When you tackle a room, start from the top and work down. That way anything you knock off the ceiling, fixtures and drapes will land on the floor where you'll pick it up last. These general cleaning tips will help, too:
- Invest in a couple of artist's paint brushes and use them to dust those hard to reach areas, like lampshade folds, textured vases and picture frames.
- Buy a dusting mitt or use an old sock to dust blinds.
- Invest in a microfiber cloth to clean electronic equipment, ceiling fans, windows and mirrors.
- Make good use of your vacuum cleaner. A quick once-over with the soft brush attachment of your vacuum will get the dust and some of the odor out of your sofa, chairs and pillows.
- While you have the vacuum out, strip the beds and give them a thorough vacuuming. Dead skin cells and dust mites have probably added some weight to your mattress since last spring. A thorough cleaning will get rid of allergens and help you breathe easier.
- Before you vacuum the floors, run the soft brush attachment over your baseboards. If they're really grimy, they may need a soap and water scrubbing. Otherwise, a little wand work will get rid of last winter's dust.
- Shampoo pesky carpet stains in high traffic areas, and consider hiring a professional service to clean your carpets twice a year.
- Protect your carpet from future assaults with area rugs near all of your exterior doors.
- If you have pets or smoke indoors, keep carpeting fresh-smelling with baking soda. Just sprinkle baking soda liberally on the carpet, and let it stand overnight.