Health & Wellness

Spring Cleaning 101

Now that the warm weather has finally shown up, we can start to get our clean on!

By Katrina Caruso

In some parts of the country, it may have felt as though spring would never get going, and now summer is just around the corner. With the change in seasons comes the desire for a new beginning, and the warm weather can mean that we have more energy to do the things that need to be done—dusting off the outdoor furniture, getting out the summer clothes and linens, washing the windows, and preparing the garden.

However, it can be difficult to know where to begin. I’ve learned to start small and to plan; for example, I prefer to clean every surface (tabletops, counters, shelves…) in one room first and then repeat in other rooms; then I do all the floors, then all the drawers, closets, and cabinets, and finish with the walls, cleaning mirrors and windows and getting rid of the winter cobwebs up in the corners.

The work of spring cleaning can be summed up in three main steps:
– Do a deep clean to shine, buff, dust, and freshen all surfaces (walls, floors, tabletops, and countertops), furniture, appliances, and linens.
– Declutter, getting rid of unused, unwanted, or unneeded items from each room.
– Make a list of any items that need to be replaced or are missing or broken.

As an example, let’s start with the kitchen:

Kitchen Spring Cleaning

Deep clean:
Surfaces: floors, walls, countertops, stovetops, the tops of the fridge and cabinets, and the cabinet shelves.
Appliances: the inside and outside of the stove, microwave, dishwasher, and fridge.

Fridge and pantry: Hunt down and toss out anything that’s expired.

Shelves and drawers: Evaluate the cups, glasses, dishes, silverware, and gadgets for usefulness: do you really use the waffle maker? And how many years has it been since someone used that glass with Shrek and Donkey on it? It might be time to let go. Consider donating.

Take stock of everything in the fridge and pantry, as well as of the condition of the appliances and accessories. Make a list of what needs to be replaced (don’t forget: you’ve thrown out that 10-year-old vanilla extract).

Research shows that cleaning products have been linked to lung diseases, so it’s a good idea to consider natural alternatives; vinegar, tea tree oil, and lemons can be the bases of nearly all-natural homemade cleaners.

Photo: iStock/JodiJacobson.