Sun is shining, snow is melting, and flowers are blooming. It's springtime, a time for renewal. With all the changes happening outside, it's time to look inside and make some changes too. Open those windows, breathe in the fresh air, and break out the brooms, gentlemen. We've put together a great guide on how to spring clean effectively.
We like to stick to a kitchen first rule when it comes to cleaning. This is because often, the kitchen is the most daunting task. After all, it's probably the place you make the biggest messes in. The best spot to start (and often overlooked) is your fridge. Take EVERYTHING out of your fridge and freezer. As you're emptying the contents, throw away all the expired items. 3 year old mustard - throw it out. Chinese takeout leftovers from super bowl sunday - in the garbage. Frostbitten ice cream - you know what to do. Once you've thrown away all the items you don't use anymore or are expired, you have a clean slate. Grab that all purpose cleaner and go to town. Spray down everything the inner walls of the fridge to the individual compartments. If need be, use a sponge or some other kind of scrubber. After you've wiped everything dry, you're good to go. Put everything back in and organize it all in a way that makes sense.
Optional: Use a fridge freshener like an open box of baking soda.
Once you've finished your fridge, go ahead and open up all your kitchen cabinets. Remove their contents and dust the insides. If you notice any items you don't need or haven't used in a long time, donate them. Less is more, guys.
Closets and their contents can give you fits. If you're the type of person that doesn't really organize their closet, this can seem like a daunting task, but it's really not. Ready? Take EVERYTHING out of your closet and put it in a big pile on your bed. This is the Marie Kondo method. If you haven't heard of Marie Kondo, she wrote a great book about tidying up that's inspired thousands and thousands of people to downsize, and live a better life with less "stuff".
Once you've got all your clothes piled up on your bed, go through one by one. Winter items should be stowed away. Get some vacuum storage bags if space is tight at your place, they're life savers for apartment dwellers. Ripped old t-shirts - throw em out. Lonesome socks that have lost their match - in the trash... You know where this is going.
As you place your clothing items back in your closets and drawers, organize them in a way that makes sense. Color coding is a great way to set everything up. If you're more of a folding kind of guy, learn how to fold the right way. Clothes that go on hangers should all be placed on the rod in the same direction. After wearing and washing them, hang them on the rod the opposite way. Six months from now when you're changing it up again during early fall, take note of all the hangers that haven't been turned around. You haven't worn that stuff all spring/summer, so it's time to donate those items.
To some of us, bathrooms are our sanctuaries. To others, they just serve a purpose. Either way, now is a good time to clean em up. Grab your toilet brush and go to town, remember to scrub underneath the rim of the toilet (where the water comes out). Once you've scrubbed your toilet clean, flush it, and pour some bleach or toilet cleaner in there. Let that soak while you finish cleaning the rest of your bathroom. Open up your medicine cabinet, drawers, and any other storage and inspect the contents. Toss any expired medicines or personal care products. Toss empty bottles of skin care or personal care products. While you're at it, jump in the shower and throw away old shampoo bottles and the like.
The rest is pretty straightforward in this room, guys. Grab some paper towels and all purpose cleaner. Spray down your surfaces and wipe 'em off. Done.
Bedrooms come last because, well, they're the easiest to clean. Not much to it really. Make sure to pick up any random piles of clothes and organize them the way you did your closets. Next, change your sheets. Wipe away surfaces like nightstands and dressers with that all purpose cleaner. Bedrooms are normally the dustiest rooms in your living space because we spend the most amount of time in them. Dust is essentially a combination of hair, dead skin cells, and other gross stuff that we bring in the house on our dirty clothes and shoes. Grab a vacuum and suck up all the dust, including what's underneath your bed.
Once you've gone through all this, you're (basically) done. Light a candle, get your place smelling right. Now turn your attention to the largest surface in your livings space - the floor. People find innovative ways to keep their floors clean. New Yorkers and their lack of square footage utilize cardboard by their front door to create what's known as a "Manhattan mudroom". No matter how creative you get, your floors are going to accumulate grime throughout the year. It probably goes without saying, but you should probably be cleaning your floors at least twice a month. Vacuum/sweep first, and then use a wet mop to get that squeaky fresh finish.
If you're still feeling motivated, take care of some other long forgotten items. The tops of picture frames get notoriously dusty, so wipe them down. Cobwebs can form near the corners of our ceilings, so check those areas and vacuum them clean.