Portrait of British actress Honor Blackman washing dishes, 1964. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)
Portrait of British actress Honor Blackman washing dishes, 1964. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)

Yes, it’s that time of year again — Spring Cleaning. Never mind that we’ve already passed the first day of summer. In other parts of the country spring-cleaning would already be done, but in Montana we like to wait till it stops snowing before we begin emptying the garage or cleaning out that junk room.

Here are some tips that might make your spring-summer cleaning adventure go a little smoother.

Tom’s Cleaning Tips For a Happy Home

  • The first tip is to not try to do it all in one day. Spread it out over several days or weekend mornings or afternoons. You can still clean and have a life.
  • Light fixtures and ceiling fans are easy to overlook but are major dust collectors. Use a Swiffer Duster sprayed with a little vinegar to loosen dirt.
  • Cobwebs in corners might add character to a room but get rid of them anyway.  A damp paper towel on a broom handle works well.
  • Due to my military training the tops of doors pictures, shelves and baseboards are often overlooked.
  • Walls always get scuffed over the winter so use “Magic Eraser” to spot-clean your walls. Available at most stores.
  • If you’ve ever reversed the direction of a ceiling fan then you have witnessed dust bunny snow. Use a damp cloth with vinegar before reversing your fan direction.
  • Washing sheets and pillowcases are no big deal but what about comforters and bedspreads. They can get pretty nasty so take a roll of quarters down to the commercial Laundromat and do them all at once. Take a good book with you.
  •   Mattresses can get pretty funky too so sprinkle it with baking soda and leave it for an hour or more then vacuum it up with your brush attachment. Do this while you are washing the sheets and pillowcases.
  • Give all upholstered furniture a good once over with the vacuum. Be sure to check for loose change and still edible French fries first. Don’t forget to do your curtains too.
  • Take area rugs outside and give them a good beating with a broom handle. If it’s not snowing.
  • If you have a spot cleaner for your carpet use that before you give it a through vacuuming. Do this before putting any rugs back down.
  • Kitchens are usually a multi-day job and that’s OK. The stove and the vent above get greasy and might require some soaking. Oven cleaning can be an adventure too. Don’t forget those nasty drip-pans too.
  • Salad dressing that expired before Kennedy was shot can probably be thrown out. Check expiration dates on everything in the fridge, medicine cabinet and dispose of expired medicines safely. That would be not flushing them.
  • Cleaning windows. Go north and south on one side and east and west on the other so if you see streaks you’ll know which side of the window they are on.

Some Final Thoughts

Cleaning my home has never been at the top of my, “fun things to do list.” However, keeping a clean home will reduce your chances of illness and safety as well. Doing it in stages over time makes it more tolerable and easier.

Set aside a little time each day or weekend and tackle a couple of small areas. In a couple of weeks, or less, you’ll have a spotless home.

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