Spring cleaning ushers in a clean home alongside a new season. Create an easy-to-follow game plan to tackle spring cleaning one step at a time.
Step 1: Create a game plan Make a list outlining the areas of your home -- living, eating, and sleeping areas, plus the bathrooms. Break down rooms by the individual items to be cleaned in each area. Then focus on cleaning one zone per week.
TIP: Tackle the big projects first. The bigger the project, the bigger the sense of accomplishment when the chore is completed.
Step 2: Cut the clutter Get storage containers to hold papers, books, and junk. Organize the closets and give away anything you haven't used in the past year. Clutter attracts dirt and dust. Eliminate the clutter and you'll significantly cut your work load.
TIP: Make it fun for the whole family. Blast your favorite music and dance while vacuuming.
Step 3: Take your time Use rags, sponges, and multi-purpose cleaner to thoroughly clean and organize every cupboard and drawer. Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards and woodwork. Don't forget to clean and wax wood floors, and shampoo carpets.
Step 4: Hit the great outdoors Rake flower beds to remove dead plants. Haul away branches and debris in a wheelbarrow for easy disposal. Get on a ladder and clean out leaf-clogged gutters before spring's heavy rains cause any damage. Don't forget to wash the windows and shake out your welcome mat for a sparkling first impression.
Step 5: Check the mechanics Inspect your home's mechanical systems to ensure they're functioning properly. Replace the furnace filters monthly and vacuum your refrigerator's condenser coil to reduce dust.
FACT: A recent study showed that more than 75 percent of all liquid hand soaps and nearly 30 percent of bar soaps contain antibacterial agents.