It must be serendipity that I am in currently in the janitorial industry and that I enjoy cleaning. I use my skills as a sales and marketing director to sell my ritual of welcoming spring.
While some people enjoy lounging, daydreaming or reading when the days are still cool but sunny I enjoy tying up loose ends and starting with a “clean” slate. So what if others do not share my enthusiastic spring dance in honor of mother-nature! Why do they insist on their own dance and will not applaud my magnificent performance? Here are my favorite things to do in spring:
1. Spring clean & de-clutter home & office:
Make a caddy of your basic tools. I use multi-purpose cleaner, microfiber cloths, lamb’s wool extension duster, furniture polish, disinfectant spray, trash bag and a laundry basket to put items I am removing from the room. If your ceilings are high you may need a small step ladder. I also have a broom to get behind furniture I can’t move and for carpet edges and corners. A vacuum with attachments is also very handy. Place your equipment outside the entrance of the room you are cleaning. Give each room a thorough, top to bottom cleaning. This is the perfect time to launder the curtains and bedding. If you are up to the challenge you can also flip furniture cushions, mattresses and rearrange the furniture. The best approach I have found is to start each room at the entrance door and circle the room. Start your high dusting, touching all surfaces on the walls such as picture frames, shelves, etc. If the curtains are not going to be taken down, remove the dust on the tops & fabric folds. Cobwebs can get anywhere, including the flat walls. Get under and behind the furniture with the duster and/or broom. Dust inside the window frame. Wash the windows. Use a microfiber with just a mist of all-purpose cleaner and dust the surfaces you can reach. The last thing I do is use my disinfectant spray and vacuum driveway bollards dudley.
2. Get rid of clothes not worn:
I bring storage containers or boxes and kitchen trash bags and a black marker. First go through the shelved clothing, second the clothes that are hanging and third clothes that are in drawers. Make a pile on the floor of clothes that should be place in the garbage. Box up the seasonal things you are going to keep. Things you are giving away put into the trash bags. Use the marker and put your name and season of clothes on the boxes. Label the bags with the person’s name you are giving them to, yard sale or Goodwill. Store away the seasonal boxed clothes, put the give-away clothes in your garage or auto so you will not forget to take them away.
3. Clean yard, porches & garage:
All of these are good for family team work, but this one especially is. The garage needs and occasional de-clutter and cleaning. You will need a broom, plenty of boxes or plastic containers, a black marker and maybe some white mailing labels to write on. If you have a large major crisis in there you may want to copy the show “Clean Sweep” and get out three tarps on the drive or yard. Tarp number one is for things to keep, tarp number two is for giving away or yard sale, tarp three is trash. When you have everything out that you can, you may now dust, sweep and/or pressure wash. Organize tools by their use and season. Keep the yard tools together, garden tools and the basic repair tools together, etc. The sports equipment and toys are also organized and the off season sports equipment and toys should be boxed and put up. Tarp number one “things to keep” will be boxed up and labeled and neatly put back into the garage. Tarp number two “things to give away or yard sale” should be boxed, bagged or price tagged for yard sale. Label the give-away or yard sale items and neatly put back into the garage. Tarp number three “trash” items need to be bagged if they can fit into garbage receptacle or hauled to the dump if necessary. Now the garage is neat and clean!
4. Thoroughly detail autos:
Have a contest with someone if you are detailing two autos! Guard yourself from the sun. Tools needed are a vacuum with attachments, trash bag, towels, paper towels, 2 microfiber cloths and a large terry cloth, two old large beach towels, a long handled car wash broom if you have one, and a stiff brush for the wheels & tires and bucket & sponge. I also fix a small caddy with window cleaner, Mr. Clean, some Q-Tips, Armor-all, Febreze, car wash, wax with an applicator or soft cloth and tire “black” spray. Start on the inside and fill up your trash bag with any garbage in the auto. Look under seats and in the cracks of the seats. Pick up items that will hurt your vacuum. Take out all the carpets and lay them down to vacuum. Then fill a bucket with about a gallon of water and an ounce of Mr. Clean. Use this water first to scrub the seats with a very damp cloth, it may remove some stains and it smells good. Then wash the dash, wheel, seat dividers and inside the doors. Constantly clean your cloth in the bucket. Dip Q-tips in the water and use to get the dash cracks, corners and areas the cloth couldn’t get into. Spray Armor-All on a microfiber cloth and wipe down the dash and hard smooth surfaces made from similar material to shine up and make like new. When finished put that cloth away from the others so you will not use it again. Time for the inside windows! I use a window cleaner and paper towels to wash all the inside windows, then I go back over them with a microfiber cloth and it really polishes good. The last thing I do is vacuum the carpet. Be sure to adjust the seats forward and backward to get all areas. Last I give the fabric and carpet a spray of Febreze, carefully avoiding my windows. Vacuum the carpets that you took out. If you want to organize the trunk and vacuum, this is a good time. Now get the windows up and shut the doors. Empty your bucket and refill with plenty of water and a little carwash. Hose down the entire auto and wash by sections. Immediately rinse off each section as you go around the auto. When you think you are done walk around the auto for any touch-ups. Now use your stiff brush and scrub the wheels and tires a few times, then rinse. Hose off the carpets you removed and let air dry. Use a beach towel to dry off all areas of the auto. After drying and no water spots it is time to wax. My favorite auto wax is the new spray on wipe off type, but if you are using the paste wax it is done the same way. Put wax on a section at a time, and then remove it with the second beach towel. Let the paste wax dry before buffing off. Again check all around the auto for any areas that need touched up. After waxing I wash the windows with paper towels and then polish with the microfiber cloth. Your wheels and tires should be dry by now so you can spray your “black” spray on them. Now that is a sparkling beauty!
5. Get planting beds & flower containers ready:
You can start seedlings indoors or wait for the nursery centers to stock your favorite plants. Guard yourself from the sun. Tools you may want for the large planting beds are a tiller (if large area) rake, shovel, garden claw, landscape fabric or plastic, gloves, trash bag potting soil (my favorite is Miracle Grow with the water holding material). First pull all weeds and place in trash bag. Rake the surface of leaves, old mulch and debris, put in trash bag or compost bin. Use shovel or garden claw to turn the soil (till if large area) and mix in your potting soil. After the area is complete, cover with the landscape fabric or plastic. When you are ready to plant, cut holes in the landscape fabric or plastic and place plant where you want. To finalize your flower gardens, cover the fabric or plastic with mulch or rocks. For the flower containers, if they have previously been used they must be washed and let air dry. When the weather is warm enough you can plant. Place some large stones or broken pottery pieces in the bottom for drainage. Fill pots ¾ of the way full. Decide where to place your plants and surround them with potting soil and firmly press down. Give a good drink of water. Check on weekly to remove dead material and water if needed.