Guide To Clean Up, Spruce Up &
Fix Up For Spring
It's spring again. Every homeowner
and apartment dweller knows there
is plenty of work to do to get
his or her home in shape after
a long winter of closed windows
and accumulated clutter. But where
do you start? The dust bunnies
under the bed? The dusty windowsills?
Or the towering stack of newspaper
that's occupying valuable space?
be overwhelmed. Plan your work,
and work your plan, perhaps beginning
outside -- planting colorful flowers,
clearing old leaves, washing windows
and screens, and touching up those
areas that need to be painted.
of the focus, though, will probably
be inside your home, beginning
with the clutter. Interior designer,
Christina Callaway, the owner
of Inner Piece Designs in Atlanta
and the decorator of the home
of rapper Ludacris, says to begin
by throwing away anything that
is broken or damaged. She recommends
using labeled storage bins for
items you want to save. Another
trick, she says, is to box items
destined for charity, so that
the donations will be ready to
be shipped or picked up by your
cleaning is often viewed as a
dreaded but must-do task, but
it can be made enjoyable,"
Callaway says. "Ladies and
fellas, you want to be comfortable.
Dress in loose clothing that you
don't mind getting sweaty. Turn
on your favorite CD and open up
the windows to let in fresh air."
you clear the clutter, here are
some simple steps to help you
clean and organize. (There may
be some overlap as you go from
room to room.)
Vacuum underneath and behind big
pieces of furniture.
Vacuum sofa frames, cushions and
pillows, using a vacuum with attachments.
Vacuum and air out rugs.
Dust picture frames. (To avoid
damaging your photos and art work,
do not spray cleaner on the frame
Dust bookshelves. Remove books
and dust those, too. Dust the
entertainment center, including
DVD player, stereo and television,
using a mild cleaner.
Dust end tables. Clean sofa slipcovers,
using the upholstery attachment
of a rug cleaner. Clean rugs according
to manufacturer's instructions.
Clean drapes according to manufacturer's
instructions. Dust molding, baseboards
and ceiling fans.
Dust and clean lamps, and other
Dust and clean windowsills, and
Throw out periodicals over three
months old. If you haven't read
them by that time, you're probably
not going to.
Vacuum under bed and dresser.
Dust dresser, headboards and nightstands.
Switch to spring-themed bedding.
Air out pillows.
Sweep and mop closets.
Remove spring clothes from storage,
and store winter clothes. (Make
sure everything is clean before
Give away clothes that no longer
fit after a year.
Store winter shoes and boots in
their original boxes (if you still
Wipe down counter tops, refrigerator,
stove and cabinets--inside and
out. Toss duplicate seasonings
and expired condiments, etc.
Clean decorative items that have
accumulated grease and dust.
Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator
Toss out leftovers that are no
Clean microwave inside and outside.
(If it's a stand-alone, don't
forget to clean underneath.)
Remove finger marks from toaster
or toaster oven.
Store gardening supplies in storage
bins and label them (fertilizer,
seeds, etc.) so that they can
be easily found.
Sweep and hose down the floor
to wash away leaves, cobwebs and
other residue from the winter.
Organize and wipe down tools.
Clean grill before hauling it
out for the season.
cleaning is a big job. Interior
designers and organizing experts
urge homeowners to make a checklist
to work on projects throughout
the winter. They also suggest
that homeowners establish weekly
or bimonthly cleaning routines
so that dust doesn't have time
encourage homeowners to stay organized.
For example, a good way to avoid
piles of newspapers, Callaway
says, is to "clip favorite
articles from newspapers and magazines
right away and store them in a
portfolio beside your favorite
reading chair so that they are
easily accessible. But overall,
don't let anything pile up. Work
on it year-round."
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group