We may soon be ready to roll out the grill and good times with friends, but...have we checked the "cleanliness situation" in our house lately? Winter generally wreaks havoc on the home with kids, pets, in-laws, etc. (everyone but us!) tracking everything imaginable indoors. Before we mass-text everyone to come over, it's time to get the crib looking good again! (View Spring Cleaning Checklist)
No matter what strategy you employ when tackling spring cleaning, it's hard to argue that the windows shouldn't come first. "They embody the soul of the home", as store co-owner/designer Don eloquently explains, and quite literally shed light on the entire situation.
"(Windows) embody the soul of the home."
Hopefully you have the swivel variety and can hit both sides from within, but if necessary, throw up a ladder outside and make it happen! You'll be glad you tackled this chore first, as everything done afterwards will look that much better, and you'll actually be able to see what you're doing.
In correlation with the "work from the outside-in" approach, it's always smart to start at the top and work down i.e. cleaning celing fan paddles, dusting chandeliers, and replacing lightbulbs. Wash woodwork, starting with crown mouldings, and walls if necessary. Use mild, biodegradeable detergent and warm water. Take up all the rugs and shake or clean accordingly.
"(Brighten) up the linens (by) soaking them in cool, clean water with fresh-squeezed lemon."
For brightening up the linens, Fiona suggests soaking them in cool, clean water with fresh-squeezed lemon (rather than bleach, which can be too abrasive and actually dull your colors). Another alternative method for cleaning your stainless steel appliances is olive oil -- it will easily remove grime and bring back the metal's luster.
Purge--brings to mind a scary movie, right? Cue the loud music (or whatever gets you pumped), put your hardcore villain face on, and let's wage war against those poor, useless chotchkies--we're taking no prisoners (well, OK...maybe a few). Clear the clutter, rediscover your counter space, and try to adopt a minimalist approach. Once the tables, cabinets and shelves have been cleaned, put back or replace items sparingly. You and the family will feel liberated (hint: now you're the HERO!)
"Wage war against those poor, useless chotchkies!"
Another tip: Clean out the freezer or refrigerator of old or unwanted items. Be sure to leave drawer space for upcoming fresh farmer's market produce.
Rather than bore you with too many details, we've compiled the most important tasks into one easily printable Spring Cleaning Checklist--including suggestions for refreshing your interior decor.
Distribute planters around the most visible sides of your home, and pot organic plants to protect the health of bees when pollination begins. When in full splendor, decorate the house with plenty of happy blooms. Plant a variety of herbs for color, aromatics and practical culinary usage.
"Pot organic plants to protect the health of bees when pollination begins."
If you've decide to fire up the grill, afterwards protect your charcoal from possible moisture (and April showers!) by keeping it in a cool, dry place such as the garage, tightly-sealed plastic bin or empty trash can.
Now, kick back and relax before it's time to do everything all over again!