Now that the weather is beginning to warm up and that annual coating of yellow pollen has begun to spread across our cars, patios and entryways, it's time to freshen up at home and get ready for a new season. Spring cleaning doesn't have to take up your entire weekend, and it doesn't require gutting your home, storage unit or garage. If you stay organized and keep it simple, you can refresh your home efficiently and successfully, and begin the new season feeling more energized than ever.
To stay on track, start with a spring cleaning strategy. You'll want to make sure to put extra emphasis on outdoor areas, your bedroom and your closets, so make certain to plan accordingly with storage bins, cleaning products and packing supplies. Once you've got a clear sense of where you want to start and gathered up your supplies, you'll be ready to begin.
We've highlighted 10 ways to get you through the cleaning process without hassles, headaches or fuss. Leave the details to us with these handy-dandy tips, and give your home the seasonal boost it needs to stay comfortable and beautiful, all year long.
- De-Winterize. Take a walk-through of your home and begin collecting, washing and packing up winter items that you won't use again for another 7-8 months. These items may include extra blankets, heavy coats, scarves, gloves, sweaters and boots, leftover winter decorations, flannel sheets and bedding, woolen slippers, etc. Once you've gathered, cleaned and packed these items, you'll need somewhere to store them. That's where #2 comes in.
- Empty Closets. Head back into those closets and storage units and begin clearing them out to make room for winter storage. If you packed up spring and summer goodies from last year, now is the time to pull those items out and set them aside. Go through your closets carefully, and decide what items may be ready to go. If you've been holding onto clothing, furniture or chotchkes that just don't work for your life anymore, consider donating, selling or giving away.
- Store Winter. Now that you have space in your closets, put away your winter items in a way that will be most convenient and functional for you throughout the next few seasons. If you know you may want to access items sooner than later, make sure to store them within easy reach. If you know you won't be touching them for a while, make space for other storage items at the front of your closets and storage spaces. Now that you've packed away your heavy winter gear, it's time to break out spring. Head to #4.
- Unpack Spring. Dig into last year's spring and summer goodies and begin dispersing them throughout your home. Find convenient and tidy spaces to house your summer beach bag and towels, as well as your swimsuits and flip flops. Fill your dresser and closets with lighter clothing items, switch out your bedding with breathable sheets and blankets and begin spreading spring cheer throughout your home.
- Freshen Bedroom, Bathroom and Linen Closet. Since you're already in the process of switching out your linens for warmer temperatures, now may be a good time to refresh your bedrooms, baths and linen closet. Begin with bedrooms by dusting underneath and behind your bed, wiping down your head and footboards and tidying up your bedside table and piles of books. Tackle your linen closet by dusting and wiping down shelves. Sort through bath towels and wash cloths that aren't being used and consider throwing out old items that may be housing bacteria, mildew or mold.
- Tackle Your Patio. Head outdoors with a hard broom and a bucket of water and soap and get to work sweeping off and wiping down winter's grime. Sweep patio or balcony floors and wipe down all exterior surfaces. If you've packed away porch furniture, now is the time to bring it back out. Wipe down all furniture and consider bringing added freshness and color to your outdoor space by planting a container garden.
- Refresh Your Kitchen. Since you make good use of your refrigerator all year long, now may be a good time to empty it and give it a thorough wipe down. Kitchen cabinets, pantry spaces and disposals may also need a little extra attention by now, so give solid attention to cleaning out, wiping down and getting rid of items that are no longer in use.
- Windowsills and Baseboards. Even the tidiest of residents can sometimes forget to put a little elbow grease into their baseboards and windowsills, but with the coming of spring and pollen, it's time to clear away and reduce allergens throughout your home. Wipe down windowsills and baseboards simply with soap and water, and prepare to be surprised at how much dust and grime can collect in these spaces in a short amount of time!
- Change Lighting. In winter, you may have upped your wattage or augmented with floor lamps to bring more light into your home. Now that the days are growing brighter, consider switching back to lower wattage and storing away additional lamps to save energy.
- Decorate for the Season. Spring has sprung, at last! If you have the budget for it, pick up a few items to help get you in the mood. Throw pillows, bright picture frames and new hand towels are an inexpensive and easy way to get you started.