I don’t know about you but I’ve spent the last few months in full on hibernation mode. I know, I know it’s been one of the warmest winters on record – yada, yada – but let’s face it even intermittent arctic conditions can get you down. All the yo-yo weather patterns remind me of my diet – or lack thereof – combine this with the inability to get outdoors on a daily basis and you’ve got a good old-fashioned recipe for cabin fever.
Spring is upon us and depending on which groundhog you listen to it’s here to stay. Once the calendar leads us past March 20 I instantly become an enthusiastic passenger of the equinox driven bandwagon. I L-O-V-E Spring (my old cheerleading days just came back to haunt me). Springtime is defined by rejuvenation and inspiration. I love that we live in a climate with such distinct seasons because I find my passions and personal goals change with them and sometimes change it good.
I look at Spring as a clean slate full of opportunity and brighter days to come.
Unfortunately, I’m also here to remind you that it’s not all good news, here comes the ‘but’, with the rising temperatures comes a whole lot of extra work. The melting snow exposes months of displaced garbage, leftover leaves, abandoned excrement and other unwholesome surprises. The additional hours of daylight shine a light on months of negligence, forcing us out of our vitamin D deficient stupors and into a Spring cleaning frenzy.
Fear not fellow quarterly cleaners I’ve got your back! Let’s embark on a journey, fearless of the abandoned gems frozen in time on our front lawns.
Since I’ve done most of the prep work for you you’ll be doing cartwheels on landmine-free pastures in no time.
One can’t embark on a cleaning expedition without the right accessories so here are some important tools of the spring-cleaning trade:
- Oxygen Bleach – environmentally safe, non-toxic. Uses include everything from stain remover, brightening whites, household cleaning, litterbox sanitizer to deck washing.
- Label Maker – warning: can be addictive. Label everything from gadget chargers to linen closet shelving to pantry items. The labeling options are endless and there are online support groups to prove it.
- Vinegar – not just for fries anymore (again with the horrible diet choices) mix one part vinegar with one part water (I also like to add an essential oil) and you have yourself a safe, nontoxic mixture. From removing stickers to eliminating odors to cleaning windows (the jury is still out on hardwood floors) this is your all-purpose go-to.
- Baking Soda – we couldn’t mention vinegar without giving a shout-out to Baking Soda. Mix it with water to form a paste for a scratch-free cleaner or sprinkle in your tub or washing machine to control odor.
- Goo Gone – I don’t know how I survived without this one. If you’ve ever purchased a mirror and practically destroyed it trying to get the price sticker off you’re about to thank me. This little miracle worker also removes gum, crayon and grease from almost any material. You’re welcome.
- Dyson Vacuum Cleaner – get one! Don’t even question it, “Do it” (now imagine that being said in my best Ben Stiller from Starksy and Hutch voice).
- Microfiber Slim Duster – Cleans under appliances and other hard to reach spaces. After the embarrassment of how much dust this genius idea collected wears off throw it in the washing machine to hide the evidence, comes out good as new.
- Grout Refresh – There’s a product called Mapei Grout Refresh that has me really excited (sad but true). It comes in several colors, is easy to apply and acts as a colorant and sealant for tired, dirty looking grout. #winning
- Paint – there’s no better way to refresh the look and feel of your home then adding a fresh coat of paint in a trendy color. A general rule of thumb when choosing colors is if it works in nature, it works in décor. So take a walk for some inspiration and allow the blooming shades bring you inspiration.
- Expert Advice – A clean slate can be daunting so don’t be afraid to visit local nurseries and ask for help. Take some photos of your gardens in their current condition and let their expertise be your guide. Before you know it you will be relaxing on the deck, drink in hand, smelling the roses.
Now that you’re armed and ready to face the next few glorious months of longer days and warmer temperatures don’t forget to also change your furnace filter and your smoke alarm batteries.
So what are you waiting for? Bust open that kitchen window and brace yourself for that first Spring breeze, the rest will just fall into place.