These are NOT my favorite places to clean and re-organize – and I do not anticipate starting because it is always grosses me out to see how much dust, garbage, food, etc… has started a life of their own where on the surface, it looks clean. But spring comes and calls for us to conquer these places! No more stuffing things in closets or under beds.
- One closet at a time: take all the contents out of the closet. Divide into piles (give away/garage sale; throw away; keep).
- Make sure you decide what that closet is for and stick to it! (I.e.: our coat closet has miscellaneous things since we don’t have that much space, but looking at my keep pile, I can organize that the closet to consist of: coats, office supplies in labeled tubs, our luggage and stationary.) When I find other items in kitchen drawers or in Audrey’s room that belong with office supplies, then I know where they go and vise versa) If you have really unorganized closets, I would suggest thinking and coming up with a “where things go” plan first.
- On that note, LABEL LABEL LABEL! I love my label maker. It will not only make things look nice, but it will keep you organized until next spring.
- Now conquer the body of your closet. Dust in the corners, rods, shelves, etc… If there is a light- dust it and dust the light bulb, vacuum and mop (if able). If this is a shoe closet with carpet, running a carpet cleaner in it would be a good idea. Think of all those nasty things we step on day-to-day and then it sits in that carpet.
- If this is a clothes closet, I like to re-organize by seasonal, type and color. The winter clothes will now hang in the back of the closet while the tank tops and summer dresses make their way to eye-level. I will go through and try things on and if I haven’t worn it in more than a year, it goes in the garage sale/give away pile. For Audrey’s clothes, I try things on her and pack them up to the attic/garage sale pile in a labeled box (i.e. 12-18 months). Also, I keep a laundry basket in the closets. This makes laundry day really easy since there is no sorting to be done.
- For your linen closet, one of my favorite things I saw was storing your bed sheets inside one of the pillow cases. Makes it look nice and saves space!
- First here is a non-ammonia cleaner that cleans wonderfully and smells good too- just grab a spray bottle from the Dollar Tree and fill: Mix 2 cups of hot water with 1/4 cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of cornstarch. The vinegar gets anything off the window and the cornstarch really gives it the shine.
- Here is the all-knowing Heloise from Good Housekeeping with window screen and glass tips: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/quick-window-cleaning-tips
- For window tracks, I vacuum with my attachment what I can and then take a cleaning spray and Q-Tips to the rest
- For blinds, I also use my dusting vacuum attachment and then will wipe down each side with a very lightly damp microfiber cloth
Cushions & Mattress’
For your mattress:
- Remove all the bedding, bed skirts, mattress covers, etc…
- Lift the mattress and box springs off the bed and thoroughly vacuum it with your hose/upholstery attachment.
- While your mattress is lifted on your frame, take time to vacuum, dust, mop and everything needed under the bed, on the wall, bed frame, etc…
- Lay the mattress back on the frame.
- Use straight baking soda, pour about 1 cup of baking soda into a mason jar and optionally, drop in 4 drops of lavender essential oil or a linen fragrance. Put on the lid and shake up the jar. Using a kitchen strainer sprinkle the baking soda mixture all over the mattress and let it sit. Leave it for an hour or more, usually the time it takes for me to finish washing all the bedding and press the bed skirt.
- Using the hose/upholstery attachment to the vacuum, thoroughly vacuum the mattress again. This sucks up those dust mites! The baking soda helps draw up any moisture and deep dirtiness. It deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean.
- Put on your warm and clean bedding!
For your couch/chair cushions:
- Remove all the cushions. If you can remove the covers, do this and wash.
- Using the vacuum hose/upholstery attachment, suck up all that gunk hiding in the cracks of the couch or chair.
- Vacuum the cushions and if you can’t remove the cover, spot clean.
Here are some tips from Good Housekeeping for all textile cleaning:
When the weather permits, take down drapes, curtains, or sheers and shake them outdoors to remove surface dust. Then machine wash at the highest water level, adding window coverings after the tub fills so they can move about freely. Remove from the dryer and hang immediately. After washing sheers, dip them in a solution of 1 cup Epsom salts and 1 gallon hot water, and hang them over a shower rod or towel bar to dry. You won’t have to iron them.
Presoak washable fabrics in cool water with regular detergent for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash on the delicate cycle, then dry on the lowest heat setting. For a smooth fit, put slipcovers back on furniture while just slightly damp. Hint: Use a wooden spoon to tuck fabric into crevices.
Check care labels, but in general it’s safe to wash polyester- or down-filled pillows two at a time in the machine on the gentle cycle for 2 minutes. (Be sure to check seams on feather pillows for any gaps and mend openings, or they may burst when immersed or during the spin-dry cycle.) Toss a couple of clean tennis balls into the dryer with pillows to plump them up. Hand wash foam cushions in the tub or sink with a mild detergent and warm water. Air-dry.
For cotton, rayon, or synthetics: Presoak or use a prewash spray on badly stained items. Then wash on the delicate cycle (check label for water temperature; if not specified, choose cold-water setting) for about 5 minutes with regular detergent and oxygen bleach, if safe for the fabric. Put in the dryer on the gentle cycle, or line dry. For down-filled: Wash separately using a mild detergent and the delicate setting. Thick comforters may need an extra rinse cycle to remove all the soap. Add a clean sneaker to the dryer load to help down fluff back up.
• Refresh pillows, comforters, and curtains by putting each item, along with a fabric softener sheet, into the dryer on the air-only setting. • Mop up pet hair, light soil, and debris on washable slipcovers with a slightly damp microfiber cloth; use a lint brush on silk or delicate textiles. • Dust off drapes, cushions, and fabric-covered chairs by vacuuming on a low setting (use upholstery attachment).
Other cracks to clean
- Grout: Clean with a grout cleaner and if need be, reseal grout lines. The cement-based material between wall, floor, and counter top tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush.
- Dust books and shelves: Take everything off the shelves, and brush shelves and books with a feather duster.Use the dust-brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots.Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.
- Take out light bulbs and dust them, as well as the whole light.
Here is Martha’s Spring Clean Checklist room by room: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=martha%20spring%20clean%20checklist&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDwQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.marthastewart.com%2Fimages%2Fcontent%2Fweb%2Fpdfs%2F2007Q2%2Fla_0407_spring_cleaning.pdf&ei=dRV2T–MK4LciAKu2bGoDg&usg=AFQjCNH3FB_Su7_0aqkkKf2wG4trhFQyOg&cad=rja