We all have our routine when it comes to cleaning our home. But dirt and dust lurks in surprising places. Places that might even have been overlooked during last year's thorough spring cleaning. Unleash your inner neat freak and scrub the long-neglected corners of your living space.
Let’s start with an easy one! The next time you wash your sheets, flip your mattress. It’s best to do it every six months or so to avoid your mattress wearing down in one area. If you have a mattress that can’t be turned, you can rotate it instead and spin it head to toe. And while you’re at it, give your mattress a good once over with a vacuum. When is the last time you did that?
Garbage cans get gross. Crumbs, scraps and icky things slip down the sides. We know it’s tempting to quickly throw a clean bag over it and pretend it’s not there, but twice a year, do yourself a favour and clean it out. Scrub down the interior with a mix of soap and bleach for extra sterilisation. This is a job you'll want to wear gloves and old clothes for, since bleach can stain fabrics. Let it dry thoroughly before you put the new bag in.
Pro tip: Sprinkle a bit of baking soda at the bottom before you add a bag. It’ll help absorb any unpleasant odours that may be lurking.
If you have a freestanding refrigerator, you might want to take a look at what is going on behind it. Move your refrigerator forward a few inches so you can easily reach behind it. This might require an extra set of hands. Then use a wet cloth to wipe away the dust and cobwebs that may have collected there. If you do this a few times a year, it can even extend the life of your refrigerator. If you have the space, you might want to pull your fridge a few inches out from the wall. That will make it easier for the motor keep it cool.
Got a canister for utensils? How about an organiser for forks and knives? A knife block? A pot rack? These organisers are inconspicuous hoarders of dust and grime, especially if they’re located near the stove. Airborne grease airborne can accumulate on any surface. Take the time to wipe them clean. Go from room to room and unload, dust, and scrub down any storage space you can find. Be sure to let it dry before putting the contents back.
Window treatments like valences, curtains and drapes can be cleaned with a vacuum. But if they look like they need some extra care, it might be high time for a wash. Check the cleaning instruction tag before you decide how to proceed. Many fabrics can handle your washing machine's delicate cycle. Others may be dry clean only. Hanging your drapes outside for a few hours to air them out can also do wonders. Hang them out of the sun, and obviously pick a dry day.
Blinds need a good clean as well. Dust them first with a duster or a cloth. Vinyl or metal can be wiped down with vinegar and water. But if they are really greasy, you can give them a bath. Take the whole thing down and soak it, with a little laundry or dish soap added to the water. Wipe off the grime, give it a rinse in the shower, and hang them to dry. Your slats will be squeaky clean. It takes time, but the difference between dingy blinds and clean blinds is huge.
While most of us keep our sheets and towels clean as part of our routine, somehow we don’t think twice about lounging on a dusty old sofa. Let’s change that! Strip the covers off decorative pillows, grab your duvet cover, and round up your throw blankets. Most of these items can go right in the washing machine on the delicate cycle, but check the tags to be sure. Warm up your iron to press wrinkles out of pillowcases and duvets. If nothing else, take them outside, beat the dust out of them, and let them air out for a few hours. They’ll smell — and you'll feel — a whole lot fresher.
You probably remember to dust your bedside lamps, but what about those overhead lights ? Ceiling fixtures are notorious for collecting dust and dead bugs. Turn off the lights and remove the fixtures. Give them a gentle rinse in soapy water and dry them with a soft rag. If you have recessed lights, you can get rid of dust and cobwebs with a damp towel.
Pull up your couch cushions can unearth a treasure trove of lost items. That extra change might be useful, but the candy wrappers? Maybe not. Clean up any lingering items and give the entire the couch a pass with the vacuum. If the cushions have removable covers, take them off and wash them.
It’s all too easy to keep unwanted stuff around the house. But all that clutter is taking up space! Rather than spending a whole weekend clearing it out, tackle small projects to start weeding out junk.
The next time you wipe down the shelves in your fridge and pantry, do a quick check for expired foods.
Empty your dresser drawers, remove unwanted clothes, refold your remaining items and put them away in organised piles. Your drawers will look a lot more spacious and cleaner. Set up a space in your house to stash items to donate and clear it out regularly. If you’re feeling ambitious, do a sweep of your basement or storage space to get rid of things you have no use for. Whenever possible, donate or give away.
These extra jobs will make the days will fly by, and your home will be as clean as can be.