This year get the whole family involved, give each person a task, take it room by room, and you’ll have the whole house shining. We’ve provided a handy printable to help you check off room-by-room as you work your way through the house.
MAINTAIN THE EXTERIOR
This time of year it’s important to do proper maintenance. You’ll want to check the exterior of the house for any damage that happened over the long, cold winter and fix it before the spring rains hit.
Inspect, fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint, replace and/or clean:
- Driveway and masonry cracks
- Clogged gutters and downspouts
- Dirty and chipped siding
- Cracked exterior caulking
- Exterior window and door sills
- Clogged drains and vents
- Foundation of your home
- Loose or damaged decking boards and fences
- Check the roof for missing shingles
Pro Tip: When it comes to roof, electrical, plumbing, water or foundation damage – don’t mess around call a pro!
- Replace furnace filters and vacuum around the furnace.
- Install a CO Detector beside your furnace for safety.
- Clean around your hot water heater and ensure nothing is touching.
- Schedule your AC maintenance and tune up before peak season to avoid delays.
- If you live in an older home check the pipes on your furnace. Are they black? If so, they are older pipes which tend to crack and leak. Consider upgrading to white PVC pipes which should only cost around $200.
Pro Tip: Do not store paints or cat litter boxes around your hot water heater; the ammonia can trigger the flame vapour sensor to auto shut off which will then need repairing over time.
- Dust all books and shelves by beginning with a quick soft brush.
- Vacuum before wiping down the shelves by pulling books forward 3-4 at a time.
- Move on to picture frames, knick-knacks, lampshades etc…
- Don’t forget the top of tall appliances like refrigerators, hood fans, tall shelves and showercurtain rods.
Eco Tip: No need for sprays. To dust upholstered furniture put on a rubber glove and rub it over the surface. The static does the work for you!
WINDOWS AND GLASS
- Remove the window screens and give them a soak in soap and water.
- Wash your outside windows first with a sponge or squeegee and either a little soapy water or diluted vinegar solution.
- On interior windows don’t forget to run a vacuum over the sills to get rid of dust and debris first.
Eco Tip: To remove hard water deposits on your tub/glass shower doors, heat 250 millilitres of white vinegar in a pot. Spray onto surface. Let sit 15 minutes and wipe clean.
If you follow the KonMari method don’t forget to go in this order:
- Sentimental items.
Eco Tip: When everything is out of your drawers, closets and cabinets, vacuum and then wipe down with a water/essential oil mix so items are going back in clean. Avoiding dust and chemicals doesn’t just make things smell better, it improves indoor air quality for your whole family.
- Take down curtains, remove decorative pillow cases and wash
- Steam clean upholstered furnishings
- Polish and wax wooden furniture
- Vacuum both sides of the mattresses to protect from dust mites and wear. (Don’t forget to flip them!)
Eco Tip: A mixture of 2 parts olive oil, 1 part brewed tea and 1 part vinegar will recondition your leather furniture beautifully without harsh chemicals.
- Unplug the refrigerator, dust the coils, wipe and wash shelves and freezer.
- Run the dishwasher on empty with a product like Finish
- Unplug small appliances and wipe down including microwave, toaster, coffee maker, blender etc…
- Replace batteries and test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Eco Tip: White vinegar is a great disinfectant. You’ll ideally want a higher concentration than 5% of acetic acid because it’s the acid that kills the bacteria by crossing the bacteria’s cell membrane. You can typically find stronger concentrations at eco-friendly stores. It also acts as a deodorizer and cuts grease. Fill your dishwasher rinse agent dispenser with white vinegar on the regular!
- Wipe walls, ceiling corners and door frames with a dusting cloth or broom.
- Wash from the ceiling down to avoid drips.
- Give the baseboards a wipe down with a cloth.
Eco-Tip: Warm soapy water will work on all wall types painted, wallpaper and wood paneled. Don’t bother with expensive unnatural sponges, recycled clothing into rags works just as well.
- Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs
- Mop Floors
- Inspect and repair grout lines on shower walls and backsplashes
Eco Tip: Add a little tea tree or lavender oil to water for a chemical free, antiseptic floor cleaning solution – it works on polishing stainless steel too!
SPRING CLEANING BONUS
Follow the advice in this blog for a wellness boost! The average 150lb person burns 85 calories for every 30 minutes of light cleaning and 153 calories if you really put your back into it!