Special Report on Spring Cleaning

They’re aimed at the Frustrating Five: spring cleaning tasks that homeowners tend to put off and/or ignore more than the others. Since spring is the most agreeable time of year to tackle household maintenance (even the vexing ones), here’s a list to contemplate—along with some widely accepted strategies for taking them head-on:

  1. Kitchen cabinets gradually build up grease—and getting rid of it is one of those jobs we don’t tend to tackle on a regular basis. The first of the top 5 spring cleaning tips is the easiest: that grease is no challenge if you remember to keep a single-purpose product on hand. Hardware stores and supermarkets stock them: just look for the household cleaning bottles that have “Dirt and Grease” somewhere on the label.
  2. Dirty windows are frustrating because they actually present two entirely different spring cleaning challenges. One window cleaning product that works fine inside is often less effective on the outside. Since there are two different kinds of buildup, it pays to experiment with different window cleaning approaches (there are many), and to accept that you might need to stock two different glass cleaning products. One spring cleaning tip west coast householders can follow: if it’s a warm day, wait for it to cloud over so the sun doesn’t dry the cleanser before you can wipe it off.
  3. The dishwasher needs some TLC for itself, too. It doesn’t take a maintenance engineer to pull out the racks and clean out the bits of food (well-washed, but moldering nonetheless!) that collect on the drain screen. Local stores carry a specialty cleaning product you use to clean the dishwasher itself: they recommend running a special cycle using it once a month—realistically, a couple of times a year should suffice.
  4. That burning smell from the oven means that it’s time to give it the deep cleaning we don’t enjoy doing. Any of the ammonia-based spray cleaners will spritz away some of the baked-on deposits when you let them soak in for a few minutes—just be careful not to breath in the vapors. Another approach is to sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the oven, then spray white vinegar (and let it foam up). In any case, have some old sponges on hand and a lot of paper towels—they’ll all be headed for the trash.
  5. Last member of the Frustrating Five is one that is probably least subject to a single solution. It’s sorting out the mess that has collected in the ‘what-not’ closet (AKA, the ‘catch-all’ closet; the ‘horror’ closet). The same applies to the ‘catch-all’ drawer. The frustration stems from the dual problem that you never know:
  • when you will again need the pieces, stray tools, or other bric-a-brac that has piled up in there; and
  • you do know that you’ll never be able to find it buried in the mess.

The only solution is to pull everything out, toss all you can, then divide the rest into the stuff that rightly belongs in the house and the stuff that belongs in the garage. You may be able to use clear plastic containers to segregate like objects: at least you’ll be able to see them when you need them.

Springtime is also the leading time for real estate initiatives. Should that describe your own household outlook, I hope you’ll give us a call to discuss today’s market!