Creating a Sense of Community Throughout The Appalachian Highlands

Spring is just around the corner and this time of year, for many of us, means spring-cleaning. While we may clean all year round, spring is associated with a major clearing out of anything associated with winter and a good, deep cleaning in order to get our house ready for summer. Historically speaking, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, spring was the time associated with cleaning one’s house after a long winter because of how houses used to be heated. Houses were once shut up for the long, cold winter and heated with coal, oil burning lamps, and candles. All of this led to dingy furniture, mirrors, curtains, carpets, and bedding since the central heat and air we enjoy today was non-existent. Spring’s warm respite meant that all the furniture, carpets, draperies, and other household items could be dragged outside, without being damaged, and the entire house could be washed with cloth and bucket. Many of us in the modern era neither have time or the need to do such an extensive cleaning, but we still “spring clean” in a different way. We at VIPSEEN want to offer some tips for getting your house in order so you can enjoy a carefree summer.

There are things in the house that many of us very rarely clean at all so use this time of year in order to tackle these objects and not worry about them until next year. In the kitchen, take a bucket of warm soapy water and cloth and clean any build up on cabinets and appliances-don’t forget to get the top of the fridge and range hood. Using a clean bucket of soapy water and clean cloth, get down and wipe the baseboards with a damp cloth, making sure to get behind any furniture that can be moved. Take out area rugs and beat them with a broom or, if possible, have them dry cleaned. Take all of the food and shelves out of both the refrigerator and freezer. Make sure to clean all of the shelves and drawers, but only put back food that is up to date or not frozen beyond recognition. Hate the smell of spray oven cleaners? We don’t blame you. Try cleaning the oven with baking soda and a little white vinegar. Let it soak on the burnt food and then wipe away with a sponge. Run appliances like your washer and dishwasher with cleaning agents in order to get out any smells that they may be harboring.

Take the time in your house to dust as much as possible too. This means using a good dusting spray and removing everything from the shelf, mantle, or TV stand that you can. Since this isn’t done often, you should be sure to take everything off, wipe down all of the dust and then dust all of the knick-knacks, books, or equipment that you put back. Take any mattress or pillow covers off at this time and wash them in order to prevent the build up of dust mites. While the sheets and mattress covers are washing, whip out the vacuum and give the mattress a good cleaning. This will get up and loose skin, hair, or mites that might be in the mattress crevices. Spring-cleaning is a time for switching out wardrobes as well! Get any and all winter clothes out of the closet and put them in a well-labeled bin for storage. This means that all heavy coats, winter gloves, winter boots, long underwear, woolen socks, and ski outfits should be put away for next season. Time to get out those shorts, bathing suits, tank tops, and satin pajamas for washing and putting away.

Windows, light fixtures, ceiling fans, and door jambs should also be wiped down since they have probably collected dust from a winter of being in a shut up house. Curtains or drapes should be taken down and washed and beds should be vacuumed and mopped under, as should sofas and other furniture. Make sure to dust picture frames, wipe down windowsills, and clean windows both inside and out. Wipe walls to get rid of scuffs, pick up the stovetop to clean underneath, and soak drip pans in order to get off caked on food. Go through the pantry in order to throw out old or expired food, take the trash cans outside in order to wash them, and while you’re out there spray off any outdoor furniture. Cleaning outside windows is easy in this day and age with the plethora of cleaners that attach right to the hose and only need to be  sprayed on and rinsed off for sparkling windows. Getting these things done means that they won’t need to be done for at least another year and that your house will be in spit spot shape for the coming summer and fall. Light everyday cleaning will help to keep things in order and allow you to avoid long weekends with heavy cleaning all throughout the year. Taking the time to deep clean one’s house every spring can be a fun experience and one that, if the whole family is involved, means satisfaction for a job very well done.

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