Housework rarely ranks highly on the top ten list of things folks like to do. Spring cleaning, however, is often greeted -- at least in theory -- with some enthusiasm, if only because it means the end of another long, dark winter. Still, there's no reason to prolong the task. With a bit of organization and the right tools, there's no need to.
Begin by decide whether you'll take a room or task-focused cleaning (windows/dusting/floors and baseboards/ bedding/organization) approach.
If you plan a weekend blitz, schedule in small breaks -- a quick walk, or a few minutes with a cup of tea and the newspaper. If you spread the work out over a few weeks, reward yourself with a treat at the end -- perhaps a mani-pedi or a pair of Spring-worthy strappy sandals.
Either way, always start at the top of a space. Scroll through the slideshow below and let's get started!
Dust ceilings, trim and light fixtures first. For this, try a Swiffer Duster -- the puffy, fluffy fibres that slide over flexible handles grab dust, dust mites and pet dander, and can be used on delicate objects such as glass light fixtures and in between tight spaces -- such as between components on a media console, or in and around computer equipment. A starter kit goes for about five dollars. www.swiffer.ca
Swiffer window and mirror surfaces before cleaning them with an all-purpose cleaner like Mr. Clean ($4 for 800ml www.mrclean.ca), which works well on sinks, ceramic tiles and appliances. Incidentally, several of these items now come with the scent of Gain.
Now's the time to tackle built up dirt or stains. Rubbermaid www.rubbermaid.com has just come up with the very clever Reveal Power Scrubber, a nifty battery-operated wand that holds brushes of various sizes. There are two scrubbing settings -- pulse and continuous -- and a watertight assembly means it can safely live near a sink in the bathroom, where it can be used on any number of tough spots. I also used it very successfully to clean out the dried on gunk at the bottom of a glass vase. About $20 for the wand and $7 for accessory heads from Home Depot.
This is a good time to edit and reorganize. A new line of "Bento" boxes, also from Rubbermaid, can help store household essentials efficiently. These attractive boxes are made out of sturdy MDF and covered in durable polyester. Lid tops double as trays. The genius touch -- small fabric tabs in each of the boxes pop out to customize the interior storage space. Prices run from about $10 to $33. Available at Target www.target.ca .
Spring is also a good time to tackle mold and mildew, which can not only damage your home, but can become a health hazard.
The Canadian manufacturers of Concrobium www.concrobium.com have launched new and noteworthy non-toxic mold-cleaning solutions. Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser (about $17) removes embedded mold stains on outdoor surfaces, including wood, siding, concrete and patio furniture. Inside, it can be used on drywall, stone, plastic, tile and grout.
Concrobium House and Deck Wash (about $14) is a bleach-free option for cleaning dirt and surface mold on outdoor surfaces. It comes in a bottle with a hose-end sprayer for use on houses, decks, patios, railings, fences and siding. Free of bleach, ammonia and VOCs, it's safe to use around plants, pets and people.