Wait until a weekend when it's warm enough to leave the windows and doors open. The sweet spring winds will carry dust out of the house and refresh the heart of the home.
Spring cleaning can seem daunting when you think of cleaning your entire home top to bottom, but if you break the process down into small projects, spring cleaning is not only manageable but easy. To help you get going, put on your favorite music while you clean. For my mother, this meant Frank Sinatra!
A SPRING CLEANING PLAN
Clean the refrigerator, removing all of the food and wiping down the shelves, walls, and bins with a nontoxic cleaner. Throw out old items and rearrange the food by type: dairy on one shelf, condiments in the door shelves, lettuces and fresh herbs in the crisper, and other vegetables and fruits in a second drawer if you have one. Put food that should be used quickly in an easy-to-see and easy-to-access spot. Store leftovers in glass and porcelain containers. To further minimize the use of plastic products, use upside-down plates to cover bowls containing leftover food.
Go through the medicine cabinets and throw away all medicine that's old and/or past the expiration date. To prevent excess chemicals from entering the sewage system, don't flush the medicine down the toilet. To dispose of pills, crush them in a container and cover them with water. Fill the container with kitty litter to absorb the water containing the chemicals. Transfer to a plastic bag, seal, and put in the trash. Clean the toilet: Use a brush for the inside of the toilet, then wipe down the outside with environmentally friendly cleaners. Clean the sinks and shower (and look for any signs of mold). Clean the entire floor, paying special attention to the area around the toilet.
Go through your closets and ask your family to do the same to theirs. Remove clothes you haven't worn for a couple of seasons. Put them aside and donate them to a local charity or clothing bank. Clean the floors, including under the beds where the dust collects. Open the windows while vacuuming to let the dust out. Europeans habitually air out their bedding and pillows by hanging them over the edge of windows to red rid of dust or mites. Do this regularly when the weather is nice.
4. Dining room and family room
These areas will collect the most dirt due to frequent use. Take all the cushions off the chairs and couches and vacuum under the cushions. You'll be amazed the amount of dust and crumbs you'll find. Move the furniture, and you'll discover that more dust awaits you. Vacuum thoroughly under the dining room table. If you have an area rug, remove it and clean under it. Take the rug outside and put it over a railing, where you can beat the dust out and then let the rug air for an afternoon.