Expert spring cleaning tips from an amateur

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

Before even starting, you need to be prepared. Get your cleaning products ready, make a plan of where to start and end, and create a detailed list.

Set concrete goals. Don’t simply write “kitchen” on your to-do list. That could be understood as grabbing a snack and leaving. List distinct tasks — organize fridge, wipe counters, install new cabinet handles, sweep.

The first step in spring cleaning is to eliminate clutter. Get rid of things you don’t need that are taking up space. Be reasonably aggressive in your cleaning mentality — just because you’re sentimental about a chemistry project that got you a silver medal in the eighth-grade science fair, that doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping.

But when I say “get rid of,” I don’t necessarily mean you should throw everything away. If your unwanted items are in decent shape, bring them to the nearest thrift store. One man’s trash is another one’s treasure.

Don’t just clean, but maintain — dust your bathroom’s fan, clean your coffee maker, or unclog your shower head. If your dishwasher has a filter, it’s probably dirtier than you think. Experts recommend cleaning dishwasher filters once a month. And while not cleaning-related, make sure to check your smoke and CO2 detectors’ functionality. Replace batteries or alarms altogether as need be.

It’s easy to focus on your home, but don’t forget about your garage and shed and anything else that may need decluttering. Get your garden tools in order, get rid of broken lawn chairs, and get your bike out for summer if you haven’t already!

My last tip might make you angry, but you should try to keep cleaning throughout the year. Dust accumulates quick, and tidying is a never-ending chore. Make life easier on yourself next spring by keeping up with messes during the other seasons.