Spring is in the air. So is pollen. The sun is shining, and though the final frost date is not until April 15, Old Man Winter seems to have officially left the South.
That can only mean one thing: spring cleaning. It's that time of renewal, to say "out with
the old, in with the new," and to start fresh.
Sometimes, it's an overwhelming task. Experts, such as the people at the Vancouver-based 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Bill Bowers, local owner of a Merry Maids franchise, suggest starting with one room at a time and working your way through to make the project less
Spring cleaning can be a combination of cleaning and organizing. Here are some tips to help make the job a little easier.
* Toss it.
One of the keys of spring cleaning is cleaning "out" -- getting rid of things. Samantha Landa, spokesperson for 1-800-GOT-JUNK,
said the key is to be ruthless. Something
that hasn't been used in a year, get rid of it. If it has sentimental value, take a nice photo of it.
* Think about those places you don't think about.
During a more thorough spring cleaning, dust those oft-abandoned areas: under the furniture, baseboards, on the tops of the ceiling fans or the windowsills.
"If we have sunny weather, and people open the windows, they say 'oh my gosh, look at the dust.' You can't see it in the winter; the house is too dark," said Marcia Wilson, CEO of Maids 2 Rent.
* Find a place for everything.
In an email, Julie Bestry, of Best Results Organizing, wrote: "When you bring groceries home, you put the ice cream away in the freezer immediately to keep from having a melted, sticky mess. Do the same with everything you bring into the house."
* Do a major cleaning now, and be consistent from now on.
Abandoned ceiling fans that have acquired a thick layer of dust will require a wet wipedown to cut through the layers of grime, Wilson said, but if you make a point of cleaning those fans on a regular basis, a quick feather dusting will suffice. That's just an example. Clean more often will require less vigor.
* Be prepared to work for it.
Cleaning that bathroom, for example, can be a huge pain. The answer, said Bill Bowers, franchise owner of Merry Maids, is "just old-fashioned elbow grease. If you don't do it on a consistent basis, soap scum will build up."
A bathroom squeegee is a key tool, he said.
* Ventilate properly.
In bathrooms, particularly, or other areas that are generally not well-ventilated, mildew can build up. Choose this time to improve your home ventilation. If you don't have a vent fan, look into purchasing one. Opening a window, if you have one, works as well, but be prepared to clean up the dust that will accumulate on sills, said Bowers.
* Change your air filters.
According to EnergyStar, dirty air filters will slow down air flow and waste energy. This leads to cost-inefficient heating or cooling of the home. As the warmer months approach, prepare your home for spring and summer with clear air filters that will allow you to run the air conditioner in as energy efficient a way as possible.