ones. Your hands will thank you!

6. Struggling to start?
As much as it would be ideal to tackle the worst parts first, as stated above, sometimes it's just not possible. So start with basics! Clean your windows, do your laundry, reorganize your kitchen, clean out your fridge. The cleaner your space becomes, the more you'll feel less stressed out to tackle the bigger projects.

7. Stupid Stains
At the Christmas party Grandma and Aunt Anne got a little crazy on the eggnog and managed to get quite a few stains on the table cloth, so you just shoved it in a drawer somewhere until now. I'm sure you could name a few examples of stains that you have just let be or have tried to get out but just gave up on because, hey, sometime's it's a lost cause. No more though! Martha Stewart's Stain Chart is super helpful. Check it out and get those stains OUT.

8. Beds
Strip all of the bed, all of em of everything. Let the mattresses air out for the day. Now toss the linens in the wash or perhaps treat yourself to new ones to start the first night of spring off restful!

9. The Food Fight
It's time to get rid of those leftovers from Thanksgiving that are turning into a seventh grade science project in the back of your fridge. Put on your gloves, grab the trash can and go through every item of your fridge. Check expiration dates, open Pyrex containers and if you don't recognize it, TOSS IT. Do the same for your pantry as well. While you're going through, perhaps you'll figure out what you need at the grocery store.

10. Rough Rugs
Steam clean your rugs and carpets. You'd be surprised how much gunk and dust gets trapped within the fibers during the year. You can rent a steam cleaner for super cheap or perhaps hire a service as the last item on your cleaning to do list.

11. Replace, Renew and Resell
While you're cleaning, make note of anything that is broken, old, or not usable anymore. Make a shopping list for things that need to be replaced or perhaps just repaired. However, while exploring throw some items into a box or to the side that you want to sell at a yard sale or at a consignment shop. Who said cleaning shouldn't pay?

12. Outdoors
Wait for a nice and warm day to head outside and power wash the house, clean out the gutters, pull some weeds and reorganize the garden gnomes. Just don't forget outside cleaning!

13. Rearrange and Redecorate
Rearrange furniture in some rooms or put up a new coat of paint to really get a fresh new look.

Happy cleaning!