How to Spring-Clean Your House (and Your Carpet)

young woman cleaning windowsMost of us love having a clean, organized house. Weekly maintenance keeps it looking clean and neat throughout the year, but every so often, it needs a more thorough cleaning. And that is often called spring cleaning. The term originated back in the days when houses were annually aired out and cleaned of all the soot and grime that had accumulated over a winter of fireplace or wood stove heating.

Because our lifestyles have changed, spring cleaning may not happen in the spring—and it may even be done in shifts throughout the year. Spring cleaning also provides an excellent opportunity to clear out clutter and unused items and host a garage sale. Here are some areas that need special attention during a deep cleaning.

Your Kitchen Cabinets

Grease, spills, and food crumbs can lodge on and in your kitchen cabinets. Your cabinets will need to be cleaned inside and out. Go through each cabinet or drawer, remove all the items in it, and then use a mild soap to wash it inside and out. Clear out any kitchenware that you no longer use. When you’re done washing all the cabinets, take a buffing cream over the exteriors to give your cabinets a like-new shine and and protect them from wear.

Your Windows

Clean, sparkling windows can make the rest of the house look 10 times cleaner. Windows should be cleaned more than once a year, but if they’re upstairs or in hard-to-access places in the house, they tend to not get done. Start cleaning your windows by removing all the screens. Gently wash the screens with a mild soap, then spray them off and prop them somewhere to dry. Then vacuum out the window sills and crevices of your windows and, finally, wash the windows, trims, and sills with a mild soap. If you have second-story windows, you might need to use a ladder or invest in a long-handled window cleaning tool to get the job done.

Your Walls & Doors

Dust, grease, hair spray, and even mold can accumulate on your walls and doors. Go over your walls and doors with warm water and mild soap to give them a fresh look. This may even be a good time to touch up some areas with fresh paint!

Your Curtains & Drapes

Curtains and drapes can collect dust and dirt. If your curtains are small enough to fit in your washer, you can go ahead and wash them in your washer. Just make sure you’re not overfilling your washer. You should take larger sets to a laundromat that has commercially-sized washers.

Some drapes are washable too. Check the manufacturer’s label on yours to see their cleaning instructions. If they’re labeled as “dry clean only”, you can vacuum them to remove the dust and spot-clean them to remove any visible spots or stains. If you want a more thorough cleaning, you can take them to the dry cleaners.

Your Carpets

It’s not enough to just vacuum your carpets and consider them clean. After a couple months, dirt starts to accumulate deep in the carpet, and if it’s not removed, it could permanently damage your carpet. Get a professional carpet cleaner to remove all that dirt at least once a year. If you have pets, you should consider getting the carpet cleaned every six months. According to the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, many carpet companies won’t honor carpet warranties for carpets that have not been professionally cleaned at least every 12 months.

These are just a few items in your home that require attention during a spring cleaning. If it’s too much for you to do it all at once, pace yourself by doing one room or area at a time. You can also enlist the help of your kids or a professional house cleaner to help you get it done. When it’s all done, you’ll have a sparkling home to enjoy!