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Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning


First, Make a Cleaning Checklist
Before spring cleaning, it's a good idea to make a list -- even just a mental one -- of the steps ahead.
Before spring cleaning, it's a good idea to make a list -- even just a mental one -- of the steps ahead.
Blackred/­iStockphoto

­It's quite easy to engage in spring cleaning without any forethought. The lure of cleaning often begets further cleaning; it's difficult to wipe down the kitchen cabinets but leave the brown strip of grime around the baseboards. In short order, the refrigerator is pulled from its alcove and the floor beneath is mopped for the first time since moving in. There are those among us who prefer to plan, no matter what the task, and household experts suggest creating a game plan is an excellent idea to save time when undertaking spring cleaning.

Simply mentally running through the areas and rooms of the house will create an overview of what needs to be done. The rocking chair and crib your daughter forswore for new models when she had her baby can be discarded. With spring here, you can throw out that old stuff and toss the mental note to get rid of them in the mental wastebasket as well. The frayed cord on the lamp you noticed this winter can be sent off for rewiring. You've been meaning to clean out the pantry; spring cleaning's the perfect time.

Regardless how definitive the mental -- or even written -- checklist becomes, there will surely be more jobs to be done. Stopping in the middle of one cleaning task and taking up a new one will eat up time and perhaps even derail the drive to clean. All of this can be circumvented by quick planning and divvying up the chores ahead into segments. Think of spring cleaning in layers; start with the top layer and work each one away until it's finished.

The first layer would be to get rid of clutter.


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