Cleaning doesn't need to be a daunting task. Here are easy easy to get your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, and more in tip-top shape.
1. Take Inventory of Small Appliances.
Donate the novelty appliances you rarely or never use. Clean out the inside of your microwave. And turn your attention to your must-have appliances: the coffee maker. To clean your coffee maker, brew a pot using 2 parts distilled water and 1 part vinegar. Brew this mixture through 3 times, then follow up with 3 brews using distilled water.
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2. Create a Natural Air Freshener
Give your room a fresh scent. Whip up a room deodorizer on the stovetop by simmering orange rinds or lemon slices and rosemary in a pot of water. The scent will freshen your space.
3. Scrub Tile and Grout
Clean grout is like a facelift for your bathroom. To remove mold and mildew, home care expert Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, recommends scrubbing grout with a toothbrush and a simple solution of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach diluted in a gallon of water. Test on an inconspicuous section of grout and tile first.Plus: 30 ways to freshen every room in your house »
4. Go through old linens.
If your towels, rugs, and shower curtains are looking shabby or worn, it may be time to donate them and replenish your supply with fresh ones. Organizer Michelle Paxton of The Organizer Gal says it's smart to invest in products such as containers, racks, shelves or drawers for extra storage in a small bath.
5. Tame Your Closet.
Dry clean or launder coats, sweaters, and any items you are keeping. Toss or donate any items that are worn, don't fit, or you don't like. Inventory your spring and summer clothes and make a list of new items you need to purchase. Michelle Paxton, a professional organizer at the The Organizer Gal says it's good to invest in storage containers, clothing bags, and cedar blocks to store out-of-season clothing.
6. Launder Bedding
Dry clean or launder the heavy comforter on your bed, store it and replace with a lighter blanket. Swap your heavy bed sheets for lighter sheets and store the rest. Wash linens in hot water to kill allergens. Invest in a new odor-eliminating, anti-bacterial mattress pad.
Plus: How to wash white sheets »
THE LIVING ROOM
7. Cut down on the paper.
Magazines and newspapers create clutter in living spaces and collect dust. Store them in a basket until you're done with them, and donate magazines to a hospital or library. Recycle newspapers.
tk8. Clean your carpets.
Send out the rugs for a professional cleaning. For wall-to-wall carpet, consider hiring a pro for deep cleaning and stain removal.
You might also like: How to clean white carpeting »
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18 ways to decorate your porch and patio »
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.