Apr 1, 2009

Spring Cleaning

by Ellen Wilson

The dust on your television is almost an inch think and you can't honestly remember what in is in that Tupperware staring at you from the back of the fridge: let's do some cleaning. Our opinion is that you should just tie back your hair in a bandana and roll up your sleeves in one, big heave-all but we recognize that you might not have an entire Saturday morning to dedicate to tidying up the place. We've divided your apartment, condo, or house into mini-cleaning groups that you can do one at a time or tackle all in one go.

General Tips:

  • Cut back on the clutter. If you haven't used it in months and it doesn't have any monetary or personal value, chuck it or donate it to charity.
  • Have an order of attack. Step back and look at the room and decide the process you'll take. It's a good idea to save vacuuming for after dusting and washing down the walls and baseboards. You might even want to start in a corner and work your way around the room.
The Refrigerator (yes, this gets it own group):
  • Empty each shelf and use disinfectant to wipe and clean the shelves.
  • Combine salsas, salad dressings, pasta sauce and similar condiments if you have multiple jars.
  • If you didn't make it yesterday or the day before, just throw it out.
  • Save jars and clean jars you've emptied. You can reuse these for leftovers, storing flour or sugar, or flower vases. However, don't save them if you don't have room. Take them to a recycle center instead.
  • Clear off the old wedding engagement photos and wipe down the outside and handle.
The Kitchen:
  • Replace your dirty, grey-tinted sponge with a new one. You might want to hang on to the old one to use in cleaning up the rest of the kitchen.
  • Clear off your counters and use bleach to wash them down.
  • Organize pans, lids, dishes, Tupperware, spices and other things that have turned into big, messy piles.
  • Wash all your dishtowels and potholders.
  • After you've finished cleaning all the counters and table, mop the floor.
The Living Room:
  • Dust. Dust everything. Get into the corners and on top of the shelves. Use cleaning products to clean and add a little shine after you've cleared off the filth.
  • Clean the windows and windowsills. See if you remember anything from your Biology course and identify a few of the bugs you're sure to find.
  • Clear off tables of clutter. Throw away or recycle old magazines and newspapers.
  • Vacuum. Pull out the future to get underneath and also be sure to remove cushions and vacuum under there. Collect all the change and buy yourself a popsicle afterwards.
The Bathroom:
  • Disinfect everything, even your toothbrush stand.
  • Empty drawers and check expiration dates on toiletries. Combine any multiples. Wash down the insides of drawers and cupboards.
  • Dust and clean around the lights and the mirror. Using cleaning supplies on the mirror and counter.
  • Tackle the shower. Take the curtain down and wash it if you can. Take the plastic liner outside to clean and disinfect it.
  • Clean and shine all the spouts and handles in your sink, shower, etc.
  • Sweep and mop the floor last.
The Bedroom:
  • Fold your clothes and make your bed.
  • Dust and clean the lights.
  • Clean off your desk and bookshelves. Dust and then use wood varnish to shine your furniture.
  • Vacuum. This includes moving the bed and all the stuff you have stowed underneath.
Enjoy the cleanliness! Your living space is sure to feel brighter and more comfortable. After the big clean, just do quick, 5 minute cleaning spurts to keep everything in order.

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