Spring cleaning is never fun, but it’s the time of year when you can spruce up your home, get it ready for family, friends and guests, or prepare for a sale. If you really take each room in turn – polishing, washing and arranging – everything will glisten and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something BIG!
Before you tackle spring cleaning in Northern Vermont or elsewhere, you need to set aside some quality time to work from one end of the house to the other. Keep a running list of smaller tasks that you notice (you don’t want to get bogged down) and things you need or might be running low on around the house. Finding piles of paperwork, random keys or other items that need to be sorted? Keep a basket on hand to collect all these things together, so that you can find them a good home later. Let’s begin!
Improve the mood: The quickest (and cheapest) way to spruce up the feeling in any room is to change the textiles. Buy a bold comforter and your bedroom has a new focal point. Put new table linens in the dining room and give the space a homey, roundtable feel. Play with colors and patterns that complement each other to bring the room together. Launder all the bedding, curtains, pillows and runners for a fresher, cleaner room.
Organize your closets: This is the first step to organizing your routine. Weed out any unused clothing, gadgets and accessories. Your closets will feel bigger and more open for the year ahead. And, if you are looking to sell your home, then less clutter will make your home more marketable.
Tackle your bookshelves: Once your closets are in order, turn your attention to your shelves. Organize objects (books) by shape and subject. Get rid of any ripped titles. Ask yourself: Will I read this book within the next 6 months? Have a mix of books lined vertically and horizontally to add interest. Have wires on your shelves? Or gadgets? Tidy electronics wires and tuck them out of sight.
Remove stains and odors: Get them early and get them often; but if you missed them, like we all do, the American Cleaning Institute has a great guide for those “what to do moments.” For the day-to-day and especially for spring cleaning, you can count on baking soda. Sprinkle a little bit over your mattress or on the couch (don’t rub it in), let it sit and vacuum it up. Odors will be diminished instantly!
Clean the walls (…and the doors, knobs, frames, windows and switch plates): Don’t have time to repaint the dingy walls, now visible with the returning spring… and SUN? Grab a clean cloth/sponge and some water; for more persistent stains you can add a little mild dishwashing liquid. Try not to resort to stronger products that might soften the paint. Rinse the wall afterward with water.
Care for your carpets: After someone looks AROUND your home, for its space and feel, where do they look next? DOWN. If you aren’t already, with the salt and grime of winter, then make sure to take your shoes off before walking on carpeting. Vacuuming often, especially in high-traffic areas, will decrease the chance of permanent staining and reduce odors and unhealthy contaminants. Low-traffic areas don’t need to be vacuumed as often, but this would be a good time to ensure they get done! Having a professional carpet cleaner come in every year or two is a good way to make sure that your carpeting lasts for years to come.
Clean your tiles: No one likes scum and dingy tiles. In the kitchen, you can mix half a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water to use for mopping (make sure to rinse the floor with clean warm water after). You can remove stains from tile floors by preparing a paste of 50/50 scouring powder and warm water (rub the paste into the stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes). For a quick fix on a small stained section you can use a #2 pencil! Rubbing the area with a clean white or pink eraser will remove and/or lessen the stain. Baking soda (in addition to its role at removing odors) can brighten dirty grout, naturally, when you mix it with water to form a paste.
Wash over, under and within: Think about all the places that food, dust and other un-savories can get stuck. When approaching any room in your Stowe home, make sure to clean ALL of your appliances. For the fridge, as an example, you should make sure to clean the front, sides, back, under – even vacuum the coils – and while you are scrubbing down the inside, check the food for expiry dates and toss anything that didn’t make the date. Same goes for the oven, toilets, tub and any other big-ticket features of your home.
Shed some light on the matter: Clean the lamps and lampshades. And, if it’s not still 20 degrees out, then open the windows too. Fresh air and some mood lighting can go a long way to making a home feel better.
Don’t neglect the outside: Sweep porches and your walkway. Wash exterior surfaces, including the siding. Remove any debris or trash that became unearthed when the snow melted. Check light fixtures, lawn decorations, mats, etc. and replace them if necessary to make sure your home really says “WELCOME!”
Be sure to contact us at William Raveis Stowe Real Estate for all of your local real estate needs!