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Speed Spring Cleaning-Virginian Pilot 4/13/13

Speed spring cleaning

Getting your home in order needn’t take weeks. With some organization you can knock it all out in a weekend – or less.

By Toni Guagenti | Correspondent
 “Even when you clean on a regular basis throughout the year, your house really needs a deep cleaning once a year,” according to Kierste Wade, creator/editor of Simply Kierste, an online blog about everything homey.

“You can tackle larger projects, and give your home a thorough spring cleaning that will help maintain its appearance and give it a longer life.”

Get Organized. Create a Checklist.

 “If we came into your house to do spring cleaning there would be two people (and) they’re professionals,” said Alison Palmer, owner of Custom Maid Ltd. in Virginia Beach and a past president of the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI). “You have to think like a professional; You must have clear in your head what needs to be done.”

De-Clutter the Rooms.

Palmer suggested carrying a basket and placing items that don’t belong in certain rooms inside. Then, you can drop them off along the way to where they belong.

Palmer also suggested taking five minutes in each room, with pen and paper in hand, to assess what needs to be done. Cobwebs, window sills, chair rails, blinds – all get detailed, she said.

Have Cleaning Supplies and Equipment on Hand

Cleaners to have on hand include a de-greaser, a glass cleaner and a neutral pH cleaner, like Mr. Clean or Fantastik, Palmer suggested. She also advised wearing a carpenter’s apron, or a half apron with loops and pockets, to carry around the cleaners.

Most professionals also clean specifically with cloth, and not paper towels, to keep waste out of the landfill.

Palmer  suggested stocking up on Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. “They are indeed magic,” Palmer said

The Real Work Begins: How to Stay on Task and Not Miss Spots.

Palmer of Custom Maid and Jenkins of Molly Maid of Chesapeake suggest top to bottom, and picking a direction and sticking with it.

“The best advice I could give  is following the same procedure room by room,” Jenkins said. “Work your way around the room in sections so you don’t miss anything. Move all the stuff out of the way, wipe all the surfaces, and put everything back.”

Palmer said don’t forget to get the dust behind television sets and computers because those wires are dust collectors. Ceiling vents and floor vents are often neglected as well, and need to be cleaned, she said.

Curtains can be vacuumed, said Wright of Maid For You, if you don’t take them down and wash them in the spring.

“Vacuum hard surface floors first. If it’s dirty and loose, and you start making it wet, you’re just making mud,” Palmer said.

Tricks of the Trade.

If you have hard-to-reach places that accumulate dust, Jenkins suggested using a small paint brush. It’ll reach into places like the crevices of a pleated lamp shade, he said.

Jenkins and Palmer also suggest taking down the globes that cover light fixtures and put them in the dishwasher instead of washing them by hand.

Palmer also suggested letting the cleansers do their work on soap scum in showers, tubs and sinks while you clean other areas of the bathroom.

After it’s clean, wipe it up with a cloth, she said, and don’t forget to shine fixtures.

In the kitchen, consider taking the burner pans off the stove, soaking and cleaning them, cleaning the oven (hopefully you have a self-cleaning one), cleaning on top of the refrigerator and taking a vacuum hose to the bottom front of the refrigerator.

In the bedrooms, take time to vacuum under beds and dust the baseboards and get the cobwebs, Palmer said.

“Assess for yourself, ‘How clean do I want it to be?’” Palmer said. “‘Can I keep up with it?’ If not, hire someone.”

Have some fun!