It’s finally spring; the perfect time to clean up living spaces while packing seasonal items away. Cleaning may not be the top priority on your list, so if it seems too overwhelming, break the process down into manageable pieces. For example, it might be easier to focus on cleaning one room per week or completing one task, such as dusting or mopping, per week until you make it through the list. Here are a few reminders and ideas to help you create a cleaning plan this spring:
- Clean out cabinets by removing the stored items and wiping down shelves as well as the walls and doors of the cabinets. When replacing the items, keep things organized so you can find what you need later.
- Clean out the pantry and check the dates on canned and other dry foods. Put foods with an earlier expiration date toward the front to be used first.
- Clean out the refrigerator by removing the food and temporarily placing it in a cooler while cleaning the shelves and drawers. You can make a simple cleaning solution with about two tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of warm water. Be sure all surfaces are dry before placing the food inside. While placing items back in the refrigerator, dispose of expired foods, and don’t forget to vacuum and clean behind and underneath the refrigerator!
- Keep the microwave clean. It’s easier to clean up as spills happen, otherwise stains become difficult to remove.
- While you are cleaning the kitchen, remember to sanitize countertops and backsplashes as well as garbage cans and recycle bins. Clean garbage and recycle bins outside to avoid spreading bacteria in your living spaces.
- Remember to flip and vacuum mattresses as well as under and behind beds.
- Launder all washable bedding including mattress covers, bed skirts, blankets, and pillow covers.
- When going through closets and dressers, look through winter clothes before storing. If you haven’t worn something in over a year, consider donating it.
The other living areas:
- Try to keep surfaces dry and clean to help control mold and mildew growth.
- Vacuum under and behind furniture as well as under cushions.
- Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Wipe down walls to remove dust as well as doors and door handles that accumulate dirt from being touched several times a day.
- Mop floors with an all-purpose cleaner and make sure hardwood floors don’t become oversaturated.
- Dust windows and other glass surfaces then clean with a multi-surface cleaner.
- Vacuum or wash curtains as well as window screens. If needed, remove screen and gently scrub with a brush and all-purpose cleaner to remove dirt.
A few tips:
- Dust surfaces before cleaning.
- Recycle an old t-shirt by washing and cutting it for use as a lint free cloth.
- Simmer cinnamon sticks and an orange peel in water to freshen the air.
- Grind a citrus peel in the garbage disposal to remedy bad odors.
A few precautions:
- Always keep labels on cleaning products and follow the manufacturer’s use and storage instructions.
- Use cleaners in well-ventilated areas and wear rubber or other non-porous gloves.
- Keep all cleaning products out of reach of children and pets.
- Never mix cleaning products together. Combining cleaners may cause dangerous reactions.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be an inconvenience, plus it counts toward daily physical activity! Start the spring season by making a plan that works for you, then stick to it and take time to appreciate your work! If you have questions, feel free to call 330-264-8722.
Sara Meeks is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Program Assistant and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
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