by MIRIAM SANDERS and CHRIS TERCERO
Photography Editor and Promotions Editor
These are symbols of Spring and of cleaning, courtesy of Miriam Sanders.
Springtime is here! You know what that means. Spring cleaning is haunting you. Your house seems to be a bit cluttered, and you are faced with a humongous, yearlong mess that you have no idea what to do with. Some of the stuff you don’t even remember having in the first place. This clearly is a mess that you need some guidance with. Never fear, these 20 fabulous tips will help you tidy up your house.
1. Categorize your stuff. Categorizing is the key to success in spring cleaning. Have three bags or boxes labeled trash, keep, and donate. These three categories will make it easier to deal with the mess you are faced with.
2. Don’t be afraid to throw it away. Trash, trash, trash! There are so many things that you must throw away instead of donate. After categorizing, throw away your trash pile immediately because it could have bugs in it, or you could start to pilfer through the pile and fall in love with trash again. You are trying to let go of stuff, not keep trash in your closet. Don’t promise yourself that you will use something you won’t. If you haven’t used it in 6 months to a year, chances are it’s trash or something to give away.
3. Donate, donate donate! Donating items that you don’t want is very generous and good to do because one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure. It feels nice to know that your stuff will be used, even if you have no use for it. Donating is a great way to give back to your community, and it helps you get rid of stuff without filling up landfills!
4. Use a magic eraser. This thing is like magic! You can use it on pretty much everything and it will clean it up very well. It works really good on hard water stains and can clean up dirt on floor boards and doors. Use this to clean scuff marks on doors to get them back to the color that they should be.
5. Brasso to polish most metals. Shine up all of those brass handles in your house with Brasso. It will make your house look a lot nicer when you keep up with shining your metals and don’t let the tarnish show. Make sure that the metal you want to clean won’t get ruined by this cleaner.
6. Wood restorer to restore wood. When you are dusting your house and you notice that your wood is starting to look dull or scratched, just apply some wood cleaner to it and it will shine again. Wood restorer is good to use whenever you want your furniture to look new again.
7. Steam showers and bathtubs. Sometimes cleaners won’t work on getting really tough water stains off and that is when you bring the steamer out. It will loosen up the water stains so that the cleaners can break through it and take it off. The steam will also disinfect the surface and take the germs off. Use this only when needed because it usually doesn’t need to be used unless you are disinfecting a surface.
8. Shampoo carpets or polish wood flooring. Take the time to shampoo your carpets during spring break so that you can get out all that buildup of dirt out of your floor. It will make white carpet white again and make your house smell better. If you have hardwood flooring, try polishing it so that your floors look new again. Your house will look a lot cleaner with clean floors. Just make sure to keep it clean once you spend the time to deep clean it.
9. Repaint rooms and doors. Paint is the least expensive and most dramatic way to change a room. Choose a fun color that you like to paint your walls. If your doors are wood, you can leave them wood, unless the wood is beginning to fade. If the wood looks bad, paint it a nice color. For front doors, red looks flashy and nice. For indoor doors, you can choose pretty much any color, but it would be best to go neutral with black or white. Be sure to prime all surfaces and use painters tape for surfaces you don’t want paint on. Your house is your new canvas. Paint away!
10. Replace the batteries in the smoke detectors. This is a very important tip. You should already be doing this around every 6 months or so, but when you spring clean, you are reminded. Smoke detectors are vital and could save your life if you are asleep and your house catches on fire. Don’t put off changing the battery. Replace the batteries now, so you will be safe.
11. Clean blinds and wash curtains. The window itself may be sparkling, but the window coverings seriously need a makeover. Your blinds and curtains should not be neglected from the cleaning process. Hand wash the curtains if they are not machine wash friendly. Use a wet rag to wipe the blinds. You will be sneezing a lot less once the blinds and curtains are fully washed.
12. Use grout cleaner to make tiled grout white again. Ew! That grout is brown. You need to make it white again! Your friends will walk into your tiled floor room and will be amazed by your bright white grout. Grout is like teeth; if it isn’t clean and white, it is often looked down upon and in disgust.
13. Reorganize books and movies. Alphabetize your books and movies! Even though this may be annoying and a bit of a hassle, you will thank yourself in the long run. You will feel more organized, and it won’t take hours to find your favorite movie. Get a shelf to organize your movies and books so you don’t just have a huge stack of books and movies lying around.
14. Declutter your wardrobe. Oh my, your closet is very messy. It seems that Narnia could be back there, and you wouldn’t even know it. What you need to do is to declutter your wardrobe. Throw out some things that you don’t need. A clean wardrobe is a functional wardrobe, and that is what the whole point of spring cleaning is about. You need to find your clothing quickly, and the best way to do that is to make sure that everything is organized and uncluttered.
15. Vacuum your couch. Just like the floor, you want to get all the crumbs out of everything. When you are vacuuming the floor take a few extra minutes to vacuum out your couches. It will prevent the crumbs from all the food you eat from attracting ants to your house. It will also keep your couch a lot cleaner and who know, you might find all that money you’ve been losing.
16. Clean your fans. You don’t want dust flying all over your house every time you turn on a fan. You’ve worked so hard to make your house dust free and turning on a dusty fan will just spread the dust faster. Make sure to dust all the fans in your house when you dust so you won’t have to dust twice as much during the hot days.
17. Use silk cleaner for fake plants. Fake plants still need to be taken care of. You cannot just leave a silk plant alone forever. It needs love and care just as a normal plant would. While plants need watered, silk plants need cleaned. Use silk cleaner for these plants, or if you cannot afford them, try to wipe them with a rag. If all else fails, just shake the dust off of the plant outside.
18. Get a toothbrush and water to clean dusty knick knacks. Time to pretend to be Cinderella! Get a toothbrush and get in the cracks of your flooring to perfect it. Also, use a toothbrush to clean small trinkets. You want everything to be clean and not dusty. If you leave your knick knacks dusty, you look careless and then you wasted your time on spring cleaning. Go all out and clean big and small things.
19. Plant new flowers and plants. Gardening can be fun for indoors or out. If you have time, plant some new flowers and plants to beautify your yard. You can also add plants in your window for a nice window look. Be sure to water your plants, though, because dead plants are ugly.
20. Always use proper products. When you are cleaning certain things, don’t just grab the closest cleaner. Make sure the product you are grabbing will work on the surface you are going to be cleaning up. You don’t want to ruin something by scratching it or fading the surface just because you were too lazy to go look for the right thing to clean something with. This is probably the most important cleaning tip you could use.
After these simple steps, your house will be sparkling. Your house will look amazing, and you will feel better in the long run. A clean house is a better house. You just gave your house a facelift. This is also a great time for you to redecorate if you would like. Spring cleaning is annoying at times, but it is good for you to let go of some things. Out with the old, in with the new! Happy cleaning, Miners!