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Spring Cleaning 101

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Home Improvement
The month of March is typically the time when families stop using their heater. It is also noted as the beginning of spring. Many people use this time to get a fresh start in their lives as well as in their homes. Spring cleaning is not just for homeowners. People who reside in townhouses, condominiums, and apartments can also take advantage of this perfect time to remove clutter and get organized. While some people will devote an entire week to spring cleaning, not everyone is fortunate to have such time available. You can spring clean your home in one as little as a day, and in such a way that it will last longer than the spring season itself.

Most people who start a spring cleaning project have good intentions. However, what often happens is that they only do half a job; often losing steam halfway through the project. Problems that creep up and sabotage your good intentions can often be traced to lack of planning. Before you pick up a broom, grab a pen and paper a couple of days in advance and design your plan for the day. Remember to make a list of the items you will need to perform each task. When you design your plan, make sure you include the tasks that each person will perform. Something else you dont want to neglect to include in your planning is food. Pizza or other quick snacks can provide quick energy that will keep everyone motivated to work. You may also want to play some upbeat music. If youre not sure what to list on your plan, the items listed below are ideas that can get you started.

Indoor Cleaning
A good place to start your spring cleaning is with actual cleaning. Filters and vents can accumulate dust and dirt particles that can cause them to become clogged. With the hot temperatures of summer just around the corner, the last thing you want to worry about is a broken air conditioner. Replace old filters and make sure all vents in the home are free of dust. Excessive dust can also cause allergy problems, especially in young children. Now is also a good time to have your carpet steam cleaned. You can pay someone to do the job for you or rent a machine at your local grocery store for less than 40. Other indoor cleaning tasks include vacuuming your furniture and draperies, flipping your mattresses, and cleaning all your windows. If you have household pets, you should freshen up the area where they spend most of their time. While youre cleaning indoors, make note to replace anything you discover that is damaged or broken. Areas that people typically neglect include the dishwasher, shower curtain, and kitchen cabinets. Be sure to clean these areas thoroughly because bacteria can become a problem in these areas and cause a host of health problem.

Focusing on the Landscape
What people will notice first about your home is its outside appearance. Remove any weeds that have accumulated in your garden or in your yard. If the majority of your foliage is dead, you should replace them with bushes and bright spring flowers. Although you are probably already mowing your yard on a regular basis, be sure you dont neglect to do so during your spring cleaning.

Getting Organized
There are two areas of a home that most people fail to keep organized: closets and garages. It is just too easy to store excessive amounts of things in these areas. Spring cleaning is a perfect time to go through both areas and throw away anything that you no longer need or want. You can set these items aside in a bag and give them to charity. function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }