Wednesday, March 6


IT'S HERE! Me and my fellow OCD-er's favorite time of year....Spring cleaning! Home owners all over the world are gearing up to clean their homes after the long Fall and Winter seasons. If you're normal and look upon Spring cleaning more of a chore than a joyous occasion, then take a deep breath and ready yourself to tackle this time honored tradition. The Domestic Curator's comprehensive and handy guide breaks it down for you: Spring Cleaning & To-Dos: once-a-year tasks perfectly suited for Spring; Exterior To-Dos: fix-ups and repairs for the outside of your home; and Room-by-Room Tasks: decluttering and cleaning tips for specific rooms. So grab your mop and a bucket of sudsy water, cause here we go.....

Interior To-Dos
Wash Windows
Be sure to pick a cloudy day to wash windows. If it's too sunny, the cleaning solution will dry too fast and you'll have streaks. For a window-washing solution, combine 1/2 cup of sudsy ammonia, 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and 1 gallon of water. It works every time!
Sliding Door Tracks
Sliding glass door tracks probably aren't the first spots you'd think to clean, but you'll appreciate having done it before the outdoor entertaining season gets into full swing.  Scrub the tracks with an old, dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then using your vacuum hose to remove it. Finish with a wet sponge to catch any dust.
Overlooked Surfaces
You may overlook these surfaces on a daily basis, but once a year, give your baseboards, door frames, and walls a good scrub-down. Wash them with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.
Deep-Clean Carpets
To maintain a new carpet's warranty, you may need to have it cleaned professionally every 12-18 months. You can do it yourself by renting a deep cleaner or buying a professional-style model designed for home use.
Clean Under Furniture & Appliances
Grab a 'loved one' and move your sofa and chairs, roll up area rugs, then vacuum the floors. Move your kitchen appliances away from the wall as much as you can. In most cases you can pull them out enough that a vacuum hose will reach behind.
Freshen Furniture
Restore smooth leather with an upholstery cleaner and conditioner, you can find great leather cleaners at any auto shop. Use a suede brush to perk up nubuck leather. For wood furniture, I love Pledge wipes that smell like lemons. But you can also make your own all-natural cleaner and polish by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle; shake well and spray onto a microfiber cloth.
Refresh Window Treatments
Curtains and draperies aren't typically dirty enough to launder. Instead, go over them thoroughly with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum. To remove dust from sheer curtains, put them in the dryer on low with a fabric-softener sheet.
Dust Light Fixture
Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dust fixtures and bulbs you can reach. For ceiling fans, skip the ladder and use an expandable duster. To clean grimy bulbs, make sure bulbs are cool to the touch, your hands dry and then clean bulbs with a lightly dampened cloth with vinegar. 
Get Organized
Pick up and eliminate clutter in each room before you start cleaning. Equip yourself with a few designated containers when you are picking up in each room: a box for garage sale items, another for items to donate, and a garbage bag for items to toss. After putting away the things you are keeping it's time to clean.
Make a Wardrobe Transition
Now that it's warm outside, have your winter clothes cleaned and place them towards the back of your closet. Bring your Spring and Summer clothing towards the front. Arrange by color and article of clothing. I love being able to go into my closet and pull out a yellow blouse with out hunting!
Safety Inspection 
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Perform all required safety checks. And if you don't own a fire extinguisher, purchase one NOW. Learn how to use it, and keep it in the kitchen.

Room-by-Room Cleaning Tasks

  • Dust lighting fixtures.
  • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
  • Wash bench or other furnishings.  Launder bench cushion, if applicable.
  • Empty out coat closet. Wash walls and floor. Sort items as you return them to the closet.  Store out of season items, donate unneeded items. 
  • Clean or replace entry mat.
  • Sweep and scrub floors.  
  • Reseal grout lines, if necessary.

  • Dust furniture.
  • For each drawer: remove items, wash drawer, place items back neatly. Donate items you no longer need. 
  • Remove everything from closets. Sweep and wash closet floor. Put everything back neatly. 
  • Move Bed. Sort and put away anything that's under your bed. Sweep or vacuum under bed.  
  • Freshen mattress by sprinkling with a mixture of baking soda and fabric softener, let it sit briefly, and then vacuum it up, this helps eliminate dust mites. Flip and rotate your mattress and use the baking soda mixture again.
  • Launder bedding and curtains. Wash pillows and duvet in hot water. Air out mattress pad, if you have one.
  • Dust lights and vacuum lamp shades.
  • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
  • Dust artwork.
  • Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.

      • Empty all cabinets and vanity. Wash inside, replace items neatly. Discard and replace expired medications, cosmetics and other health and beauty products.
      • Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
      • Clean tub. Wax if necessary. 
      • Clean toilet, inside and out.  Remove seat and clean around seat bolts.
      • Replace worn bath mats and shower curtain.
      • Clean sink and drain.
      • Shine faucets.
      • Clean mirror and frame .
      • Dust light fixtures. 
      • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
      • Sweep and wash floors.  
      • Reseal grout lines if necessary. 

      • Remove and clean window coverings.  
      • For each cabinet, drawer and the pantry: Remove items, wipe surfaces and place items back neatly. This is a good time to take an inventory of your pantry and purchase needed items.
      • Wash and sanitize cutting boards
      • Sharpen knives
      • Wash cabinet doors and knobs
      • Clean oven and stove top. Remove elements, wash and put back.
      • Clean and organize fridge and freezer. Check for expired foods.
      • Clean under fridge and stove and vacuum refrigerator coils.
      • Wash counters, back splash, sink, faucet and drain.
      • Clean dishwasher and microwave.
      • Dust light fixtures.
      • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
      • Sweep and wash floor.  
      • Reseal grout lines, if necessary.

      • Vacuum curtains.
      • Wipe down table, chairs and any other furnishings.
      • Polish table.
      • Dust any displayed china or serving dishes.
      • Launder table linens.
      • Shine silverware.
      • Dust art.
      • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
      • Clean floors. 

      • Vacuum sofas and chairs.
      • Spot clean sofas, if needed.
      • Launder throw pillows and blankets.
      • Dust shelves, furniture and decor.
      • Clean lamps and vacuum lampshades.
      • Dust television screen and other electronics.
      • Tidy electronics wires and tuck them out of sight.
      • Sort through music and DVD collections. Purge things that no longer suit your families interests. Organize what is left.
      • Sort books and magazines. Donate or recycle ones that no longer suit your families interests.
      • Wash hard plastic children's toys with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry. Launder stuffed toys. Donate or store toys that your children have out-grown.
      • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
      • Clean floors.

      • Wash cabinet doors and inside cabinets
      • Clean laundry sink, drain and shine faucet.
      • Wash outside of washer and dryer.
      • Clean the inside of your washing machine.
      • Wash lint trap with soap and water to remove filmy build-up from laundry soaps and dryer sheets. Let air dry thoroughly before putting back in place.
      • Wash windows, window sills, screens, switch plates, walls, trim, doors and vent covers.
      • Sweep and wash floors. 
      • Reseal grout lines, if needed. 

      • Sweep and vacuum stairs
      • Spot clean walls.
      • Wipe down handrail.
      • Dust art and light fixtures.

      Exterior To-Dos
      Exterior Paint
      Spring is the perfect time to freshen the face of your home with a new paint job. An updated color scheme can take your house from forgettable to traffic-stopping. The average exterior paint job lasts 10 years, so make sure it's done right. If your house doesn't require a full paint job, consider a touch-up, which can prolong the life of your siding and trim.
      Power Wash
      Having your home's exterior and windows power-washed won't just make your home look sharp, it also will prevent the growth of mold and mildew. 
      Gutter Maintenance
      When you consider that your roof's drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water a year from your house's exterior and foundation walls, you can see why it merits a semiannual inspection. Clean and repair gutters and downspouts every spring before heavy rains begin and late in autumn after leaves have fallen.
      Seasonal Change
      Say goodbye to shovels, salt, scrapers, and other winter gear, and bring out garden tools and potting supplies. Also consider servicing your lawn mower before weekly mowing is required.
      Outdoor Furniture
      Clean and repair furniture for your deck, porch, or patio. Use outdoor spray enamel to touch up chips on painted outdoor furniture.

      Obviously, these are mere suggestions for a thorough Spring Cleaning. And quite frankly you would need a small army to accomplish ALL of these worthy tasks, so pick and choose what meets the needs of your home and pace yourself. I like to tackle one room each day for a week, and before I know it Porter Central is clean, fresh, organized and ready for Spring and Summer! And boy am I ever ready for that wonderful sun to come my way!

      Do a bit of organizing and cleaning to ready your home for Spring...'ll be glad ya did!


      "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." 
      —William Morris

      All photos from

      spring cleaning, organizing, house, home, tips


      1. Great tips! In the laundry room, we try to remember to vacuum out the lint well also. Remove the lint trap and attach the special tube designed to clean lint wells (or stick an empty cardboard paper towel tube on the end of your vacuum's nozzle) and vacuum out as much trapped lint as you can. Such a comprehensive list! Well done.

      2. Julie - we do too. In fact Greg took the back off of our dryer last week and vacuumed EVERYTHING out including where the lint hose connects to the 'outlet'. It keeps my very OLD dryer running more efficiently and safely too!

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