Break out those dusters and vacuums, it's time for spring-cleaning. It can be a dreaded task but tidying up can lead to a healthier you and home.
The key is to break it up over several weekends. You'll also want to come up with a plan from room-to-room or task-to-task.
“That's one of those dreaded spring cleaning tasks for a lot of us, so the windows you're going to want to tackle this task on a cloudy day or at a time of day when your windows are in the shade,” said Sara Morrow, deputy home editor with Consumer Reports.
Start with the frames then go to the panes, and don't forget about the outside windows.
Next up, dusting.
A good technique is to work from top to bottom and from the center of the blinds and work your way out.
“Especially with things like blinds and ceiling fans, things of that nature, we recommend either a lambswool duster or even those simple white cotton cleaning gloves you see where other cleaning products are sold. Really easy to slip those on and run those over blinds or over a ceiling fan,” said Morrow.
Morrow said people remember to take care of the obvious things but overlook the cleaning appliances that do the heavy-lifting on a weekly basis.
“I know that might sound crazy but the washing machine for instance, it can build up soap scum, mildew, even mold over time,” said Morrow. “Running a cycle without clothes on the hottest setting and a cup of bleach that will kill any of the mildew or mold or soap scum that develops over time."
Closets can also make a big difference. If you don't wear it and can live without it, ditch it or donate.
Consumer Reports recommends closet systems that help get you organized.
And from where you store your clothes to where you sleep, it's important to give it the once over to keep you healthy and your home nice and clean.
“Over time your mattress can get dusty. There may be flakes of skin that get in there so it's nice to give that a refresh just to help it get ready for spring,” said Morrow.
And if your dishwasher has a certain funk to it, place a clean bowl filled with vinegar at the center of the bottom rack and run your dishwasher on a normal cycle without detergent. The vinegar will sanitize and deodorize your dishwasher.
For tips on allergy-proofing your home, click here.