The phrase "spring cleaning" doesn't just have to mean cleaning the inside of your house. There are lots of other home maintenance-type things that would benefit from your attention once spring has actually sprung. Murphy's Law says that if your air conditioner breaks down, it's probably going to happen right in the hottest part of the summer. So before it gets hot, get your system checked out to make sure that it'll actually work well for you when you turn it on.
If the winter was particularly rough, your roof probably needs an inspection for loose shingles, your siding might be loose or rotting and your gutters could be full of gunk. Take care of it all before summer does its own damage. Lots of people talk about weatherproofing to keep in the warmth during winter, but if you didn't do that, consider things like caulking around your windows and sealing any other leaks to keep in the cool air once you turn on that AC. You'll soon want to spend time on your deck or patio, so inspect that for wear and tear and get it into shape. If you do all of these things yourself, mild spring temperatures might even make them slightly enjoyable.
Do you have a completely perfect, sparkling clean and organized house inside and out by the time spring rolls around? Not me; there's always something left to do. But it's good to have goals, and maybe this year you can get a little further with the help of these spring cleaning tips.
Author's Note: Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips
Writing this article felt a little "do as I say, not as I do" because nobody would accuse me of being a clean freak. Sometimes, it's all I can do to keep up with the day-to-day stuff, never mind doing extensive cleaning. When I looked around for tips on spring cleaning, though, I found a lot of different ways to approach it and realized that I could fit it in, too. I don't have to meet anybody's standards but my own. I didn't grow up with any kind of special cleaning routine when warm weather rolled around; things just got done as they needed to and as time allowed.
I did find several arguments against spring cleaning. Some people think that it's a bad idea because it might give you an excuse to put off doing something that you should (or at least could) do right away. So my best tip that didn't make the list is that if you see something that needs doing and you have the time to take care of it now, don't put it off by sticking it on the "spring cleaning" list.
- Top 5 World Spring Cleaning Traditions
- How Home Dry Cleaning Works
- How to Spring Clean Your Automobile and Increase Fuel Efficiency
- 10 Green Tips for Removing Stains
- The Ultimate Carpet Cleaning Quiz
- 10 Uses for Baking Soda: Guidelines for Cleaning Your Bathroom
- Cobb, Linda C. "The Queen of Clean Conquers Clutter." Simon and Schuster. Dec. 1, 2002.
- Dunn, Nora. "Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money." Wise Bread. Aug. 19. 2009. (March 9. 2012) http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money?wbref=readmore
- Esswein, Pat Mertz. "Spring Home Maintenance Checklist." Kiplinger's Personal Finance. March 2012. (March 10, 2012) http://portal.kiplinger.com/slideshow/SpringMaintenance/1.html#top
- Lind, Allison. "Spring Cleaning: Tips From a Pro." Shelter Pop. March 2, 2011. (March 10, 2012) http://www.shelterpop.com/2011/03/02/spring-cleaning/
- Presnal, Katja. "Spring Cleaning...Is There An App For That?" Lifetime Moms. April 3, 2011. (March 10, 2012) http://www.lifetimemoms.com/home-crafts/blog/spring-cleaning-there-app
- Russell, Nicole Ermann. "Spring Cleaning Shortcuts." Real Simple. April 2011. (March 9, 2012) http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/spring-cleaning-shortcuts-00000000054578/
- Stewart, Martha. "10 Clever Cleaning Tricks." Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. 2012. (March 9, 2012) http://www.marthastewart.com/275599/10-clever-cleaning-tricks/@center/277002/spring-cleaning#/end
- Stewart, Martha. "Spring-Cleaning Organizing Tips." Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. 2012. (March 9, 2012) http://www.marthastewart.com/275122/spring-cleaning-organizing-tips/@center/277002/spring-cleaning#/234877
- Tedeschi, Bob. "Getting a Jump on Spring Cleaning." The New York Times. Feb. 29, 2012. (March 9, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/garden/getting-a-jump-on-spring-cleaning.html
Living in clutter can actually be very bad for your health, both physical and mental. HowStuffWorks digs into the mess.