Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Ritual of Spring Cleaning

 Life was so much sweeter when I was a kid and mom and grandma did the spring cleaning.  I loved helping them and we really got down and dirty. It was fun.  All of the neighbors were doing it, the windows open and cleaning out.  Now adays, it seems like I am doing this all of the time..ugh.  Its just not as fun anymore.  It doesn't seem as ritualistic. Gardening and getting the yard in order seems so much more fun because I cleaned the house all winter and darn it, ya can't tell lol.

Off topic here, I am having a problem with honey bees this spring.  Yes, they are in danger...but the darn things are going into the drain holes in my screen doors and windows and coming inside my house.  I had them trapped in windows and between the doors and they are even getting thru the screen door and into my key holes  on my front door!  ugh.  The doors and windows they are coming in are all under porch so I might as well caulk those holes shut..adding that to my spring cleaning. There is no sign of them becoming extinct here at my house lol.

AND NOW  IM MAKING A SANDWICH FOR BRIAN (okay, where did that come from...geez, my son will beg for food anywhere lol. Hey Brian, help yourself!)  He came in and typed that right on my blog post..nice!  Teenagers!
  I like to read anything and everything about anything and everything and I have a book by Martha Stewart on Cleaning that I love.  She taught me a lot.  I use the bluing agent on my whites and blacks now and they are so much brighter. My whites are brighter white with bluing agent than they ever were with bleach and who know, this is an old time laundry remedy. Ladies used to use it on their hair to make their hair whiter and its safe even for pets, so if you have a white dog..I can brighten his coat with it.  You can read about it on the link above. Reading motivates me to get things done. I know it sounds insane but whenever I get off track from running or exercising or eating right, I pick up a book on any of those topics and I read for a short time and am right back on track.

Another great book series I have on cleaning is Speed Cleaning,. Spring Cleaning, and Clutter Control . In Clutter control, Jeff talks about the cost of the storing it and how much it costs you to store that stuff you might use at a later time.  Great books.  I have their schmop and some of their other products and love them.  I have had them since the mid 90s and they are still going strong! And who can live without the Shaklee Basic H2.  One bottle of that will clean the whole house!  And its all organic and safe around kids and pets. I've boasted about that before on my blog. All of these favorite things of mine are avail by clicking the link.  If you don't try anything else, try the bluing agent!  I discovered it in Martha's book a few years back and have not been without it since.
My book shelf is cluttered with clutter books, but they are all keepers, as I learn something from each one of them.  Don Aslett has a book, Clutter's Last Stand...great book. I have his lambswool duster that has a telescoping pole to reach those cobwebs way up high.  I haven't seen any since, mine is about 10 years old an still going strong.  It is like this one but mine isn't pink (I wish it was)   I just gather the cobwebs on it, and take it outside and shake them off. 

Tomorrow, after work, I am going to get started indoors with my spring cleaning (I say that now and when I get home, I will want to go outside and work but I really need to get things done in here so when I come in from my outside chores, I can relax in my spiffy house lol.

I did some research on spring cleaning articles and here is one I thought I would share.  This is a neat site with lots of info on it.

 Most people change the sheets, flip the mattress and vacuum the baseboards, but spring cleaning can be taken a step further to a deep clean,” said Pat Slaven, program leader for Consumer Reports. “Take advantage of this time of year to not only organize your home but also save money by tackling the tasks that you may have hired out in the past.”

For best results that will preserve the quality of household items over time, Consumer Reports recommends these spring cleaning Dos and Don’ts:
Ceiling Fans
Fan blades and housing should be cleaned with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaner or mix of water and mild liquid dish detergent, unless the care information says otherwise.
  • DO make annual cleaning easier by dusting blades once a season with a U-shaped brush. The blade fits inside the U, so both sides are cleaned simultaneously.
  • DON’T forget to dry the blades thoroughly.
For clean, streak-free glass, apply cleaner to windows with a slightly dampened sponge. Wipe across the window with dampened squeegee blade, then wipe blade.
  • DO clean from the top down on a cloudy day or when the windows are in shade.
  • DON’T clean windows in the sun. Direct sunlight can cause the cleaner to evaporate before it is wiped off.
Curtains and Drapes
Freshen curtains and drapes by vacuuming with the soft brush or dusting attachment and set on reduced suction to prevent fabric from being drawn into the nozzle.
  • DO dust with a soft, long-handled brush with synthetic fibers.
  • DON’T be afraid of cleaning velvet drapes. Dip a chamois cloth in hot water, wring out thoroughly, and then brush.
Window Blinds

Vacuum fabric blinds with the soft brush attachment. Spot-clean with upholstery cleaner, but test it first in an inconspicuous spot to be sure the colors don’t fade or bleed. Greasy aluminum or PVC blinds should be placed in a bathtub filled with warm soapy water and rinse.
  • DO protect the tub bottom with a towel.
  • DON’T dunk the roller mechanism in the water. Be sure it stays dry in the process.
Refresh upholstery with a vacuum with good tool airflow. Vacuum the corners and all sides of cushions. If pets nap on the couch or chair, deodorize by sprinkling with baking soda and letting it sit for 15 minutes, or longer for tough odors, then vacuum.
  • DO apply a cleaning product or rent a machine that cleans upholstery and carpet. A do-it-yourself job is likely to yield better results if done before the upholstery becomes badly soiled.
  • DON’T use any cleaner, or let a professional "steam clean" with water and detergent without testing the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot first.
Launder Pillows
Unless the care instructions say otherwise, most foam-filled and synthetic pillows can be machine-washed. Use the gentle cycle, warm water, and a mild powdered detergent.
  • DO line dry pillows or place in dryer on moderate heat with clean towels to speed up drying. Add a clean tennis ball to help fluff the pillow.
  • DON’T machine-wash down and feather pillows. Place them in a sink filled with warm water and powdered detergent. Hold the pillow under water until completely soaked and knead gently. Drain the water out and press down to extract as much water as possible. Roll it in a towel to prevent dripping and then unwrap it and spin in a washing machine for three cycles before drying.


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