As the scrubbing bubble-head of the house, I have two main jobs. One -- do the first round of spring cleaning and stuff removal (think closets, junk drawers and under beds) and two -- find and list jobs for the kids and the husband. (Think he will be a little less than excited to help? Pick up some tips on to get a man to do housework here.) It's important to choose tasks for them that they can do well, so that you won't need to do them over again.
Great choices for kids include jobs that involve moving things (getting all the cushions of the couches, rugs outside, picking up all the outside toys), sweeping, dusting, vacuuming -- and even polishing things. The man of the house gets the heavy housekeeping work -- and anything having to do with spiders. He'll move the furniture, flip the mattresses and help remove and replace the light fixtures.
So gather your cleaning supplies, including toothbrushes, rags and vacuum attachments and start scrubbing -- it's spring cleaning time!
Becki Harrold, 25-year housecleaning veteran who cleans with Miracle Workers Inc, in Grants Pass, Oregon, says it's best to clean "from top to bottom." This way, everything that you've cleaned off the ceiling and walls falls to the floor and can be removed as the last step in your Spring Cleaning Blitz.
She also says that to clean white (and only white) walls and ceilings, you might try a mixture of bleach and water -- a half-cup of bleach to a bucket of water.
Here are some other tips to make cleaning a breeze:
Your washing machine just not big enough for some stuff? Use your bathtub to clean washable window blinds, curtains, fixtures, duvets, screens and washable rugs. You can also dust off your houseplants (real and faux) in the shower. Your real plants will love the water, and clean leaves will allow them to better soak up the sun.
Dust the area around the window before starting. Don't clean a window in the direct sun. Get a nice squeegee -- it'll make your job faster, easier and it'll last. Use a solution of white vinegar (one-half cup for bucket of water) and water to clean windows, glasses and refrigerator shelves.
Don't like the smell of vinegar? Club soda is also good for cleaning glass. Tough to clean spots usually come off with some rubbing alcohol. If you don't have a squeegee, use crumpled newspaper to dry and polish the windows.
If you've got scuff marks or crayon drawings on your walls -- but not wood, semi-gloss or glossy painted surfaces -- a little TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) in a bucket of water will get them clean. You can find it at your local hardware store.
And while they're not good for kids to use, lots of women swear by the "Magic Eraser" sponges to get fingerprints, crayons and other smudges off walls. (See one mom's Mr Clean Magic Eraser review here!!)
Of course you need to pay attention to the manufacturer's label on your clothing, but in general, these homemade stain removers should help.
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