Spring cleaning is something of an outdated concept! Homes were cleaned in spring because they were shut up during the winter, and the fireplaces that kept them warm would have filled the walls, floors and furnishings with soot. Thus, at the first hint of warm weather the house needed to be opened up and cleaned from top to bottom. Still, spring is as good a time as any to make sure the home is clean and healthy. Here are some spring cleaning tasks:
Clean the Refrigerator
Spring is the time to vacuum the refrigerator coil and clean the grill. It’s also time to toss out old food and clean out the refrigerator and the freezer. This includes cleaning racks, bins and compartments.
Spruce Up the Living Room
Now is the time to put away the heavy fabrics of winter for lighter ones. Pastel or light colored slipcovers can be put on the chairs and sofas. Thick woolen area rugs can be exchanged for rugs made of plant fibers like sisal. Heavy draperies can also be taken down, cleaned and stored till fall.
Discard Old Cosmetics
Old cosmetics can actually harbor bacteria, so the lipsticks, powders, mascaras and other cosmetics that aren’t being used should be thrown out. The same is true of old brushes and sponges. You don’t want to apply anything to the sensitive skin on your face that is expired or contaminated. Make sure you keep track of when you bought products like concealer and mascara so you can replace them.
Clean and Troubleshoot the HVAC System
This should be done by an HVAC professional. The system now needs to be readied for the cooling season. Some things a homeowner can do for the HVAC system are make sure that the condenser has a good flow of air by removing any debris from around it and changing or cleaning any filters. Especially in humid places like Baton Rouge, air duct cleaning is important. Wet humid air can foster the growth of mold and other airborne irritants in your air ducts, leading to poor air quality and health.
Clean Out the Attic and the Basements
The floors of attic and basement should be broom swept and then vacuumed or mopped. Dust that has accumulated can cause respiratory issues, and should be cleaned out, especially if you use those areas to store belongings.
Give Away Unwanted Items
Now is the time to box up any clothes and other items that are no longer used and give them away, auction them off or discard them. The more you can simplify your life down to the basics, the happier you’ll feel. Clutter and unwanted items can cause you a lot of unneeded stress. A general rule of thumb is if you don’t use it more than once per year, you should store it, and if you use it less than that, unless it is an heirloom, you should get rid of it.
Clean the Bedrooms
Spring is the time to dry clean blankets and comforters that have been used over the winter and replace them with lighter bedclothes. Clean your carpets and rugs in the bedrooms, and wash the walls. You might want to take the opportunity to repaint, or touch up any marks and dings.
Don’t Forget the Floors
Wood floors should be waxed and floors made of stone, tile, brick or concrete should be sealed if they need it. Old wax should be stripped from floors made out of resilient material, and they should be cleaned and rewaxed.
Clean the Clothes Dryer
Removing the lint compartment should be done after every load, but in spring the lint needs to be cleaned out of the duct behind the dryer. If it accumulates, it could become a fire hazard. This will also help your dryer’s energy efficiency, and dry your clothes a little faster.