Wednesday, April 2, 2014

8 Forgotten Tasks of Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air, that means it's almost time for Spring cleaning. Every year I look forward to shaking off the winter blues by sprucing up the house both inside and out. I love using a spring cleaning list like this one. But I have noticed a few chores that seam to be missing from most lists. Make sure you list is complete this year:

1. Clean Laundry Baskets and Hampers
All year we're tossing dirty laundry with mud, dirt, snot, and who knows what else into our laundry hampers. If you use cloth hampers go ahead and toss them in the wash to help freshen them. With plastic hampers and laundry baskets a disinfecting wipe may be all you need. I have a couple of wicker baskets I use, and the disinfecting spray adds a nice fresh scent.

2. Freshen the Mattresses
If you have kids, then you know how dirty the bed mattresses can get. From the night time accidents, to the midnight snacks that were snuck into bed. I have a two fold method of cleaning our mattresses: Our son is notorious for having a bloody nose at night if I forget to refill his humidifier, so I use hydrogen peroxide to first spot clean any blood off the mattress. After that is FULLY dried, I sprinkle the whole mattress with baking soda and let it sit for a full hour (For a nice fragrance, you can also use a scented baking soda based carpet powder). Then just vacuum it all up using the hose and brush attachment of your vacuum.

3. Electronics
No, I'm not talking about dusting the TV. Having a neatly organized contact and e-mail list can really help you save time. Take time to clean out and organize your Phone messages, Contact numbers, E-mail inbox, Social media followings, Internet bookmarks and Digital photos.

4. Replace and Toss Health and Beauty Items
Start with the medicine cabinet. SAFELY dispose of any unused or outdated medicines. Replace any outdated OTC medicines. Now is a perfect time to make sure you're ready for spring allergies. Next go through your beauty products. Most products that have sun protection need to be replaced each year. Even your make-up has an 'expiration date'. Be sure to replace any out dated supplies. 

5. De-lent the Dryer
This is a pretty serious task and one that should realistically be done every 3-6 months. An average of 15,000 house fires a year are caused by clothes dryers. WikiHow has an amazing illustrated guide on how to clean dryer vents, so I'm not going to rehash it here ;)

6. Walk Around the House
One side of our house is hard to access due to the wooded terrain and edge of the property line. We NEVER go on that side of the house unless there's something wrong with the AC unit. However it's a good idea to just do a full walk around your house and do a visual inspection. Look for any vines growing on the house which can weaken the structure. Check for any damages to the roof or gutters from the harsh winter weather. Look for any washed out spots near the foundation. Winter weather can do some crazy things to a house.

7. Shrink Your Wardrobe
As you're getting the spring and summer clothes out, consider down sizing and organizing your closet. My favorite trick to this is to hang everything up with the hangers going one way. As you wear, wash and hang an item back up, just hang it up the other direction. After a month it's easy to see what you do not wear. Consider donating these items to a good home and enjoy the freedom you have gained from a clutter free closet.


 8. YOU!
After getting the house freshened and spruced up. Consider doing the same for yourself. If you can indulge in a massage, by all means: get a baby-sitter, and go enjoy a little pampering. If a massage isn't in the budget, then enjoy an at home spa day with a nice bath and good book. What ever you enjoy, be sure to pamper yourself a little. If you don't stop and take care of you, you'll have a hard time managing a household.

So as the days start to get longer and you start to emerge from your winter cocoon, enjoy the freshness that comes with spring cleaning and don't forget these 8 forgotten areas. What's on your spring cleaning list this year?
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