The Spring Cleaning Ritual
There's something about Springtime in Canada – after a long, cold winter, the birds return and snow melts, revealing a forgotten landscape of potential. With the return of (slightly) warmer air, it's become a sort of ritual for many Canadians – ending the hibernation by taking the time to clean and organize their home before the business of summer sets in. With many people working or studying at home, it's become even more important than it usually is.
See Also: Spring Organizing
Spring cleaning is the time when people will do the tasks only done every so often, such as cleaning out the back of the closet or vacuuming behind the refrigerator. It's an excellent opportunity to do some home organization and purging – think: out with the old, in with the new. And while you don't have to go full Marie Kondo, there is something to be said for taking the time to really get into the deep recesses and corners of your living space and giving them a good clean – especially in light of COVID-19 and the increased need for cleanliness.
The Importance of Spring Cleaning
All of that said, the benefits of this type of deep cleaning are far more than many people realize. Regularly maintaining your home helps protect it and prevent several common issues such as pests. This is even more important for those homes with pets, as animals present even more opportunities for pests to flourish. This is why we have provided a thorough checklist for your spring cleaning this year. Happy cleaning!
Spring Cleaning Checklist
Restock Your Cleaning Supplies
It's hard to clean without supplies, so make sure you are fully stocked. If you prefer natural cleaning solutions, add white vinegar, baking soda, and Castile soap to your shopping list to prepare your supplies. If you're going the more traditional route, make sure you have what you need for each room and surface. Remember extras like a spray bottle for your homemade solutions; you should be able to grab most of this at the dollar store to keep costs down.
Pro Tip: Always test cleaning solutions on hard-to-see areas before deploying that cleaner all over, to prevent stains and discolouration. A microfiber mop and some microfiber cloths are a great idea for thorough cleaning, plus they're better for the environment than disposables.
Clean Your Vacuums & Brooms
Yes really! Cleaning your cleaning tools is important to keep them working properly and optimally – especially for all the spring cleaning you're going to do! For vacuums, replace the bag, clean the dust cup, and wash or replace the filters. Snip threads and hair caught in the brush with scissors or a seam ripper, and wipe the inside and outside with a clean cloth. For brooms, vacuum the bristles and then swish in clean warm soapy water to remove grime.
Pro Tip: Consider replacing your vacuum if it's not easily picking up pet hair or thoroughly cleaning your carpets anymore. Modern bagless machines are very effective especially at getting that stubborn fur.
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to address easily forgotten safety issues, too. Start by checking your smoke and CO2 detector battery health, and then set a calendar reminder in your phone to do the same thing again in six months. Clear the battery areas of any dust to keep your detectors functioning properly. Check your fire extinguisher charge and replace if it's expired.
Pro Tip: Use this as a chance to make certain that everyone in the apartment or townhouse know how to use it and which fires it is intended to extinguish.
Dust Books & Shelves
Empty those shelves! It's not enough to dust around the books and decor, you really want to empty the shelves so that you are getting everything really clean. It won't just improve your air quality; it'll improve your quality of life to reduce airborne contaminants. Use dust brushes and vacuums to get into those hard-to-reach places.
Pro Tip: Don't forget to wipe your books and objects down before placing them back on the shelf!
Deep Clean Your Furniture
We've all gotten a little frustrated throughout the pandemic, and it can be hard to find a good outlet for those frustrations. Here's your chance: gather all of your cushions, take them outside, and start beating the heck out of them! When you're cleaning your upholstery, be careful to check the labels for instructions on how to treat stains, etc.
Pro Tip: Break out that vacuum to clean all of the crevices in your furnishings. Switch to the upholstery tool on your machine to go over both sides of cushions and underneath them. The crevice tool is a great way to remove any gunk along the trim and stitching.
Vacuum & Shampoo Rugs
Make sure you take the time to vacuum those rugs and carpets, even the ones which you usually leave, and clear all rugs, surfaces, and areas of food particles (yes, even the pet food!) to prevent any pest issues. Pull that furniture away from the wall and clear out underneath… you might even find a lost treasure such as a ring, card, or some lost money! Vacuum all of the dust and debris, plus do the baseboards and air vents while you're back there.
Pro Tip: Not every rug can be properly cleaned with a quick vacuum, so you'll need to deep-clean your synthetic carpets using rotary shampooing and hot-water extraction machines. These can usually be rented from larger grocery chain stores. Rugs without backings (such as Orientals) require professional cleaning.
Let's get into everyone's fave room: the kitchen. We'll start by checking to see if our oven has a self-cleaning mode, and we'll use that to remove the worst of the baked-on leftovers inside. If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, just place a wet cloth over the troublesome burned spots to soften them, then follow up with a dash of baking powder and a brillo pad before rinsing and wiping down!
Let's move on to the fridge, and begin by taking everything out and ensure we throw out any food past it's expiration date, and use it as an opportunity to reorganize our shelves when we restock the items. Pop out shelves and drawers and give them a good clean in warm, soapy water to kill off bacteria and other unpleasantness.
Time to get into those cupboards and shelves! Let's pull things out, check expiration dates, wipe down our shelves and cupboards and organize as we restock. Look underneath and in corners for kitchen grime, a mix of dust and grease that can build up. Let's wipe down those cabinet door handles, too!
Pro Tip: To avoid attracting common pests, keep crumbs from infiltrating your cabinets and kitchen areas. Keep all pantry foods like cereal, pasta, etc., in sealed food storage containers. Fresh foods should always be stored in the fridge. Keep the bottom of your fruit bowl clean. Don't forget the pet bowls either - keep them clean and tidy on a regular basis.
Quick Bathroom Break
To keep everything flowing smoothly in the bathtub drain, use this as an opportunity to freshen it a little and keep that drain flowing well. Simply mix a quarter-cup of table salt with half a cup of baking soda, pour that down the drain, and then chase it with a cup of heated white vinegar. Remember those volcano science experiments when you were young? Well, this is going to foam and bubble too! Let it stand for a maximum of fifteen minutes, then run hot tap water down the drain for about thirty seconds to rinse well. Repeat in each drain, especially the lesser-used ones!
Pro Tip: If your drains are still running slow, repeat a few times to loosen things up. Keeping hair clogs clear regularly also helps avoid this common problem.
Brighten your day: Clean the windows!
While most people clean their window glass and blinds regularly, this is spring cleaning so we need to go deeper than that! Start with the screens, remove them and get them over to the sink and scrub them with a brush using warm water and mild dish soap, then rinse well before replacing. Put your curtains in the washing machine on a delicate cycle, wipe your wooden blinds with a damp cloth, and mix warm water and mild dish soap for blinds made of metal and vinyl.
Pro Tip: Always check your curtain labels before machine washing, as not all materials are suitable for the washing machine. Always hang to dry rather than using the dryer, and if there's a lot of wrinkles, use a clothing iron on a low heat setting to gently flatten and make them hang beautifully. Again, check the fabric label as ironing is not recommended on certain materials.
Getting to Bed
Let's get under the covers and get physical! No, nothing like what you might be thinking. It's time for a clean bed, not a dirty mind! Rip the sheets off and use those special upholstery and crevice tools that came with your vacuum to clean the top and sides of that mattress. Once you've finished, generously spray with disinfectant Lysol to sanitize your mattress. Let it air dry for at least 1-2 hours before putting sheets back on.
Pro Tip: Before putting your sheets on, vacuum the mattress one more time for that extra-fresh finish!
Double Down on Doormats
Maximize your floor protection by catching dirt coming AND going—leave one doormat outside the door and keep one inside. Most doormats can be hosed down and air-dried.
Pro Tip: Vacuum both sides of your indoor mat for best results as dirt can be pushed to the back.
Recycle Your Paper Stacks
Cockroaches love the smell of paper and hate light, so avoid cluttered paper areas like stacks of old flyers, newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, or paper bags.
Keep Your Spaces Dry
Cockroaches constantly search for water, and a sink filled with dirty dishes and standing water is an obvious culprit for unwanted creatures. But this time of year, it's good to look in less obvious spots too. Pipes beneath the sink or in the bathroom can often have a slow leak, making things damp below. If that's the case in your home, call your building management and let them know a plumber is needed.
Pro Tip: If you find excessive moisture in a couple areas, consider using a dehumidifier.
Clean Balcony & Patio Furniture
With warmer weather on the horizon, it's time to get your outdoor furniture ready for enjoyment throughout summer. To do this, wipe down tables and chairs with warm soapy water. Spray with water to rinse and then allow them to air dry. Don't forget to spray off your patio deck while you're at it.
Pro Tip: Try doing this on a mostly cloudy day or in the shade if possible, to avoid the sun drying off the furniture too quickly. This can sometimes cause soap spots and streaks.
Know When To Get Our Help
If you encounter unwelcome visitors (i.e. pests) at any stage of your cleaning process, remember to act right away and call your Resident Manager to have the issue addressed. We count on you to let us know when something isn't working as well as it should, or when there's an unwelcome pest issue. As soon as we know, we can act and altogether ensure we have the cleanest spring for the most fun summer possible!