The holidays are over, and what better time than the New Year to get your house clean and de-cluttered? But since it can be overwhelming and you might not know where to begin, here are some tips to get you started on your spring cleaning.
- Start with getting rid of clutter. Go room to room (you might want to start with closets and dressers) and get rid of whatever you don’t use. Put everything you wish to keep in its proper place, and separate everything else into sale, donation, and trash containers.
- Organize your closets and dressers. Organize them according to your routine and by type or color. This will make them look tidier and increase your efficiency.
- Take care of the windows and treatments. Wash the windows (try to do this on a cloudy day so the cleaner doesn’t dry too quickly and leave streaks), clean the blinds, and vacuum, steam, or dry clean the curtains.
- Clean lights and ceiling fixtures. Dust using a dry lint-free cloth. If it is extra grimy, try adding a dab of vinegar to the cloth.
- Clean walls, door frames, and baseboards. Try to clean these with just a sponge and some water first. If that doesn’t work, add some mild dishwashing liquid to warm water. (Anything harsher may soften the paint.)
- Get your kitchen sparkling. Clean out the fridge, throw out old food, wipe up any spills, and dust or vacuum the coils. Clean granite counter tops with ammonia and water; for coffee or juice stains, use a little hydrogen peroxide. For tiles, use a cleaner that says “neutral pH” on it, or make your own using ½ cup of baking soda in 2 gallons of water.
- Polish your wood items. Murphy’s oil soap works well for heavy grime, or you can make a polish at home using ½ teaspoon of olive oil mixed with ½ cup of vinegar or lemon juice.
- Mix things up. An easy way to add variety and change the mood is by changing out the bedding, towels, or curtains to something new.
- Deep clean carpets and rugs. For carpets, shampoo or steam. For stains with odors, try vinegar and cold water. (Cold water is less likely to set stains, and vinegar takes out odors.) For more delicate area rugs, use club soda for dyes and acidic stains, milk for bloodstains, and 1 part soap/16 parts water for soil or grease.
- Check the batteries. Check the batteries in smoke detectors and change them if needed.
Contact The Doug Erdy Group for more advice on spring cleaning or if you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the greater Houston area.