It's spring and what does that mean besides the start of the garden season? (Three cheers for spring flowers!) It's time to start spring cleaning. You can actually turn down the heat, open those doors and maybe even the windows if you are lucky and go to work! Your spring cleaning may take you a couple minutes or longer depending on how long it's been and how many kids or grandkids have been messing up your house! Remember to involve the entire family, order in pizza for supper and put on your most comfortable grubby work clothing! Where do you start?
The Laundry Room: Wash the outside of the washer and dryer until it sparkles. Vacuum out the back of the dryer, clean the lint trap and the area in the back and around both appliances. Consider a fun repainting of your laundry room. Do you have extra paint from other projects? Leftover paint from kid's rooms is great for this. Practice some new texture techniques you've been afraid to do elsewhere. Think bright and cheery! It's the laundry room and a fun look can be a good thing. I've set aside leftover green, yellow and light blue paint for my basement laundry room. I'm having visions of grass, sky and sunshine... Oh, and while in the laundry room don't forget to pack away the winter clothing-making sure it's all washed and repaired, if need be, before storing.
Appliances: Clean your humidifier before storing or turning off for the season. Change the filters in the furnace and any cooling systems. Clean the refrigerator and freezer-vacuum the coils and clean behind and underneath! Wipe down the stove till it shines and clean the oven as well. The appliance cleaning can be something you delegate to each family member depending on their age. Start after breakfast and make the goal for each person to be done by a morning break time that you set. Reward everyone with a fun snack and drink!
Windows and Doors: How do they look from the outside? Is the glass and screen in good shape? If not, decide what you can fix, what needs to be replaced and make a budget with a time frame for doing this. Example: We need a new back door, two screen doors and a replacement storm window on the front window of the house. We're watching the sales and replacing them one at a time. We decided to repair the storm window with new glass, and new screen. This was cheaper than a new storm window which would have had to be ordered. Check your locks and the door knobs too, again fixing or replacing as needed. It's also a good time to scrape and paint if they look rough. Doors can get beat up pretty quickly if you have kids.
Now it's time to clean the windows! Wipe any dust or dirt (outside especially) off with a rag or a clean broom, then wash. Try this solution for the glass and use old socks for rags.
- 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
- 2 cups water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Use as you would commercial window cleaner. If you grow your own herbs you can fill a jar with lavender leaves and flowers almost to the top and pour the white vinegar over it. Allow to sit for 4 weeks, then use in this recipe. The smell is nice, and it works great!
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer, wife and mom to three kids living in the Midwest United States. For more household tips and herb uses visit Brenda at http://oldfashionedliving.com/recipes.html