Spruce Up For Spring
By Lorraine Shoemaker

[media-credit name=”bigstockphoto” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Spring is time to let in fresh air and sunshine! But oh no!, now every corner is exposed and each dust mote is suddenly all too visible. It’s time to do some deep Spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Planning and organization helps break the task into smaller, more manageable chores. Walk through each room or section of your house and make note of your trouble areas. Once you know where you want to start, consider the tools and supplies that will be needed for each room. Make sure you have everything needed before you start to avoid last minute store runs.
Around the house: dust ceilings and walls, wash or spot clean as needed. Vacuum and clean rugs, vacuum and clean upholstered furniture, clean window coverings-wash or dry clean drapes and clean blinds with mild soap and water, dust thoroughly throughout (use a long handled duster for ceiling fans), clean heating vents and grates, change smoke detector batteries and check that fire extinguishers are operational. Wash all windows.
Kitchen: the trouble areas tend to be all about grease build up. I’ve found baking soda to be a great tool for grease relief-gentle, mild and non-toxic. Unplug the refrigerator, check the coils under and behind the refrigerator for dust accumulation. Use a vacuum or, if needed, a special brush can be purchased at your local hardware store. Defrost freezer and clean with solution of 2 Tbsp baking soda in about a quart of hot water. The grease filter on the stove may be run through the dishwasher for easy cleaning.  Dishwashers have a food trap in the inside bottom-clean trap and run machine- empty- on rinse. Add 1 cup of baking soda to clean and freshen.
Living room:  Wash wood surfaces with a mild soap-I like Murphy’s Oil Soap. Use a long handled duster to clean the blades of the ceiling fan. Clean glass on pictures with slightly damp cloth. Pay attention to grimy door knobs and frames as well as baseboards. Vacuum under couch and chair cushions. Don’t forget to wash your front door inside and out-it is the first and last impression for your guests. Remember window sliders and thresholds.
Bedrooms are easiest to clean if you clean out your closet first-to avoid cluttering an already clean room. Clean wood with mild soap, and wash or spot clean walls, doors and frames and baseboards as needed. Wash all bedding including mattress pads, bed skirts and bedspreads. Turn/rotate mattress and clean pillows-most are machine washable-check labels.
Bathroom: Take down and launder shower curtain and liner. Wash inside medicine chest and linen closet. Scrub shower and tub-again baking soda melts soap scum on walls and glass doors. It also cleans and shines faucets. Scrub toilet including floor bolt, seat bolts and under and behind toilet. Launder bath rugs. Restock first aid kit.
Laundry room: Clean inside the washer and dryer. Run wash load empty with a small amount of bleach. Clean inside lint filter. Wash outsides of appliances. Pull dryer out and vacuum back of dryer, vent and wall area to help prevent fire from excess dust and lint.
Now, open your windows, relax with your favorite beverage and drink in the heavenly freshness of Spring-inside and out.