Take Your Spring Cleaning To The Next Level
Springtime in the Rockies is infamously unpredictable. 70-degree temps, sure! Winter storm warnings, why not? As such, spring cleaning in Colorado can be a bit of a guessing game — where (and when) do you start?
While the majority of the nation has already started sprucing up the backyard, we're still shoveling the sidewalks, but that doesn't mean we can't be prepared for when warmer weather actually makes it to the high country. Follow these spring cleaning tips to make sure your home is prepared for whatever the season throws at us.
Get an early start
Snow may still be in the forecast, but that's no excuse to keep putting off your spring cleaning checklist. Start early, with the upper levels of your home, making a list that's organized by room. From ceiling to floor, note all the areas of your home that aren't cleaned regularly. This may include wiping down ceilings and walls, cleaning windows, blinds and treatments, organizing closets, dressers and shelves, and everything else all the way down to your baseboards and floors. Pay close attention to ALL the areas where dust and dirt can accumulate, like light fixtures, crown moldings, trim, and floor and ceiling vents. Keep any home improvement and other big projects you have planned off your list for now, and make a separate one for outdoor chores to be done once the weather allows. Check out Taste Of Home's Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist for a great example or to use as your own!
Gather your supplies
Checklist in hand, you now know exactly what kind of cleaning you're going to be doing — time to stock up on supplies! According to The Spruce, it's best to keep your cleaning products to a minimum to avoid additional clutter. Start with a solid all-purpose cleaner that will work on the majority of the surfaces in your home and some microfiber cloths. After that, only buy specialty products like toilet cleaners, degreasers, etc. as needed.
Take it from the top
Did you know gravity plays a roll in how you should clean your house? It's not as far-fetched as it may sound. Dust, pollen, and other household allergens are easily spread, resettling on surfaces even while you're cleaning! Following your top-to-bottom checklist in order of tasks will make sure each room of your home is as clean as can be. Starting with the ceilings, walls, and other elevated surfaces of the room pushes more particles towards the floor, where it's easier to vacuum or sweep them up all at once. Your rooms will be cleaner than ever, and you won't have to clean those hard-to-reach places all over again!
Slow and steady
Spring cleaning can be tedious and overwhelming — don't try to get everything in one day! Whether you devote several hours each week, or a few minutes per day, set your own schedule to avoid feeling burnt out before your checklist is done. And don't bounce from room to room or task to task. Focus on one thing at a time and one room at a time to stay on top of your list and avoid having to retrace your steps.
Clear the clutter
Clutter not only makes for unsightly messes in closets, drawers, and other areas of your home, it's also a safe haven for dust and other household allergens to accumulate — meaning, you guessed it, more cleaning! As you move from room to room, consider grouping cluttered items into 4 groups: one for regularly used items, another for items that need to be stored, one for the garage sale or charity donation, and the last for the trash bin. Regularly used items should find a new home where they can be easily accessed, while more seasonal items make their way into storage. You'd be wise to keep your winter jackets and other cold weather items somewhere close until we're officially done with snow for the season (sometimes through May) just in case!
All systems go
Home appliances are meant to make life a little easier, but they need help to do so. Almost every household appliance requires some level of regular maintenance to avoid costly repairs and keep them working as efficiently as possible. This means replacing air filters, cleaning air ducts, and more. Catch up on the maintenance requirements for all the appliances in your home to see what needs to be done, and be prepared to call for professional help when needed. Pay close attention to your home cooling and heating systems especially. While it may not be warm enough to use your whole house fan, swamp cooler or a/c unit, you'll still want to make sure it's ready to be switched on for the first hot day. Whole house fans require little to no maintenance — just remove the winter insert from inside the vent and you're set to go. Central air and other systems will require closer attention to make sure they are ready for a summer of hard work. Lastly, don't forget to test any and all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and give them some fresh batteries for good measure.
Keep it clean
Spring cleaning is one thing but keeping your home clean the rest of the season is something else entirely, especially if you live in Colorado. Spring snow and rain storms will bring a swift end to your sparkling-clean floors, heavy winds can deliver more dust than you can handle, and shuttered windows in cold temperatures means stale, stagnant indoor air. Really, the more prepared you are, the better. Good Housekeeping recommends placing doormats on both sides of your doors, refreshing them regularly by vacuuming both sides. And a waterproof shoe tray will keep as much dirt and grime at the door as possible. Replacing old window screens with specialized material can block more airborne particles from entering your home through open windows, too, but your indoor air quality relies greatly on your home ventilation system. Furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, and evaporative air cooling systems are designed to recirculate indoor air, constantly spreading dust and contaminants to other areas of your home. Consider installing specialized HEPA air filters or stand-alone air purifiers to better clean the recirculated air or add a whole house fan and attic ventilation to your HVAC system to clean inside air for a fraction of the cost.
Spruce up your space
Your checklist is done and your home is as clean as it can be — time to make the most of it! Think about refreshing indoor living spaces with new linens, throw pillows, window treatments or other small accents to give your home a refreshed look. And spread more daylight throughout your home using mirrors to reflect the light coming in from existing windows, or install sun tunnel skylights to transform your living spaces completely!
Springtime in the Rockies always keeps us on our toes, but Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a total guessing game. With a little know-how and forward-thinking, your home will be ready for whatever mother nature has in store for us!