YOU Magazine - May 2008 - Spring Cleaning A User-Friendly Approach for Every Room in Your Home
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Kathleen Petty     Kathleen Petty
AVP/Sr Mortgage Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
Phone: (907)261-3458 Cell: 223-4440
Fax: (907)929-6699
License: NMLS Unique Identifier #203077
k.petty@alaskausamortgage.com
www.kathypetty.com
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
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Spring Cleaning
A User-Friendly Approach for Every Room in Your Home


Spring Cleaning - A User-Friendly Approach for Every Room in Your Home

Together they may be two of the most dreaded words in the English language. We're not talking about "income taxes." At least with those, there's a chance you don't have to pay until it hurts. It's "spring cleaning" we're referring to. Read on, as we're about to share a few tips that will not only ensure you do a good job, they may just save you a little time, money and frustration.

Our Spring Cleaning Philosophy

Spring is here and it's time to give your home a deep cleaning. There are two roads you can go down. The first is one paved with loathing and complaints. Needless to say, it is not a very fun road to travel. Chores seem to take longer to complete, and by the end of the day, your back hurts worse than ever.

The second road is one that involves taking a slightly different look at the task at hand. Spring is a very symbolic time of year. From the beginning, it's always been associated with starting anew. If you think of spring cleaning in somewhat the same way, your attitude in terms of doing it may actually change for the better.

Think of how good it will feel to not only have a very clean home, but also one that's organized and clutter-free. At the same time, think about how much easier it's going to be to perform any subsequent cleaning throughout the remainder of the year. It may actually result in a renewed love of the space in which you live. Believe it or not, a good spring cleaning can be as cathartic and invigorating as a move into a new home.

Road number two has a second philosophy attached to it; conserve your energy for the purpose of doing a better job. We know that sentiment sounds almost counterintuitive, but here are some general tips that support the notion.

Spring Cleaning "Rules of Thumb"

1. Clean one room at a time, and over the course of several days.
It sounds like dragging out the process, but the flexibility this practice brings to your schedule is well worth it. Sometimes it's easier to devote one or two hours to a task than it is to devote your entire day. It often leads to doing a much better job.

2. Have a game plan for each room.
Make a list of everything that needs to be accomplished in every room. Understand what it is going to require in terms of labor and cleaning materials. The more organized you are, the quicker your cleaning will go. Organization also plays a big role in our next tip.

3. Purchase all necessary materials in one trip.
There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a project only to realize you need to make another trip to the store. Think through all the individual tasks and buy the materials at the same time, and in bulk. You'll save money, not only on the materials themselves, but also on gas.

4. Work smart.
Decide on an order in which the rooms will be cleaned, as well as the order of the tasks performed within each room. While proceeding, make sure that everything needed is either in that room or in close proximity. Running downstairs for forgotten supplies can quickly become the equivalent of an extra run to the store.

So, now that we have our "Rules of Thumb," it is time to proceed through the house, room by room. The following are tips, suggestions and reminders of not only what to clean, but also how to clean it.

KITCHEN

  • Start with the insides of your cabinets and pantry. From canned and dried foods to mismatched dishes and superfluous cooking equipment, there are many things that we accumulate, but go unused. With very few exceptions, get rid everything that has not been used within the last 18 months. Chances are, you will never use this stuff again. You can help others by donating these items to various charities or shelters. In turn, you will also benefit from the extra space, better organization, and a potential tax deduction.

  • Remove all the contents of your refrigerator and give the inside a good wipe down with a cloth soaked in vinegar. This will help to prevent mildew. Wipe down glass shelves with an all-purpose cleaner, returning the items you want to keep to their appropriate spot.

  • Remove the filter to your hood range and give it a good soak in soap and warm water. Rinse it clean and allow it to dry. In the meantime, spray down the cook top with a good all-purpose cleaner and allow it to sit before you scrub. Spray the inside of any non-self-cleaning ovens with a good quality oven cleaner and remove any baked-on bits by scraping the surface with one of those fake, plastic credit cards that are sent as junk mail. They are great for preventing scratching.

  • Don't forget to clean the wall behind your refrigerator, as well as the floor underneath it. Vacuuming the accumulated dust off of the coil actually helps to maintain proper performance.

    BATHROOMS

  • To clean your shower and tub, start by running a hot shower for five minutes. The steam will help loosen the grime. There's no need to purchase an expensive shower and tub cleaner. A solution of vinegar, ammonia and baking soda added to one gallon of warm water will do the trick. If your grout needs extra cleaning, do so with two tablespoons of bleach, diluted with one quart of water. To remove water spots from glass shower doors, wipe them with a cloth soaked in vinegar. And for any water spots on your metal frames, wipe them down with lemon furniture oil.

  • If your toilet is white porcelain, the inside of the bowl will clean up nicely with a little bleach. In terms of the damp dust that accumulates on the floor around the bowl, nothing beats a swivel headed mop, angled so it can get in those hard-to-reach places.

    It is important to note that the combination of several of the aforementioned cleaning agents can create noxious fumes. It is imperative to not only keep your bathroom well ventilated while cleaning it, but to also tackle one job at a time. This is a case where multitasking can actually be hazardous to your health.

    BEDROOMS/LIVING AREAS

  • Just like your kitchen, you should start the spring cleaning process by going through all closets, cupboards and dressers, disposing of or donating any items that are no longer of use.

  • Your next task should be to clean any ceiling and lighting fixtures and replacing all heating/air-conditioning filters. In terms of the former, a soft cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment is all you need.

  • Working from the top down, dust the walls and baseboards. To do so, tie a dust cloth to a broom and have at it.

  • Don't forget the floors. Regardless if you have carpet, hardwood, or tile, follow the manufacturer's suggested cleaning and/or polishing. In some cases, this may be a job for a professional, but the results are well worth the price. Floors are the dirtiest part of your home. Making them look new is nothing short of spectacular.

  • You don't do windows, huh? You may want to give that notion a second thought since they are your only view to the outside world. Screens should be removed and rinsed off with a garden hose. In terms of the windows themselves, use newspaper and a spray bottle containing 3 parts ammonia, 1 part vinegar, and the remainder filled with water.

    We truly hope that these tips have helped. Every home is different and each presents its own cleaning challenges. We feel that the tips put forth are a great place to start. Here's to a cleaner and more inviting home.


  • License AK# 157293 Washington Consumer Loan Company license# CL-157293 California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License# 4131067

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