Spring is officially upon us. Snow is melting, grass is growing, and you may have noticed that your house has the musty, stale smell of a long, closed-in winter. The arrival of spring means many things, but for most people it means that it’s time for spring cleaning.
Spring Cleaning Origins
Spring cleaning has ancient origins, linked to the Persians as a way of celebrating the New Year, Jews as a time of cleansing and remembrance before Passover, and Catholics as a time to repent during the first week of Lent.
In the last two centuries spring cleaning has been used to clean out homes after a long winter. Typically in the 19th century homes were lit by fat burning candles and warmed with fireplaces. By the time spring arrived, fatty oils and soot caked the home so it became necessary to open the windows, air everything out, and scrub the house.
Modern day scientists and psychologists assert that spring cleaning is not only good for tidying up a home, but for tidying up the mind. A clean, organized space makes it easier for people to relax, focus, and lead overall healthier lives.
Whether you want to clean up for religious reasons, to get the grime off the walls, to get a fresh start before summer, or to prevent pests from getting in your home, here are some cleaning tips for those areas that are often forgotten but necessary.
Outdoor Spring Cleaning Tips
Clean Out the Gutters
Cleaning out your gutters will be especially important if it’s a chore that didn’t get done before winter or if you live in a wooded area. Climb up on a ladder to remove leaves, branches, and other debris. Although this seems like a menial, useless cleaning task, clogged gutters can cause roof damage, foundation damage, and even flooding. In addition, a clogged gutter is the perfect place for rodents or stinging insects to build nests.
Take 30 minutes to get this task done and clear those worries from your mind. To make this chore even easier next year, consider a gutter guard or screen that will help debris slide off your roof and stay out of your gutters.
Rinse Your Trash Cans
At some point you’ve likely noticed and done something about odorous indoor trash cans. But you may not have noticed smells coming from your outdoor trash cans too. A quick wash and rinse with dish soap once a year absolves your cans from odors and bugs or rodents that might be attracted to the smell.
Sort Your Firewood
If you keep firewood outside your home, sort through it at the onset of spring to find the wood that is wet and needs to be dried out. If you don’t want to go through the process of drying out your firewood, turn it into mulch for your summer garden. It’s also important to sort through your firewood stacks to check for nesting mice, spiders, or other insects.
Replace Rusted Faucets
Rusted outdoor faucets are likely to leak or break and should be replaced. Shut off the water supply and use a wire brush to scrape away the corrosion. Next, use a hairdryer to loosen the metal of the corroded area. Apply penetrating oil and scrape the corrosion away again. Do not use the hairdryer after you have applied penetrating oil as it is highly flammable. The faucet should now be loose enough to remove and replace.
Indoor Spring Cleaning Tips
Vacuum Your Mattress
Most people don’t think to vacuum their mattresses because they seem so well protected by mattress covers and sheets. However, dust, dead skin, and mites secretly cover your mattress.
Occasional cleaning keeps your mattress smelling clean and fresh. Use the detachable nozzle on your vacuum to go over your mattress once. Next, spot clean any stains you see with the cleaning solution of your choice (you can make a natural solution of lemon juice and salt). Finally, sprinkle baking soda over your mattress, let it sit, and vacuum once more. Your mattress will be cleaner than ever.
Chances are that when you regularly vacuum you don’t bother with the time and effort it takes to vacuum under your furniture. Use your spring cleaning kick to finally get this done. Move large furniture like couches, chairs, and tables and suck up anything underneath. Chances are there are a few ants you want to get rid of, toys that have been forgotten, and maybe some loose change that you can claim as your own. Additionally, pull out fridges, stoves, washers, and dryers to vacuum up any crumbs, dust, or webs that are hidden away.
Check for Leaks
Investigate your home for leaks under sinks or around other areas like toilets and bathtubs. Leaks attract pests, especially silverfish, centipedes, and cockroaches. Larger leaks can also be signs to greater plumbing issues that require your attention.
Sort Closets and Storage Areas
The quintessential spring cleaning task — sorting through old belongings. Go through all of your clothes, knick-knacks, and junk to decide what you want to keep, donate, or throw out. This is a good time to air out any storage spaces and check for unwanted rodent or insect nests.
Air Out the House
Open the windows while you’re cleaning to let a breeze flow through and the sunshine in. Closing your home up for winter causes dust to build up, and airing it out for a day can improve the air quality inside your home.
Spring cleaning is the perfect way to regroup after the long winter months, giving you a fresh drive for the rest of the year. If you notice unwanted pests while cleaning, or if you want to get a head start on the buggy season, call Edge to schedule your first pest control treatment with one of our service specialists.