Spring is Here: It’s time for New Beginnings
Here’s what to prioritize when you begin your Spring Cleaning and the Four phases of Spring Cleaning we’ll go over in our Spring Cleaning guide. Read on:
- Take Inventory and Get Organized
- Care for Your Textiles and Hard Surfaces
- Structural Maintenance
- Outdoors & Landscape Architecture
Phase I: Getting Organized
Sometimes things have to get messier before they can get cleaner: During this phase, pull everything out and sort through your belongings. Toss anything that is broken or that you haven’t thought about or used in months. Though it may seem tedious, when you complete this phase thoroughly, everything else will fall into place much more easily.
Before You Move Onto the Next Part…
-Prioritize any repairs to items you plan to keep
-Replace missing items, be sure you have full sets of everything like linens and dishware
-Discard obsolete and trash
Now You’re Ready to Get Organized
Put everything away into neatly labeled cupboards, drawers, and cabinets. If something doesn’t fit or have a clearly designated location, take this opportunity to purge again and trash or donate items.
From bedrooms and living rooms, work spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, closets, and outdoor storage, be sure to replenish your stock of household cleaning products in every corner of your home. And take this opportunity to replace all dead light bulbs. We recommend LED SORAA which doesn’t omitt blue light, that makes it harder to fall asleep.
Phase II: Deep Cleaning
Any obvious damage like warped floors or leaks should be addressed at this point before you proceed with a deep cleaning of the home, since construction and repairs can kick up a lot of dust and you don’t want to have to deep clean twice.
A Few Notes on Spring Cleaning to Keep in Mind…
-Look for environmentally safe, non-toxic cleansers
-Consider the air quality of your home’s occupants
-Look for dead bugs and exterminate if necessary
Pay Attention to the Often-Neglected Areas:
-Door frames and mouldings
-Windows and their casings and screens
-Remotes, Keyboards, & Screens
-Inside Drawers and Shelves
-Horizontal Surfaces including those you can’t see like the backs of cupboards and drawers & behind appliances
-Top of Light Fixtures and Lamps
-Leather Floors and Furniture
-Upholstered Furniture & Blankets which may require professional laundering
The Heavy Duty Items:
-Floors – You’ll want to wax and polish
-Natural Stone Needs to be Resealed
-Re-grout Countertops and Backsplashes
-Oil Squeaky Hinges on Doors and Windows
To conclude your deep cleaning, open up all your windows and doors and independently run your AC and heater for 6 hours each to flush out all the pollens and other toxins.
Phase III: Structural Maintenance
In addition to year round maintenance, which will differ from home to home dependent upon a lot of factors like how old the home is to how much time you have to dedicate, the following tips are things to consider when re-opening your home after a deep clean:
Windows & Doors
Expansion from moving from very cold to very warm climate may occur in windows and doors. The two things to check for with all windows and doors are expansion to see if they need to be resealed and that they are all opening and closing with ease.
-Windows should be weather proofed with caulking, silicone, or weather-striping every 2-5 years. If you’re in a more extreme weather climate, you may need this more frequently.
-Doors may need new rubber mouldings by the thresholds and/or additional weather striping to reseal.
-Vacuum all expansion areas prior to resealing to rid of any insects and eggs they might have laid.
-Check that windows and doors are all opening and closing with ease and if now, this is the time to call in the carpenter to plane the edges.
Around Wet Areas
Bathrooms, Kitchens, Backyards: They all have water sources, but the space should be generally dry. Be sure to check thoroughly for leaks, as pipes may burst or roofs can leak after a particularly wet season. This is especially important as the weather transitions from cold Winter to warm Spring, as this is when expansion occurs and has the potential to do a lot of damage to your water lines.
Wet Areas In Warm Climates
If you do find moisture where it doesn’t belong, examine further for mold and mildew. If you’re in a tropical climate, this can be a year round concern. If you have so much as a tiny patch, treat it immediately because it has the potential to spread very quickly.
Treating Mold & Mildew
– Mildew grows on the surface and is easier to treat with bleach solution, soap, and some elbow grease
– Mold, by contrast, penetrates the surface making spores more dangerous, especially black mold, because it compromises human health.
– Small amounts of mold can be treated with bleach, but if you find a larger area of drywall, wallpaper, or carpeting, etc. you’ll need to irradiate by removal of those areas and replacement of materials.
Wet Areas In Cold Climates
Generally we don’t work in cooler climates, but plumbers who do have lots of tips and tricks for preventing burst pipes in the cooler months, like using antifreeze. (Will someone try this out and let us know if it works? We’re dying to know!)
Purifying Your Home Environment
-HVAC: Clean and Change filters in heating, ventilation, and filtration systems, and check on weather molding around the units.
-Condensation Lines around AC: Clean them out and pour bleach through to be sure they’re clear.
-Remove Lint from Dryer Vents
-Consider installing a whole-house air-purifier
-Change or flush whole-house water filters
-Check and change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smart Homes System Check
Now is an excellent time to install smart appliances, security systems, AV, Home Automation, and Smart HVAC or check that existing systems are installed and properly integrated. After you’re done testing existing smart home systems, take some time to bundle wires and tuck and secure them out of view and, most importantly, out of walkways. Call for maintenance to clean and check any solar systems.
Phase IV: Landscape Architecture & Spring Cleaning Exteriors
Check pipes for water leaks that may have burst in the Winter time
-Pump out septic systems and add healthy bacteria in the appropriate amount for the type and age of your system.
-It is also a good idea throughout the year to add healthy bacteria to toilets, which can be found at any hardware store.
-Pressure wash and polish tile or natural stone
-Remove moss or organic build-up
-Kill mold and mildew with bleach, but be sure to completely scrub clean on natural stone as it will leave pockmarks
-Have your landscaper seed and run full maintenance
-Stir up clay and add a new layer, as it will likely have become compacted
Outdoor Furniture & Umbrellas
-Oil all teak furniture
-Repaint any wicker, wood, or metal that shows signs of chipping, scratching, or fading
-Routinely make sure there is no organic matter resting on furniture or upholstery: it will decay the fabric, wood, or wicker
Fire Pits, Fireplaces, Heaters
These beauties tend to be pretty low-maintenance, just check that gas tanks are working, full, and ready to light!
Moderate climates must be maintained in your pool year round. Cooler climates are going to require a much more rigid regime to open and close pools for the season.
Pruning & Landscaping
-Pruning plants should be a top priority as its important it happens before plants begin to regenerate sap, while it’s still in a dormant state so you don’t lose any flowers or fruit for the season. This should be a project for the end of Fall or the end of Winter through March 1st.
-Perennials and Edible Gardens should be planted after the last frost.
-Bulbs (Tulips, Iris, Daffodils) separate the bulbs and plant independently from one another in the arrangement you want them to grow or they will cluster.
-Clean rain gutters and rake leaves throughout property.
-Look for and remove all standing water to prevent mosquitos and mildew.
-Check and repair all sound and lighting systems.