Is spring cleaning on your to-do list in the next several weeks? These tips will help you ensure that you don’t miss a single spot when you deep clean your New Jersey home.
Create a Cleaning Plan
Spring cleaning can seem overwhelming if you don’t have a plan to tackle the project. Before you gather your cleaning supplies, divide your home into several zones, such as:
- Living Areas
If you can’t clean your home completely in one day or weekend, you can probably finish a zone or two. Once you’ve divided your home into zones, create a checklist for all the cleaning tasks in a particular zone. For example, your checklist for the kitchen might include these tasks:
- Empty cabinets
- Clean dust and grime inside and on top of cabinets and on cabinet doors
- Wash seldom-used bowls and dishes on open shelving
- Inventory the pantry and throw out the out-of-date cans and boxes
- Remove everything from countertops and clean thoroughly
- Clean the oven, range hood, stovetop, microwave, dishwasher, trash compactor, and other appliances
- Empty the refrigerator, purge expired and spoiled food, and clean thoroughly
- Pull out the refrigerator and vacuum the coils
- Sweep and wash the floor
- Clean light switches, windows, and outlet covers
- Wash curtains
Use a Methodical Approach
The cleaning process will be much more efficient if you:
Follow a Top-Down Approach: Clean the highest object in the room, then move to the next-highest object. If you save the high objects for last, dirt and grime may fall onto newly cleaned surfaces
Dust, Then Vacuum: The vacuum will pick up any dust that you dislodge when you dust.
Focus on the Task in Front of You: It’s easy to get distracted when you clean, particularly if you come across items that don’t belong in a room. Although it may only take a minute to put your son’s sneakers in his bedroom closet, chances are you’ll probably notice a few other things that need attention when you make the trip to the bedroom. Ignoring distractions will help you clean much more quickly.
Carry a Laundry Basket: A laundry basket makes a convenient place to put shoes, clothing, and other objects that belong in other rooms. Once you finish cleaning a room, it will only take a few minutes to put the misplaced items where they belong.
Don't Forget About Upholstery, Carpets and Soft Items
Soft items absorb odors, collect dirt, and can become stained over the course of the year. Vacuum and steam clean carpets, rugs, curtains, upholstered furniture, and other items that you can’t put in the washer, like dog beds. Check cleaning labels first and clean a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that the cleaner won’t cause any damage.
Instagram influencer Slay at Home Mother recommends steam cleaning your mattress too. Steam cleaning is a simple way to kill dust mites, bed bugs, bacteria and viruses, and other unpleasant things lurking on your mattress.
Become a Dirt Detective
Dirt and dust find their way into the nooks and crannies of your house. During your cleaning spree, don’t forget about:
- The spaces under furniture and beds
- Baseboards and crown molding
- Light fixtures and the tops of light bulbs
- Thermostats and heating vents
- Tops of window and door frames
Choose the Safest Cleaning Products
Cleaning your home shouldn’t be a hazardous activity that could put your health at risk. Stay away from harsh cleaners that may irritate the skin or emit strong, unpleasant odors. You’ll find a variety of products that are safer for you and the environment in grocery and big box stores.
Once a room is sparkling clean, it’s time to organize the space. Before you start organizing, put your belongings into three piles labeled “keep,” “trash” or “donate.” Throw away anything that’s stained, torn, doesn’t work, or is expired.
In the bedroom closet:
- Use small baskets to hold scarves, belts, and other accessories
- Organize clothing by color, type, or season
- Add shoe racks or bins if your shoes are currently in a jumble on the floor
- Install doors on open shelving for a streamlined look (also decreases dust on clothing)
In the entryway/mudroom:
- Buy lockers or cubbies to store family members’ shoes, backpacks, and other belongings
- Use washable rugs to corral mud and dirt
In the kitchen and bathroom:
- Use bins to organize food in your pantry and kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- Arrange canned and packaged products by the expiration date
- Turn a bookshelf or dresser into extra storage for small appliances, food, or towels
- Check out the creative storage ideas on Pinterest and Instagram
In the garage or basement:
- Install floor-to-ceiling shelving to take advantage of every inch of storage space
- Free floor space by hanging bikes, skateboards, sleds, surfboards and other gear on hooks mounted to the wall
Looking for a new place to live (and clean)? Check out the spacious single-family detached homes at Country Classics at Frenchtown, our new riverfront community.