Spring Cleaning The Frugal Way
Spring Cleaning for Your Car
Spring Cleaning the Natural Way
My vacuum and dishwasher are my spring cleaning aids. Glass globes from overhead light fixtures, decorative plates, ceramic canisters, glass candle holders and anything that I feel is safe (don't forget that hard to clean toothbrush holder) all go in the dishwasher with white vinegar (dishwasher detergent can cause tiny pits). It all washes while I do other things and they come out shiny and dry.
The vacuum with various attachments cleans furniture (upholstered and wood), blinds, picture frames, windowsills, above doors, walls and ceilings. Some things may need a bit more cleaning, but the gathered up dust in the vacuum makes it easier to identify what needs a bit more elbow grease.
Rita in Bradenton, FL
We use a power washer for the decks and stairs and outdoor planters and furniture. This is much faster and better than scrubbing.
I use a mop to wash walls. I did it the old-fashioned way one time and I would never do it again in my life that way. My mop has a Velcro head on it so it can be thrown in the washer afterwards. Wall washing goes so fast this way. I can even do it with a child hanging on my leg.
Seeing how I absolutely hate to clean, I have found the only thing that really works for me is music. I turn on my favorite music and I dance and clean my way to a clean house. I actually had my husband burn me a CD with my most favorite songs and the only time I listen to this CD is when I have major cleaning to do. My kids now get into the act because they enjoy the music as well, and my dogs run for cover. They know as soon as they hear a certain song that the vacuum cleaning is coming on next, so they run and hide.
Tina of Lexington, KY
The easiest way to clean your home is to remove the clutter! Get rid of the things you don't use or need. Have a yard sale or donate them to a charity. Then get organized. Everything in your house should have a place and everything should be in its place. Even paperwork! Cleaning your house is easy when you don't need to pick everything up first.
Employ your family. They helped mess it up, so they can help clean it up. When my kids were really little, I would pick up toys, socks, and jackets and put them in a laundry basket at night. In the morning, when they were fresh and ready for action, we'd make a game of seeing how fast we could put everything back in its place! Divide and conquer. Declutter one room at a time or even one drawer at a time if necessary. When it's all neat and organized, clean one room a day. Dusting the whole house can seem overwhelming, but dusting the living room doesn't seem so bad. Remember to reward yourself for a job well done, even if its just basking in the cleanliness of the room for a few minutes!
Lori of Pewaukee, WI
We use spring cleaning to clean out our closets and dresser. Because of the change in the weather, this is a good time to sort and either give away or sell items that are not going to fit the children in the next cool season. You can also pack away usable items and replace them with more seasonable wear for warm weather. We do the reverse when fall arrives. This keeps all the closets and dressers cleaned out twice a year and lets us have a true idea of what the real needs are before we replace or purchase any new (or slightly used) clothes for the warmer or cooler weather to come. This allows us to only purchase or acquire replacements, not add a bunch of items to an already full closet.
Cindy in AZ
My sister, mom, and I are trying something different this year. We picked a weekend that is good for everyone and will gather at one house first and clean. Then we will bring the supplies to the next house and clean. Finally, we'll finish with the last house. Working together we can accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. Plus, we get to chat and spend time together as family. We plan to treat ourselves by going out to eat the Sunday after we're done. I am actually looking forward to cleaning this year!
The area with the most amount of clutter in my house is the kid's bedrooms. To help my 10-year-old son part with stuff, I tell him that he needs to choose ten toys to "share" and five stuffed animals to "adopt out" to charity. I'll need to do this several times. I try to space it out so it's not too traumatic and emphasize that we need to share, rather than emphasizing getting rid of stuff. Once the kid clutter has been reduced to a manageable level, then can I start spring cleaning.
I am a professional cleaner. The best method I know of is to clean one room at a time. I usually start with the kitchen. I empty out drawers, vacuum up crumbs, and then wipe out. I do the same with cupboards. When I clean an oven that isn't self-cleaning, I put a glass pan of ammonia in the oven that has been heated up and turned off, so that it is still hot when you put the ammonia in. Let it work for as long as you possibly can. I use a sanding sponge with a medium grit that I purchased at the hardware store to clean the racks. Usually a couple of swipes over them with the sponge is all it takes. The narrow edge of the sanding sponge is perfect for getting in between the rack wires. Another method that works well for cleaning the racks is to saturate a towel with ammonia and lay it on the racks inside the oven and let it work overnight.
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