Around 6:45pm each evening the sun sets in the back of the house. A beautiful pink sky shining through a large back window, illuminating the not-so-beautiful layer of dust on each window blind. Spring has sprung, but the house is still dead on the inside. Between the dust on the baseboards, lamp shades and fans, to the sticky refrigerator doors and slimy dog bowl, the house needs a deep clean; a Spring Clean.
A Spring Cleaning List to Think About
We should clean our homes at the beginning of every new season, however Spring cleaning seems to succeed all other appropriate times to clean and is a monumental event in a lot of households. For many moms cleaning is a daunting chore because it is often a solo task. Spring cleaning is more than just changing over the decor from winter to spring and vacuuming the dog hair and puffs, it is essential to your families health. So what exactly should you focus your efforts on before getting out the spring wreath, garden flag and planting pansies? We have come up with 5 tips to help get you started on your spring cleaning list:
1Purify the Air
Modern day HVAC systems and thermostats make it really easy, you just flip a switch to go from heat to AC. But is that all you should do? One of the most important things you can do on your own to take good care of your HVAC system is to simply change your air filter on a regular basis. As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your air filters every 90 days because the longer the filter is in place the more dust, dirt, pet hair and allergens will be blowing through your house.
Air quality on the inside of your home is affected by pollutants so it is a good idea to check your filters once a month to make sure the filter is not too dirty, especially if you have young children. Air ducts are easier to maintain, as it is only recommended to clean those every three to five years.
2Change your Ceiling Fan Direction
Along with dusting your fans, you should also switch the direction they spin. Moving a ceiling fan direction switch up or down to change the fan’s rotational direction alters the flow of air within a room. During the summer you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter clockwise direction which pushes cool air down to the floor. The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be. During the winter, your fan should run at a low speed in a clockwise direction which gently pulls air upward, pushing warm air near the ceiling back down from where it has risen to warm occupied areas when temperatures dip.
Mold can pretty much exist anywhere there is moisture, even in places that we least expect like the bottom of the sofa. Mold exposure can create havoc on your immune system, causing respiratory infections and worsening asthma. Mold is everywhere and, though you can’t fully control your exposure to it outdoors or in public spaces, you can check for mold in common places around your home and take measures to prevent and remove it. While tackling your spring cleaning list check these common places for mold growth:
- In and around the sink, even under the drain
- In the refrigerator
- The pantry or food cabinet
- In the microwave and stove
- In the back of the kitchen cabinets – often where you would store cooking pots that you frequently wash. Though they are clean, they may not be completely dry which could harvest mold growth.
- Couch and curtains
- Indoor Plants
- Fireplace and chimney
- In the shower and bathtub
- The sink and toilet
- Grout in between the tiles
4Switch Over your Wardrobe
While it may not seem like a big spring cleaning list item, it is time to switch the closet over from Winter to Spring. Hang up the jackets, box the scarves, hats and gloves, and store away boots and winter handbags. Switching your wardrobe is also a great time to decide what you no longer want to keep for next season.
When bringing out your Spring wardrobe make sure to try on any questionable items and donate the items that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo suggests if it doesn’t bring you joy toss it or donate it. If you have to think about it for a while, it probably is not worth keeping in your closet.
5Declutter from the Inside Out
Most households have at least one or two junk drawers. Again you could use the Marie Kondo method here too, but let’s be honest even if the extra batteries, paper clips and chip-clips do not bring you joy, you may eventually need those items. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the madness and tossing every item, organize one space at a time and focus on the end goal. Less mess equals less stress.
Chipping away at your spring cleaning list is probably not the highlight of the week and it may take serious motivation to get going, but it is worth it in the end. To get the entire family involved consider making a game out of it or coming up with a reward once a chore is complete. For example, if everyone dusts and vacuums their room, a family movie night to celebrate their hard work!
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