It seems like every year the summertime gets shorter and shorter. As August ends, and September approaches conversations seem to revolve around curiosity about where the summer went, what we did, and how bummed we are that our beach time is closing in on us. For many people, including The Cleaning Diva, the end of summer marks major cleaning time. It’s time to clean out our summer homes, clean out our closets, and clean college abodes in preparation for fall.
Here are some tips to use while getting it all done:
Purge First, Clean Second
Throw out or donate the things you don’t need. Get rid of old papers, household items, expired food and medication, and any clutter in drawers, cabinets or surfaces that are just collecting dust. Donate any lightly worn clothes, shoes or accessories that you’ve shoved in the back of your closets and don’t planning on wearing again next summer. Many non-profit organizations will come to you to pick up donations, such as the Lupus Foundation of America. Don’t bring anything with you from your current residence to your next dwelling that you do not need or will not use, especially if it’s a dorm room. Space is limited, and clutter adds up quick, preventing a clean and comfortable environment.
Time to clean
Take this literally. You need to dedicate a few hours (at least) to clean. If you are local and can’t make the time to clean yourself, call The Cleaning Diva for help. If you’re cleaning out your summer home, you’ll need to wipe out and disinfect your small and large kitchen appliances, such as toasters, coffee makers, microwaves, stoves/ovens, and refrigerators. You’ll also need to wipe down cabinets, surfaces, blinds, ceiling fans, lights, fixtures and furniture around the house. If you want to do all this the “green” way – mix some vinegar, water and fresh lemon juice in a spray bottle and grab a Scotch-Brite multi-purpose scrub sponge (the blue one). Add the solution to some baking soda and make a paste if sticky spots or caked on grime is an issue. If you prefer not take the all-natural route, then I suggest using Fantastik, all-purpose Heavy Duty cleaner spray in the kitchen. I’ve found that it works best for easy cleaning of stuck on food in appliances and on cabinets and surfaces. Either way, wear gloves. For both methods – spray down surfaces, scrub with the no scratch, abrasive side of the sponge, and wipe clean with the sponge side. Wipe with paper towels or a dry rag. If your appliances, especially the refrigerator, need more TLC, it’s best to take shelves and drawers out and wash them in the sink. Make sure you get in all the crevasses. Use an old toothbrush if you need to.
This is also a good time to move furniture around the house to get behind and under it with the vacuum and to wipe down hidden wood work and trim. Wipe down dusty closet and cabinet shelves with a damp rag and vinegar mixture mentioned above or some Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar. Don’t forget the bathrooms! Give your commode a good wipe down, including the neck and base of the toilet. Give tubs, showers and sinks a good scrub down with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a bleach based product such as Clorox Bleach Gel or Soft Scrub Mold & Mildew Stain Remover Spray Gel with Bleach. Throw out your old shower liner and replace it if it’s in bad shape.
If you’re heading off to college – or one of your kids are — the dorm or apartment should be move in ready, but it’s still a good idea to give everything a quick disinfecting wipe down with an antibacterial solution like Windex Multi-Surface Antibacterial spray. Make sure you wipe door knobs and handles. If it’s not really clean – follow the steps above!
As sad as it is to see the summer end, you’ll be happy everything is clean and ready for you when you arrive next year! Cleaning feels good!