How To – Spring Clean Your Home. Part 2, Downstairs.

Find PART ONE HERE.

Previously, I helped you tackle the upstairs, in this part I will help you tackle the downstairs, in particular the kitchen.

Remember, Tidy, Dust, Clean, Vacuum in that order.

The downstairs areas are the highest traffic areas of your home and thus usually take longer to clean, I recommend starting with the largest area first, this is normally the living room or family area.

The Living Room.

Start with a general tidy up, kids toys away, magazines in the rack or thrown out etc. Once that is done, the real work can begin.

Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls.

Determine if the walls need washing for dirty spots. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, and switch plates.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall.

Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleanser or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. Instead lightly wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

Dust and clean the ceiling fan if you have one.

There is nothing more embarrassing than turning on a ceiling fan and having large chunks of dust fall down on your guest’s head. Use this spring cleaning time to dust down the fan and fan blades. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

Dust and clean out the sofas and chairs.

Use a vacuum cleaner with attachment to clean out couch crevices. Check to make sure none of your missing items have found their way into the abyss of the couch. Clean slipcovers, accent pillows, etc. Use an upholstery attachment on a rug shampoo machine to clean soiled couches and chair surfaces if needed. If a light cleaning is needed use upholstery spot cleaner. Test in a hidden area first.

Dust down and clean all accent lamps and knickknacks.

Use a vacuum attachment or duster to clean the lampshades, lamps, and any extra decorative items.

Remove books from bookshelves.

Dust down the books and the shelves.

Dust down accent tables and the entertainment center.

Unplug and dust down all the electronics. Check cords for fraying and wear. Dust down the television screen (use a clean dust cloth for the TV screen, never apply cleaner or spray directly onto the screen itself).

Clean the carpets and rugs.

If your carpets and rugs are heavily soiled it may be time to call a professional. You can also rent cleaning machines to use. Be sure to ask for one with an upholstery attachment. If your carpets are only lightly soiled vacuuming and spot treating may be all that is necessary.

That’s the living room or family room done, now for …

The Kitchen

I’m not going to cover the fridge in this guide, I refer you to my previous blog here.

Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls.

Determine if the walls need washed completely or just spot cleaned. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates. Walls will likely need to be washed more often in this room than in others. Pay special attention to places where people are likely to rest their hands. You may not have noticed that the hand mixer or blender sloshed goop all over the wall. Take your time now to clean the grease, grime, and spilled food from your walls.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall.

Use a microfiber cloth to dust down art and photographs. Occasionally these items may need to actually be washed. Wipe down with a slightly damp rag,being careful not to let any liquid seep behind the frame and damage the photo.

Dust and clean the ceiling fan.

The kitchen ceiling fan always seems to be a little more difficult to clean because of the grease and food residue in the kitchen. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

Apply oven cleaner to the oven and clean the refrigerator.

Leave the windows in the kitchen open to avoid the overpowering smell. Don’t forget to vacuum the coils of your unplugged refrigerator. Go ahead and inspect the cord for any fraying or damage as well. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it. Be careful of scratching your floor.

Take the knobs, burners, burner covers, and spill catchers off of the stove.

Follow your stove/oven owner’s manual for information on proper cleaning methods for your model. (The one you carefully filed, when you bought the stove, just for an occasion like this.) Some stovetops lift up to allow easy access to spills and crumbs. Wipe down the entire stove.

Wipe down and clean the toaster, blender, and other small appliances.

Wipe down and clean the microwave. If the spills in the microwave are fossilized, try bring a water-filled glass cup to boiling in the microwave. The steam should help loosen the gunk then I recommend using HG Microwave Cleaner. If the microwave smells, boil lemon juice. Unplug all appliances first. Don’t forget the turntable.

Clean out kitchen cabinets.

Reline if needed. Remove mismatched lids and bowls. Take out anything that isn’t being used on a regular basis. Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets.

Run the dishwasher empty.

Try adding vinegar or baking soda to the empty dishwasher before running it. If your dishwasher has a food trap in the bottom, clean it out. Wash down the outside of the dishwasher.

Wash down the countertops in your kitchen.

Don’t forget backsplashes. How you clean your countertops depends heavily on what type of material they are made from.

Wipe down and clean out any drawers.

Organize your flatware. This is a great time to install drawer dividers to better organize your kitchen drawers.

Wash down the sink.

If you have a garbage disposal now is the time to pour baking soda with warm water and/or a lemon peel down the disposal to freshen the drain. Put ice cubes through the disposal to sharpen the blades.

Sweep and mop the floors.

Don’t forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor REALLY clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If this is not an option try going barefoot and scooting a large towel around the floor with your feet. It provides more contact and pressure with the floor. Press gently, and be careful and slow. Even though this is the last step, the floor is not the best place to rest.

Phew, that probably took me longer to write that it does you to actually do the cleaning, but hopefully I have given you a helping hand (figuratively speaking of course).

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