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Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning

Really Going to Town: A Deeply Cleaned House
Looks sharp, but did you take the extra effort to vacuum the coils underneath?
Looks sharp, but did you take the extra effort to vacuum the coils underneath?
Guillermo Lobo/iStockphoto

A deeply cleaned house with less clutter provides a good, pristine feeling. When the spring sunlight streams into the house through streak-free windows, onto a spotless floor, illuminating a room fully devoid of dust, the spine can start tingling. It's the clearest reminder that winter is gone for another six months or so and that the warmth of spring and summer lies just ahead. That same beam of sunshine can also point out reminders that the home still houses filthy flaws, however.

Take the bathroom, for example. An open window can let in light that points to mildewed caulk around the tub and sink. You may be able to eat a reasonably hearty meal off the gleaming floor of the bathtub, but still, there's that mildew and it's bugging you. For those who can't let go of little flaws others may overlook, there's plenty of spring cleaning still ahead. We've now entered the realm of projects.

­While it seems like a big deal, replacing caulk around the tub and other areas is actually fairly easy and inexpensive. It also creates a huge impact, restoring a bathroom or kitchen to its natural clean state.

Maintaining appliances is another easy way to further clean the home. If you didn't clean the oven in the preliminary sweep, now's a good time to do it. While in the kitchen, remove the grille from the bottom of the refrigerator front and stick a vacuum hose attachment underneath. This will remove dusty buildup from the coils, which will protect the compressor from being overworked. The same goes for the vents in your dryer, which can catch lint and the interior and exterior of your outdoor air conditioning unit. Cleaning appliances can vastly extend the life of their working p­arts -- and give even more of a sense of cleanliness.

Organizing is another good project to undertake around spring cleaning. Even after removing some of the clutter in the house, there are probably still stacks of things you plan on keeping. Purchasing some cheap storage bins or shelving can provide a neat place for useful items.

If the mania has worn off now and you've reached the point where the dust would have settled if there were any left in your house, maybe it's time to settle down on your great smelling couch to reflect on the benefits of what you've just done.