Flowers begin to bloom, jackets begin to thin, and sometimes we can even turn the air conditioning on without freezing. Spring is just around the corner and that means it’s time for spring cleaning. Getting rid of clutter in the home is the first step to a healthy and enjoyable summer. Clean now so you can enjoy your time outside when the weather gets warmer!
Everyone will give their own advice on the “right” way to spring clean. Which way you choose is up to you, but Robin Wilson has some tips that you may find helpful! She is the founder and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, author of Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle and an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Spring Cleaning Tips
- Start with the closets for one very important reason: If you start with your closets you won’t be dumping anything into a room that’s already been cleaned. Closets are dust mite havens because of the clothing and junk that sits untouched for years and collects dust. Empty it, trash what you don’t need, and put it back together neatly and organized. Then take on the rest of the room.
- Cleaning the bathroom: For once, focus on bathing the bathroom and not yourself! Replace vinyl shower curtains with nylon ones because vinyl holds mold more easily and off-gas. Give the entire room a good scrub down using eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaners.
- For fresh floors: If you can, make sure you have tile and hardwood floors. Wall-to-wall carpeting is more of a pain to clean, but whatever type of floor you have, make sure to vacuum often. Ensure that your vacuum has a HEPA filter to better manage dust particles in your home, especially since dust can be a leading trigger for allergic or asthma reactions.
- Empty each room: This one is if you’re really trying to create a spotless home. For the ultimate spring cleaning, remove everything from each room as if you were moving, and mop or steam clean the floors. You’ll be shocked at all the nastiness living underneath and behind furniture and appliances that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
- Lighten up the living room: Consider using slipcovers on upholstered sofas which can be washed regularly. Slipcovers have a bad reputation for looking unattractive, but you’d be surprised at how far they’ve come along in the past decade. Eliminate dust-catching drapes and horizontal blinds and try washable rolling blinds or shutters instead.
- Neaten up with the news: An unexpected tip – use newspaper to clean windows. Newsprint is a cousin to paper towels, but its high absorbency makes it more effective and will leave windows sparkling. Newspaper is also recyclable, so you’re being eco-friendly in the process. But there is one catch: wet ink can stain wood moldings so use extra caution. Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels on floors, tile, and countertops. They do a great job sanitizing and can be reused.
- Mind the mold: Mold has its own preference on where it likes to gather. Hot spots to look for build-up are dishwashers, the water pan under the fridge, and sink and bath drains. While you’re at it, change water dispenser and icemaker filters.
- Take care of Ted E. Bear: Unfortunately, even our harmless furry friends can carry dust mites with them. Wash or freeze stuffed animals to kill dust mites. Keep all toys, games and stuffed animals in sealed bins when not being used to avoid the dust coming back.
- Keep Fluffy dander-free: Cleaning your house is just as important as cleaning our loved ones! Groom your dogs or cats as part of your spring cleaning ritual and keep them away from bedrooms and any rooms that contain carpets. If it’s an option, keep pets outdoors while you clean to avoid excess dander in your home.
- Breathe easy in bed: If you find you have trouble breathing while sleeping, it may be an allergy. Switch to hypoallergenic pillows and comforters. Make sure to wash pillowcases, pillow protectors and mattress protectors on a regular basis to protect against dust mites.
- Pick Non-VOC paint: Sick of your room color? Spring is a great time to paint a room. Use non-VOC paints which won’t off-gas or leave an obnoxious odor and stir up asthma or allergies. It looks just the same on your wall and is much better for your health.
I love spring cleaning because it signifies a fresh start. This may seem like a lot of work, but I promise it will leave you satisfied and proud when it’s all said and done, in addition to creating a healthier home. No matter how beautiful your home is now, I promise following through on this advice will make it even better.