Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Winter Cleaning

Everyone has heard of Spring Cleaning. It’s tired, it’s old, and most of us don’t really do it anyway. The concept makes sense though, when the sun starts to come out again the house opens up. We pull back the curtains, open the windows, and….

see all of the dust that has been accumulating in places you swore you’d already cleaned.

I’m pretty sure that’s why Spring Cleaning is a thing. At least it is for me. Winter Cleaning is something different entirely. I hadn’t really thought to even put a name on it until I was talking to a friend and telling her that I wanted to reorganize the kitchen.

“Oh! Like Winter Cleaning! Why isn’t that a thing?”

“That’s a good point! Why isn’t that a thing?”

So now, we’re going to make it one. (Thanks Sabrina!)


In the spring we tend to focus on the deep cleaning aspect; detailing cabinets, washing windows, and cleaning up the floors. Much of this isn’t even practical to do in the winter so it’s logical that it gets pushed off to the next season. I tried to clean a window the other day and the glass cleaner froze to the window and left streaks everywhere.

Ok, so what can be done in the winter? Here’s a list of things that will make Spring Cleaning go a lot easier that can be done right now.

11.     Tackle that closet! This is a good time to take out all the clothes and shoes you find that you aren’t wearing. Maybe it’s time to consider a closet organizer or shoe rack. Donate old clothes and other random finds. While this isn’t the most exciting chore, it’s better to do it when it’s cold outside and you aren’t missing out on anything, which is why I’m throwing it into the Winter Cleaning.
2.     Clean the oven. The holidays were likely hard on your oven and stove and cleaning this now will save you headaches later. I’ve had great success with commercial oven sprays. Spray it on, leave it, wipe it down later. Most of these will get rid of tough stuck on gunk with ease. If your oven is really bad, gently scrap up debris on the bottom of the stove and sweep it out before spraying the foam on. If you’d rather go for a more natural approach, a paste of baking soda, dish soap (look for one that’s tough on grease, like Dawn), white vinegar should do the trick.
3.     Clean kitchen appliances. I took a good look at my waffle iron today and I’m not proud. I’m good, (or so I thought) about wiping things down after use, but apparently I’m not as good as I thought I was. This is a good time to pull each one out and look for any bits of food or grease that you may have missed. Wash removable pieces and wipe down the rest with a damp cloth or paper towels.
4.     Go through that box. Oh, you know which one I’m talking about. We all have that box. The one that holds your high school yearbook, love notes from fourth grade, and other random bits of memorabilia that we can’t seem to part with. Take things out, dust them off. Drink hot chocolate, peruse old pictures and stroll down memory lane.
5.     Wipe down ceiling fans and blinds. You will thank yourself for this one come spring. Most of us don’t even think about it until it’s warm, we turn on the fan and that poof of dust flies off at us. Use an old sock and wipe each slat of the blinds and blade of the ceiling fan.
6.     Take care of your mattress. This is something that should optimally be done biannually. Vacuum off your mattress and flip it over. If you’re worried about odors, sprinkle baking soda all over it and leave it for the day. In the evening vacuum it all up and then flip it over.
7.     Move large appliances like the fridge and oven as well as furniture and vacuum behind it. An accumulation of dust behind appliances may bog them down if it gets into the internal workings.
8.     Take care of your books. Dust gets behind and on books on bookshelves. Take a few minutes to take them off the shelf and wipe them and the bookshelf down. My favorite thing to use for this is a Swiffer pad. The kind you use for the floor, they’re perfect for dusting.
9.     Clean upholstery. Especially if you have pets, use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove pet hair and other debris. Stubborn pet hair caught in fibers can also be removed with tape, a lint roller, or a pet brush. Flip furniture over and vacuum underneath.
10.  Go for the “out of sight out of mind places” like the doorframes and on top of the fridge. Being a little on the vertically challenged side, I tend to forget about these places, my very tall husband does not. Make it a point to go around and seek these places out now and every so often to prevent unhealthy accumulations of dust.

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