Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Prepare For Spring ~ Part One

I am one of those fortunate people who lives in the Midwest who has been blessed with a LOT of snow this year. From the weather reports for this week, we are going to be blessed with even more.

Most people would react pretty negatively to this, and I have to admit a little part of me does too, but I am reminded about how important good snow cover is for our area. We need the moisture. We need the cold to kill off things in the soil. But I am also reminded that Spring is not too far away and there is no better time to prepare for it than now.

I actually love being a little cooped up in my home now. I can spend time I would otherwise be running here and there planning. This is an excellent time of year to make plans for all kinds of things, but two in particular are my favorites to look ahead to: Spring Cleaning and Gardening.

Spring cleaning? Seriously???  YES!

Today a lot of people seem to think that Spring Cleaning is old fashioned and not needed anymore. After all, we have these modern homes with modern cleaning appliances and gadgets, special cleaning agents, and our homes are so different from years ago. Our heating and cooling systems are so much different than in bygone times. We don't need to Spring Clean like people used to.

My response to that is...Think again! Today, just as much as years ago, we still need to super clean our houses every so often and Spring is one of the best times. It's a great way to start off the warmer seasons of the year.

But seriously, why? Why do we need to Spring Clean? Our houses are much more airtight, comparatively speaking than house were in the past, but they also can’t breathe because they are so airtight. They’re full of chemicals and gases, from floor wax to the microfibers of carpets, that our ancestors never knew of or used. You'd be surprised how actually dirty just your walls are.

So how do you go about Spring Cleaning? It's actually pretty easy. I've been using the same system for almost 30 years and it has worked really well for me and lot of other people I have shared it with.

I divide my home up by the rooms. One at a time I tackle each room until the whole house gets done. In each room I have a list of things I do specifically, and that list may contain similar things I do in other rooms, like wash windows. Having the tasks written down for each room helps me remember what to do and to be able to check it off. Nothing feels better than checking off an accomplishment when I finish it. I think it's the OCD in me.

Here's a quick look at what I do in our bedroom each Spring"

  1. Clean the ceiling for cobwebs
  2. Wash the ceiling light globe and bulbs
  3. Wash/dry clean the curtains
  4. Wash the windows inside
  5. Wash the walls (yes I really wash the walls each spring)
  6. Clean the glass on all hanging or sitting frames, dust too
  7. Clean the top of the baseboards
  8. Wash the door and window casings
  9. Pull out furniture (if possible) and vacuum/dust under. Dust the back of dressers while they are out.
  10. Dust the tops and all edges of all furniture
  11. Dust or wash all nick-knacks and table lamps, wiping bulbs too
  12. Turn the mattress, vacuum and steam it before replacing bed linens (check  with your mattress manufacturer to make sure steaming is safe for your mattress) Also do the same for the pillows
  13. Clean the heat/air conditioning vents
  14. Vacuum and shampoo carpet
You may be looking at this list thinking there is no way you could ever get all of that done in each and every room, but I know you can. I know for one reason because I have done it for years and I don't do the whole house in one day. I take my time and spread it out. I may not even get a single room done in one day. But I do get it done. Plus not every room requires the same amount of cleaning.

Take a few minutes, make a list of the cleaning that should be done in your home. You don't have to do the same things I do, but you really should do some good Spring Cleaning. Your house will thank you. Your family will thank you. Best of all, there is a satisfaction in getting it done, knowing you have cleaned out all the chemicals, dirt and grime that has built up over the cold months (and maybe even longer than that), and you are taking care of your family.

So what room are you going to start with for your Spring Cleaning? Are you even going to Spring Clean?

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