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It’s that time of year again. Birds are chirping, snow is melting, and the sun is coming out, shining its light onto all the dirtiest parts of your home. Time to devote a weekend or two to some annual clean up, to air out your home and get it ready for warmer weather. To ensure that no corner of your house or apartment goes untouched, check out this handy checklist.
1. Open All Your Windows for a Day… Then Clean Them
Your windows have been shut all winter. Time to open them up — and while you’re at it, Windex them both inside and out. Since it admits more light, spotless glass makes a room look cleaner. And letting some air in while you clean will eliminate some of the stale odors your walls, carpet, and furniture have been harboring for the last few months. Try to create a cross breeze by opening windows on opposite ends of your home first, before moving on to the other windows. Think of it as your house exhaling after a cold and wintry season.
2. While You’re At It, Clean Your Screens
What good is a window screen if it’s blocked by bugs, debris, or dust? To clean your screens, carefully remove them from the windows, lay them on a flat surface outdoors, and then vacuum them. Then wash them with a sponge and soapy water. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry before reinstalling.
3. Beat Up Your Rugs, Sweep Your Floors
One thing about opening the windows to the sunshine: It really highlights all the dust and grime that’s been sitting there since November. Now’s the time to sweep and mop… but not before you roll up all your rugs and take them outside. Vacuuming rugs is all well and good, and you should do it weekly. But beating rugs with a broom expels built up dirt much more effectively — plus, it’s more satisfying. And leaving those textiles outdoors to air out will really cut down on stale winter odors.
4. Wash and Store Winter Textiles
Do you spend most of your winter wrapped in flannel blankets, huddled on your couch with only the exhaust fan of a laptop to keep yourself warm? Well, cheer up: That season’s over. Time to wash those blankets, fold them, and banish them to winter storage. Doing so will cut down on clutter and allow you to recalibrate your living space to the new season.
5. Ditch Your Drapes
If you live in a really cold climate, you might have invested in thermal curtains or thick drapes. They’re great for keeping out the cold, but they also keep out light and pleasant springtime breezes. Time to steam-clean them and then pack them up until October.
6. Clean Your Kitchen… Especially Your Oven
If you did a lot of snowed-in cooking this winter, your oven might be showing some wear and tear. Take the new season (and the open windows) as an opportunity to use some powerful chemicals on the inside of your oven. And throw some elbow grease into that grease on the stovetop.
7. Scour Your Tub
Winter warmth-baths might have left a ring around your tub, and now’s as good a time as any to scrub them out. White vinegar is a great alternative to chemical cleaners — just make sure you’ve already completed task #1, because it’s a pungent smell.
8. Replace Your Air Filters
It’s recommended to replace your home’s HVAC air filters every three months — so, once a season. Clean air filters not only increase the efficiency of your cooling/heating system — they help keep you healthy since they reduce dust, pollutants, allergens, and bacteria levels in your home.
9. Clean Your Doors
Doors are a major magnet for dirt and oil, and sometimes all it takes is a little sunshine to make your grubby little pawprints visible for all the world to see. So take a few minutes with a sponge and a bottle of surface cleaner, and maybe polish the doorknobs while you’re at it.
10. Check the Batteries On Your Smoke Alarm
Because you don’t want to have an insurance claim on your hands, do you?
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.