Good-Bye Winter! Time To "Pre-Spring" Clean!

March 2013
The arrival of March is a very exciting time for me. For us New Yorkers, it means we have one month left of winter. Before we know it, spring will be in full bloom!
Every year during the month of March, I do the same routine. I wrap up my de-cluttering tasks and I start strategizing my “pre-spring” cleaning routine. 
Pre-spring cleaning is the time when I clean all the semi-annual “hard-to-reach” areas in my home. It is a time where I take a short break from my usual cleaning routines and clean the areas that I have left behind.
Here are some tips to help your "pre-spring" cleaning go smoother:
Make sure to de-clutter before you begin to clean. The cleaning process will go quicker and the end result will look wonderful!
Strategize your cleaning routine. Put aside a day if you need to, or break the tasks down and do a couple of them each day. Map out a plan to fit cleaning time into your busy lifestyle.
Gather up the supplies. De-clutter your cleaning cabinet and fill your bucket with non-toxic ingredients. Some of my favorites are baking soda, Borax, vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide 3%, different colored microfiber or Norwex cloths, coffee filters (for window cleaning), and a few pairs of old cotton socks (for wiping down baseboards and mini blinds).
Clean ceiling fan blades. Use a microfiber cloth for dusting.
Wash fabric draperies by hand using soap and warm water. For mini blinds, cover hands with cotton socks.  Dip the ends of the socks in warm soapy water and wipe.
Remove lampshades and wipe with a damp cloth. You can also clean the shades with a lint roller instead.
Dust the baseboards by wiping them with a cotton sock. Clean the stair railings with a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. Don’t forget to wipe down doorknobs, light-switch plates, telephones, stereo knobs and remote controls.
Wash all the doors (inside and out) with warm soapy water. Don’t forget to wipe the top edge of the frame and the hinges where dust piles up.
Clean windows with a mix of vinegar and water. Use coffee filters to wipe them clean.
Take down shower curtains and wash them (along with 1 or 2 towels) in the washing machine with baking soda and vinegar. Hang shower curtain back up to dry.
For a good drain cleaner, pour half of a box of baking soda down the drain. Wait 2 minutes. Next, pour half a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Wait a few minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Clean air conditioning, dehumidifier filters and dryer vents. Remove screens and remove excess lint. Submerge screens in water and brush with a microfiber cloth. Let screens dry before putting them back.
Clean behind stove, refrigerator and freezer. Use a Q-tip filled with vinegar to clean rubber seals on doors.
Wipe interior of microwave with soapy warm water.
Vacuum under couch cushions, under beds and behind dressers. As always, use a HEPA filter vacuum.
Hire some cleaning help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Having professionals come in to deep clean bathrooms and floors once a month is a good thing!
Taking the month of March to deep clean can cut your April spring cleaning in half.  This will leave you more time to enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors!
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