Billie and Robert Nicholson

When spring arrives, most people can’t resist the desire to give their property a thorough cleaning and airing out. Before you get overwhelmed at the thought, plan to take this project one room at a time and make it personal for your place.

Start at the top and work down

To make this most effective, it is necessary to pick up clutter and move furniture away from the walls.

  1. Clean the blades on ceiling fans with a vacuum first and then wipe them down with a non-toxic cleaner. Be sure to clean the globes and lamp shades of lighting fixtures. Remove the globes and wash in soapy water, rinse and air dry. Surprisingly, the light in your room will become brighter.
  2. While you’re up high, use the soft brush on your vac to go over the ceiling. You will be amazed at how much lint sticks to your ceiling, especially if you use the ceiling fans often. From here move to the walls and wash from top to bottom. Remember to wipe off the switch plates with disinfectant cleaner. Then go around the room with that soft vac brush and swipe the top edges of baseboards and quarter-round. Now you can vacuum the floor. Follow with a scrubbing if you need to. Be sure to vacuum/wash air flow registers.
  3. While the furniture is away from the walls vacuum behind each piece and wipe down the backsides. This is the home of dust bunnies. Take down window treatments and toss them in the dryer with a fabric softener cloth on air fluff setting, no heat.
  4. While the window treatments are down, you can wash the windows. Cloudy, cool temperature days are recommended because these conditions slow evaporation of cleaning products and make seeing the streaks easier. Vacuum first to clean out dust and debris from window tracks and sills. Use a microfiber cloth or a small squeegee with a smooth, nick-free, rubber blade.  Make your cleaning agent using 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup vinegar and 1 cup distilled water. Mix together and pour into a 32 oz spray bottle and shake to mix. If you have store-bought cleaners do not mix them together because a dangerous reaction may occur. Clean from the top down. Don’t forget to wash both sides of the door. Don’t forget to wipe door frame tops and anything hanging on the walls and door knobs.
  5. Back to the furniture, dust the surfaces then remove the items from each drawer, wash and dry the inside of drawer. Smell items stored, if they smell musty, wash them before folding them neatly and replacing them.
  6. Remove items from closet, sweep and wash closet floor. Review all items before replacing them neatly. Are there items you no longer wear or use? Donate them. Empty and reorganize items on shelves. Wipe down. Review wear on shoes. Are they run down on one side or the other? Time for repairs or the trash. Who doesn’t love buying new shoes?
  7. When you get to tables and chairs, don’t forget to wash the underside of the table and chairs. Hopefully, you will not find gum stuck there … but you will be removing grimy hand prints and perhaps stuck on food.
  8. Tackling the kitchen can be an all day affair, but well worth it. Remember the top of your refrigerator. Clean behind and underneath it with the vacuum, too. You will save money on electricity after cleaning. Then you can move to the inside. Review each shelf and its contents.
  9. When you clean around your kitchen sink, don’t forget to clean behind the faucets. The backsides can get pretty funky. Remember to wash down the back splash wall behind your sink, stove and prep areas.
  10. When you’re cleaning the sink, don’t forget to clean the garbage disposal. Make sure it is turned off before donning a rubber glove and using disinfectant cleaner on the underside of the black, rubber ring.
  11. When cleaning the stove top, remove the elements and drip bowls. Wash and replace. You may need to lift the surface holding the burners and clean underneath. Spills from boil overs can get pretty gross underneath.
  12.  When it is “clean the bathroom time,” start at the top cleaning light fixtures, walls, cabinets, and mirrors. Wash the tub/shower walls and floor. Check the drain for accumulated hair. Clean the toilet, inside and out, remove the seat and clean around seat bolts. Check for leaks. Then it’s time to empty all cabinets, shelves and vanity. Discard expired medications and cosmetics. Wipe down each item with a damp cloth and replace them neatly. Be on the lookout for mold as you clean.
  13. When all is done, wash the floor. Then relax and celebrate your fresh, clean spaces.

Billie and Robert welcome your questions or comments. You can connect with them at