6 Home Projects that Should be on Your Spring Cleaning List
At the end of a busy winter season in Phoenix, spring cleaning is a refreshing activity for the body and mind. Reenergize and prepare for the warmer weather by carefully taking a look at your home and what can be improved upon. Set an accomplishable timetable that doesn’t add pressure to your busy life, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Open up those windows and take a breath of fresh air, we’re here to help you get that deep spring clean with a checklist of must-dos.
Cleaning windows may sound like an easy chore, but it’s a tolling task. If you aren’t considering hiring a professional, start by filling a medium-sized bucket with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. You’ll need to place an old towel or repurposed rags/clothing at the base of the window to catch the dripping water as it runs. Gently scrub your windows and trim with a sponge, and follow up with your favorite glass cleaning product, be it Windex or a simple mix of white vinegar and water. Consider using discarded newspapers for a streak-free and eco-friendly shine.
Change your Air Conditioner Filter
An air conditioner filter is one of those things you may not think of when it comes to spring cleaning, but maintaining clean, ventilated air in your home can make a world of difference when it comes to air quality and dust allergies. Be sure to turn off your air conditioning unit before removal to prevent accidents. If you are unable to identify the make of your filter and need assistance, check in with staff at your local homeware store. Keep track of how often you need to change your filter to keep your air smelling fresh and aid in the prevention of mold. In Phoenix, the summer heat requires that you change your air filter once every couple of months (and more often during the monsoon).
Clean Outdoor Trash and Recycling Bins
Garbage bins are a haven for leftover trash and bacteria to thrive, making your garage smell. When spring rears its head, march your stinky containers out onto the front (or back) lawn and douse the inside with liquid dish soap. Use the heavy duty pressure setting on your garden hose to remove sticky bits and lingering scum. Still smelling funky? Try letting a mix of water, bleach, and laundry detergent sit inside for a half an hour before rinsing again. Although it might not aid in the aesthetic of your house, it’s best to keep trash bins outside, either on the side of the house or in the backyard. Your fresh smelling garage will thank you.
Deep Clean Carpets and Rugs
Spotted, dirty carpets can depreciate the value of your home, but with a bit of attention to detail and a deep cleaning, you can get them looking like new again. Consider renting a carpet steamer, this will ensure a heavy-duty wash that is not chemically dependent. Start by vacuuming in three directions to remove built-up hair, dust, and dirt and follow up with a spot cleaning solution. When it’s time to bring out the steam cleaner, consider mixing in a bit of vinegar if your carpet or rug is especially dirty. Steam once, steam twice and let it dry completely before returning your furniture to their original placements.
Check Up on Smoke Detectors
The spring season is a perfect reminder to check up on your smoke detector and prevent fires in your home. Batteries should be changed every six months to ensure safety and to avoid that dreadful chirpy alarm sound. If your smoke detector is more than ten years old, it needs to be replaced. Try a new lithium-ion battery powered option, it can save you from your biannual battery checkup with a staying power of up to ten years. Secure your home with fire alarms that are connected throughout the house, and don’t forget to inspect your fire extinguishers for any signs of wear and tear.
Treat Tile and Wood Flooring
After a year of casual cleaning, wood and tile floors can start to lose their luster. Keep tiles sparkling clean by spot treating heavy build up with a vinegar and water solution. Grout can be tended to with baking soda and water, be sure to let the paste sit for an hour or so before removal. Taking care of wood flooring can be a difficult task, but the efforts of that fresh shine can brighten up a whole room. Identify your type of wood flooring before selecting the coordinating treatment. If you are unsure of the kind of wood you have, a simple bucket of water and white vinegar is a perfect cleaning alternative. Don’t leave large water spots to dry out on their own, this can damage the wood.
A Happy Home is a Clean Home
Though it may take a bit of effort on your part, a good spring cleaning is one of the best ways to make a fresh start. While you treat the inside and outside of your home, consider creating a checklist or cleaning calendar to reference in later months to save the burden of having to ask yourself “When did I last clean that?” Get the family involved and teach your children the pride that comes from owning a home.