Did you get rid of some crap yet? Did you think of a better name for the grand de-cluttering? My working title has been “Get This Nonsense Out of My House,” but that’s a bit bulky for daily use, no? We could abbreviate. GTNOOMH. I don’t know. Surely someone can do better and then we can make it an annual thing with a cool name and a nifty blog badge. Or just the name. I’m not picky!
We’re at the stage of spring cleaning where everything looks messier because we’ve pulled things out of closets and there are bags of giveaway items laying around. I sure hope someone decides to drop by this afternoon. That won’t be embarrassing at all.
Anyway, today’s GTNOOMH haul is three bags of outgrown clothing. Hannah has also decided that she doesn’t really play with her American Girl doll any more, and is packing up the doll and accessories to pass on to a cousin. Frankly, Hannah is way better at this de-cluttering thing than anyone else in the house. I should put her in charge of this.
Cleaning the Windows, Doors & Trim
At this point, I’m not planning to make a huge spring cleaning task checklist, because those overwhelm me. I’m just going to tell you what we’re cleaning each day. If you want to join in, you can join in on any day. You’re never behind. If you feel like going back and doing the previous days’ tasks, that’s cool. If not, you can sleep well knowing that part of your house is cleaner than it was yesterday. No one ever said spring cleaning had to be perfect. No guilt!
Also, if you are naturally inclined toward cleaning stuff, you don’t need these instructions. Just go clean the windows, doors, and trim, and come back tomorrow to see what else you can clean along with me. If you always had a housekeeper or a mm who was really good at cleaning, maybe you need instructions for cleaning this stuff. That’s cool. That’s what I’m going to give you. This is basics.
So let’s clean some doors and windows and trim, shall we? There are many methods you can choose to accomplish these tasks.
The easiest way to clean doors is to grab your favorite cleaning cloth and a bucket of water and just start wiping them down. When the rag is dirty, rinse it in your bucket. Repeat. I use a Norwex Enviro cloth, so I don’t add any chemicals to the wash water. Sometimes I put a few drops of essential oil in there if I feel like there needs to be a scent. Clean doesn’t actually smell like anything, though, so do as you will on that.
If you’re using a regular cleaning rag, you could pour a cup of vinegar into your bucket of water. Or a capful of Pine Sol, or Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, or OxiClean. Just pick some sort of cleaner and it will probably work. Unless you have a compromised immune system and you plan to lick the door, bleach is not necessary for this step.
If you’re not a fan of the bucket and rag method, you could also get out the paper towels and some sort of all-purpose cleaner spray. Or Clorox wipes. But seriously, you don’t need to waste that many paper towels. You should find a rag and hug a tree, OK?
So you’ve wiped a door now. If the door has little crevices and decorative stuff, you’ll need to use the corners and edges of your cleaning rag to get in there and wipe out all of the gunk. Otherwise the dirty water will collect in those spots and the door may not look any better than when you started. Wipe off the handles. Wipe the top and sides of the door. As long as you don’t use a soapy cleanser in your wash water, you shouldn’t need to rinse the door. Just wiping it down once will be sufficient.
If there are scuffs or spots that need extra work, try a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or a Norwex Micro Cleaning Pad. These are slightly abrasive, though, so be careful. Scrubbing too hard can remove the finish from your door.
Unless you have 5 million doors in your house, this is a job you can finish fairly quickly. It’s nice to start with something easy so you feel all accomplished, like a spring cleaning hero. Admire your clean doors for a moment, and then move on to the trim.
Washing the baseboards and crown molding in your house is pretty much the same as washing your doors, except you have to find a ladder and/or crawl around on your knees to finish it. That makes it less fun, but it’s not technically challenging work. I like to take a dry dust mop and go around each room swiping the trim before I go crazy with the washing. Removing dust and cobwebs first means there’s less gross stuff to wash off. I know your house doesn’t have cobwebs. I’m just saying. If there were cobwebs, I would wipe those off first with a dry cloth or a broom wrapped in a t-shirt or an Enviro wand.
Refill your bucket. Rinse out the rag. Wipe the trim. Then ask someone for a back rub, because you just crawled all over the house cleaning baseboards. Doesn’t it smell cleaner in here already, though? Less dust and dirt. It’s a good thing.
Most people don’t enjoy cleaning windows. Depending on your choice of cleaning method, this could take a while. It also depends on your windows. How many do you have? How high up are they? Do they tilt out for cleaning?
You’ll need something non-linty to wipe the windows with, and some sort of cleanser. I use a Norwex window cloth and water. This is the easiest method ever, as far as I’m concerned. I talked about it in depth in another post, so you can see the 5-minute sparkly windows if you want that tutorial. If you don’t have the Norwex cloth, you can use another lint-free cleaning rag and a bucket of vinegar and water, or you could try Fuller Brush Ammonia Window Cleaner
and newsprint, or paper towels and Windex
(put some Windex on it! Name that movie….). I think it’s harder to get streak-free windows using those options, but if your choice is dirty windows, or clean ones with a few streaks, I bet you can live with the latter.
So, spray the inside of the windows, one at a time, and wipe them down. Use a cleaning rag to wash off the window sills and latches, too, if you didn’t hit those in your trim-cleaning frenzy.
If the windows tilt for cleaning, you can just do the outsides right then, as well. Otherwise, you’ll need to head outside to finish. You might need a ladder. If you live on the 200th floor, please hire someone to get on the ladder.
If you don’t really need a ladder but you have trouble reaching the exterior windows, try wrapping your cleaning cloth around a Swiffer mop. Spray the window, mop it clean. Easy peasy.
If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned the windows, you should take a well-deserved break and just gaze at those sparkly wonders. If I go too long between window cleaning sessions, I’m always amazed at how much brighter the whole house looks when I’m done.
Do you have a different method for these chores? Share your tips and shortcuts, please!
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