Living Space

Efficient spring cleaning

Tribune Media ServicesMarch 29, 2013 

A pressure washer is a handy tool for cleaning everything from your deck to those pesky garbage cans.

FOTOLIA.COM

  • More spring chores • Unplug your electronics and use an electrostatic cloth to wipe all surfaces, front, back, underneath and especially the vents. Once a month, spray compressed air into all crevices of keyboards and disk drawers. • In the spring, you can get away with less light, so swap your high-wattage bulb for a three-way bulb and your room will have a softer feel. Opt for energy-efficient CFL-type bulbs, which last longer and can cut down on electric bills. • Heavy rains plus freezing and thawing can destabilize steppingstones in your yard. Make your space safer this spring by lifting loose stones and adding enough filler to even them out. Sand or stone dust are better supports than soil. • Skim the bottom of garden ponds to remove fallen leaves and other debris. Get pumps and filters operating again as soon as weather permits. • Get rid of old newspapers, pieces of no-longer-necessary mail and outdated magazines. Instead of letting things pile up in the future, get a gorgeous basket to put by the door and toss in your outdated papers every day. Shred anything confidential and empty the whole thing often. • When you vacuum your refrigerator’s back coils, check seals by closing the door over a dollar bill. If the bill stays put when you pull it, the seals are tight. If not, adjust the latch or replace the seals.

    Home & Garden Television

Spring cleaning is one of those seasonal chores you feel great about once it’s done. The problem is that it takes time to do a thorough job. With family activities and a host of obligations outside the home, it’s hard to devote a large chunk of time to cleaning the entire house all at once. In reality, you don’t have to do everything in one weekend, and some chores should actually wait – making a prolonged spring cleaning program efficient both in time spent and energy expended.

For starters: Because it’s still cool, set the oven self-cleaner one morning early. Then start decluttering and emptying closets and drawers of unused, unwanted items. Scrub marred walls, either with a mild cleaner or an eraser-type sponge to remove scuffs and nicks. Touch up with paint if necessary.

Follow up with intensive vacuuming. Sweep under beds and over upholstery and lampshades using a soft brush attachment. Clean mattresses, window sills, the tops of doors, under appliances, the coils on your refrigerator and baseboards with a long-handled brush attachment. Dust the corners for cobwebs. Finally, clean all light fixtures and dust light bulbs and ceiling fans.

April duties: Warmer weather starts to show up in earnest now, so you can move outside. In preparation for cleaning the garage in May, haul hazardous waste to your approved landfill or waste site. This can include anything from old computers to batteries, cleaning chemicals and paint.

After North Carolina’s annual green pollen-dust subsides, this is an ideal time to clean windows. Using a squeegee and microfiber cloth, clean your windows inside and out with a diluted cleaning solution and polish with a microfiber cloth. Indoors, organize the pantry, freezer, refrigerator, closets and drawers that you decluttered earlier.

Install organizers, label jars and storage containers in the pantry and garage. Take comforters and coats to the dry cleaner, and when they come back, slip them into a space-saving bag for easier storage.

May tasks: Now the weather should be warm enough to tackle some bigger projects, especially outside. Hire a professional to steam-clean your dingy carpets. Have grout of floor tile cleaned, too, if it’s showing some grime.

If you have a pressure washer, hose off sidewalks, the siding, porch or deck, and wash your indoor and outdoor garbage cans. Check the gutters. Spend a sunny afternoon detailing your car and cleaning out the garage. You’ll love parking your sparkling vehicle in a clean and organized space!

Last, take a look at your entrance. Dust the door and light fixtures, repainting where necessary, and give your entryway a thorough cleaning. Add color and interest with new plants around the door.

Weber: redlotusletter.com

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