Ugh. It’s got to be done. The little church has been sealed up tight all winter gathering dirt, dust and odors and I’m “up to here” with the staleness of it. I’m dying to fling open the doors and windows, banish the shadows and the cobwebs, and flood the place with fresh air and sunshine. I need the whole Spring Cleaning process to be faster and easier, though, so I did a little research.
Make A Plan
A wise friend of mine (you know who you are, Laura) likes to say that nothing happens without a plan and she’s right. A little pre-thinking can save a lot of time when it comes to spring cleaning.
- Don’t just plan the tasks, budget time as well. If you’ve only got the weekend, plan accordingly.
- Once your plan is in place, you can have all of the necessary supplies on hand.
- Clean in the direction of gravity, top to bottom, back to front. (The only notable exception is when washing walls. Work in sections starting at the bottom so that dripping water/cleaner can’t run through dirty areas and cause streaking.)
Ceilings & Walls
Use a micro-fiber mop with a long pole to knock down cobwebs and dust ceilings, walls and woodwork. If you’ve got a stucco ceiling or rough-surfaced walls, use a feather duster or a Swiffer duster. (Note: Use the brand name Swiffer duster replacement pads. The generic brands tend to leave lint and fiber-y strands behind!)
Windows & Curtains
Remove all soft window treatments. If curtains are washable, toss them in the machine. For sheers, lace curtains or other non-washable soft window treatments, pop them in the dryer (on low) with a dryer sheet. The dryer shakes the dust out and leaves drapes smelling fresh. While they run, use a micro-fiber cloth and plain water to wipe windows and frames (add a little ammonia if your water is hard). This is best done in the morning before the windows are in full sun or on an overcast day as full sun can cause streaking. Hang drapes immediately to avoid wrinkles.
Lampshades & Wall Art
Remove lampshades from lamps and vacuum using the long-bristle vacuum attachment. To clean hanging art, remove from the wall and wipe with a micro-fiber cloth. Does the picture glass require extra love? Don’t spray cleaners directly on the glass; it can seep into the frame causing damage. Instead, spray glass cleaner directly on your cloth and wipe.
Vacuum the top of area rugs first, moving furniture out of the way as you go. Roll back the rug from one end and vacuum the floor underneath. Move the furniture and repeat on the other end. For deeply dusty area rugs, here’s a tip from my friend Pam of Pam’s Fearless Cleaning, New Orleans, who often faces the challenge of cleaning antique homes:
“When faced with an especially grubby area rug, I’ll often turn the rug upside down so the fuzzy part is against the floor. Vacuum the underside of the rug and leave it upside down for a day or so. Gravity and traffic on the back of the carpet helps the dust and grit fall out of the carpet and onto the floor. You’ll be amazed at what’s left underneath!”
This is the last step. Vacuum the floor first, then mop paying special “spring-cleaning attention” to the corners and edges.
- Shower curtain looking dull and soapy and gross? Toss it in the washer with laundry soap and a couple of towels. Wash as usual then dry in the dryer on low to soften it and remove wrinkles.
- Pull the fridge out and vacuum those coils in the back with the soft-bristle attachment. Keeping them free of dust saves energy and prolongs the life of the appliance.
- Run your dish drainer through the dish washer with double the rinse agent. All those built-up hard water spots should be gone. If they aren’t, simply wipe with the half a fresh lemon! Smells good and looks good too.
Ahhhh! Now for a G & T on the “lanai”….which is currently covered in snow 🙁