By Kathryn Weber
Few things are as satisfying as a thorough spring cleaning of your home -- inside and out -- including areas that don't need regular sprucing. Here are some tips to get the job done right:
1. Binge and purge: Start by purging unwanted, broken, chipped, stained, unused items. Binge on new cleaning items, organizers and cleaners.
2. Floors: Remove all rugs and clean floors and baseboards. Hire a commercial cleaner to steam carpets and polish dirty grout.
3. Top notes: Dust the tops of doors, pictures, and doorframes. Brush ceiling corners for cobwebs. Hire a service to clean stained shingles on the roof.
4. Vacuum windows. Using an attachment, vacuum blinds, windowsills, window sash and curtains.
5. Hit the fridge. Clean out fridge, wipe down thoroughly, install organizers to corral small and like items.
6. Add pressure. Contact a service to pressure-wash your house, stained sidewalks, porches and driveway.
7. Attend to maintenance. Repair torn screens, weather stripping and anything broken.
8. Hard-to-reach places: Use a bendable microfiber dusting wand to clean walls, the top of the fridge, under chests and behind entertainment centers.
9. Get a touch up. Clean marks on walls and paint over scratches and stains that won't come clean. Marked walls make a clean house look dirty.
10. Detail, detail. Hire a mobile automotive detail service to spring clean your car.
11. Conquer itty bitties: Collect and sort small items that accumulate on windowsills, desktops, bathroom counters. Organize or throw away.
12. Clean the dirty stuff. Wash vacuum filters, air conditioning vents, trashcans.
13. Recycle grocery bags, plastic dry cleaning covers, wire hangers. Take oil, paint and pesticides to the local recycling center.
14. Create a home recycling center with a sorting system.
15. Organize everything under the kitchen sink for neatness and efficiency.
16. Clean and line drawers and cabinets. Consider machine-washable brands like Duck Brand liner.
17. Thoroughly clean the bed. Vacuum and flip mattress. Vacuum and dust behind headboard, under bed. Have comforters dry cleaned. Set bed pillows in the sun on warm days to freshen.
18. Clean out coat closet. Donate unwanted coats and store winter wraps in space-saving bags.
19. Wash windows with a squeegee and microfiber cloths. Wipe sills and clean screens with soft brush.
20. In the laundry room, clean under and behind the washer and dryer.
21. Clear out cosmetics drawer. Wipe down, pitch old makeup, re-line drawer.
22. Organize, refill and clean out medicine cabinet.
23. Brighten things up by cleaning interior and exterior light fixtures. Wipe ceiling fans and vacuum lamp shades.
24. Get your affairs in order by deleting old computer files, creating and labeling files, and cleaning your home office, including computer keyboard and drawer.
25. Dust electronics thoroughly. Remove TV and equipment from entertainment center and wipe thoroughly.
26. Moisturize wood furniture with a deep penetrating wood creme or lemon oil.
27. Clean bathrooms thoroughly, including shower curtains. Add cleaning products to each bathroom.
28. Organize closets by color, sort by season, and install organizers.
29. Repaint to freshen. A new color or coat of paint can invigorate any room.
30. Tackle all that garage jumble. Clean and install space-saving shelves.
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