Everyone talks about spring cleaning, but perhaps it makes even more sense to focus on New Year cleaning. The weather hasn’t been too wintery cold yet here in the DC metro area. But the winter weather is surely on its way. And then we’ll be facing cabin fever. Might as well be stuck inside a CLEAN house, right?
Here are some areas of the house on which to focus, even if don’t need our services to help you sell your house fast:
If you just celebrated the holidays and received gifts of clothing, now is a great time to go through all your closets and clothes and see what you want to keep and what you don’t need anymore. A common rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it in two years or you don’t love it give it away. Someone else could certainly benefit from clothing or shoes that don’t work for you anymore, (as long as they are still in decent condition!). For the items you’re keeping, wash or repair them so they are ready to wear.
Find all the hats, gloves, mittens and scarves your family will soon be wearing on every trip out of the house. Consider keeping them all in a box in the front hall closet or by the door from which you usually exit for easy access.
If you’re constantly rattling through your kitchen cabinets in an attempt to find and pull out the right pots and pans, consider making them more accessible. Maybe install a hanging rack, dividers in the cabinets or pull out drawers.
Take a look at all those spices you’ve had in the pantry for months (years?). How many are expired? Throw those away! (When I did this exercise at my mom’s house, I found some jars I swear we had in the house when I was in high school!) Now when you put back the ones that are still good, set them up in alphabetical order so you can find them easily. Remember to add the ones you need to replace to your next grocery list too.
While you’re in the pantry, take an inventory of all those cans and boxes of food. I’m betting you’ve got some in there that you didn’t even know about. Reorganize your items and put like with like – all baking good together or cereal boxes all on one shelf, for example. If you’ve got food that’s still good but isn’t something you’re ever going to eat, give to a local food bank.
Before leaving the kitchen, look up at the ceiling. Is it all gross and filmy from the many hours of cooking fumes, smoke and oils? Yeah, most people don’t even notice how that happens over time. It’s easy enough to clean with bucket of warm water, a couple drops of mild dish soap and a sponge. The walls could probably use a good wipe down as well.
You’ve probably heard the advice to change out your furnace filter every month to make your home more energy efficient and keep the air cleaner. This is especially important in the winter when the windows are closed and the heat is running constantly. Make sure you go a step further and clean the furnace unit too by wiping off any dirt and vacuuming up dust from under and around it.
Speaking of dust, have you noticed it accumulates more quickly in the winter? That’s because the air is warm and dry. To stay on top of dust accumulation, regularly dust all surfaces from top to bottom, including the window moldings and the tops of books. Remember the lighting fixtures and ceiling fan blades too.
Burning candles or fireplaces can create a film of soot on windows. A simple mix of vinegar and water will clean that off easily and give you the kind of sparkle you see in those TV commercials. This mixture works great on mirrors as well.
How’s your furniture upholstery look? Can you remember the last time that was cleaned? Dogs, cats, kids, and life in general contribute to grungy upholstery. At the least, run a vacuum over those couches and chairs. If you’re feeling more ambitious, clean and freshen the fabric.
Lastly, there are the inevitable piles of papers, books, magazines and files that accumulate for months until they’re so tall they threaten to attack you. Tackle them systematically. File what needs filing or scan and e-file. Recycle whatever you don’t need to keep. And it’s likely you don’t need to keep most of it. If you’re not sure, consider scanning it and creating an e-file so at least it’s out of your physical space.
Come spring, you’ll be that much ahead on the spring cleaning and will have enjoyed breathing easier in the months previous.
Express Homebuyers can help you sell your house fast, either this winter or in the spring. Simply call (877) 804-5252 to get an offer quickly.