There’s something in the air, and you’ve got the spring cleaning bug. The only question is where to start?
Spring cleaning goes beyond the routine tidy-up. This is your opportunity to get rid of clutter and take a few small steps to feel like your home just got a facelift.
You will need:
Rubbish bags, rubber gloves, vinegar, baking soda, bleach and other regular cleaning tools.
Your garage, box room, pantry or other storage space often hides a surprising amount of junk. The saying is true – out of sight is out of mind. Aim to clear out unnecessary items from storage once a year. If the item is broken, doesn’t work, or you haven’t used it in a long time, consider giving it away or throwing it out.
Have you heard of the reverse-hanger trick? Turn all your hangers the wrong way round within your wardrobe and whatever remains reversed in a year’s time should be donated to charity. The same goes for clothes that don’t fit and anything else you haven’t touched for years. Clothing that is stained or damaged can be donated to animal sanctuaries, they are used as bedding for animals.
Bonus: after a clear-out, put a fresh scent in your wardrobe and drawers to keep that fresh feeling for longer.
Take down your curtains for a wash and dust your shutters – remember to start at the top and work downwards. Once you’re at it, get the aluminium and window glass cleaned too – Martha Stewart recommends a solution of half vinegar and half water. Simply place into a spray bottle and apply to glass, then rinse and dry. For particularly grimy windows, pre-wash with a sponge and soapy water.
Your walls may not need to be repainted, but they can always benefit from a wipe-down. Focus on high-use areas where handprints linger: staircases, landing spots and around light switches. Only use a mild soap mixed with water, and follow any care instructions from your paint.
Fans collect plenty of dust when not in use. Clean your ceiling fan thoroughly with a cloth on a telescopic handle, and don’t forget any standing fans too.
You should remove the filter from your A/C unit and give it a rinse, then allow it to dry thoroughly before re-attaching. Alternatively, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. A clean filter works much more efficiently to cool your home.
Create a cleaning calendar (http://tipsandpix.com/?p=76) and stick to it! It helps you get into a routine and not lose track of more intensive housekeeping. You can schedule the most time-consuming tasks each month, so you don’t end up with mountains of cleaning to do and no time to do them! Chores like deep-cleaning the oven, or defrosting the freezer are given a specific date, so they don’t get forgotten in your busy day-to-day routine. Other tasks, which should take around half an hour, can be scheduled per week allowing you not to fall behind.
Nobody likes those water stains that remain on your shower door. These are caused by the minerals in the hard Maltese tap water – calcium, magnesium, and iron, which remain as deposits on hard surfaces. To remove stains, use baking soda and water on a soft cloth or brush.
You can also make your shower head look brand new by soaking it overnight in a bag full of vinegar. Say goodbye to crusty build-up!
Having trouble removing old food stains from your microwave? We’re all guilty of this sin – heating up a bowl of deliciousness and leaving splattered remnants behind in the microwave. And we’ve all promised to clean it later – but this kind of thing often gets forgotten. These food remnants can be super stubborn and difficult to remove. The solution, however, is really simple! Fill a bowl half way with equal parts vinegar and water, then heat on full power for 3-4 minutes. Tip: put something wooden in the bowl to prevent spillage. Voila! Enjoy the benefits of steam cleaning – your stubborn stains are now easy to remove.
There’s no shame in admitting your bathroom grouting needs some help. Plenty of homes in Malta suffer the effects of lingering humidity, especially in the bathroom.
To solve this issue, prepare a paste with baking soda and a little water, then rub the goo into your grouting with a toothbrush. Leave this on for 20-30 minutes and scrub off for a fresh and clean result.
Expired toiletries, old make-up, rusty shaving razors… these are the kind of junk items that get by unnoticed. But every old or unused item takes up space and makes your area look untidy. Once you’re in the spring cleaning mood, grab a rubbish bag and get rid of the junk!