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Cobwebs and Broomsticks

Spring is in bloom all around. The leaves have turned green, the flowers have bloomed, and a warm breeze floats throughout the day’s air.

This season is full of all things good, including the end of the semester and the return of relaxing days at the beach.

Unfortunately, most good things are usually accompanied by something not so good. What dampens the exhilaration of spring? Try the long list of chores that come along with spring-cleaning. Over the years, cleaning has become an unpleasant duty relegated to springtime.

Spring usually reveals all the dirt and dust that has accumulated during the long, dreary winter months. Shades are pulled up; blinds are opened, and sunlight flows into the room, exposing things that make most maids shudder. Hence, the necessary act of spring-cleaning.

From top to bottom, inside and out, it is believed that a home should be completely relieved of all of its dirt, dust, filth and clutter.

Spring-cleaning has also become a dreaded activity for many because of the sheer amount of work to be done when cleaning a house. However, hope isn’t too far away. Whether it comes in the form of a to-do list, a quick call to a local maid service or just some inspiring words, spring-cleaning is not something that has to be faced alone.

“It’s common for us to get calls to go in and clean entire houses or apartments during the spring,” Priya Bhakpa, an employee at the Royal Maid Service on Florida Avenue said. “There isn’t a flat rate, so what we charge for each cleaning varies from house to house.”

If the decision is made to clean the house without professional help, there is always the option of enlisting everyone who resides in the domicile, whether roommates or family members. OrganizedHome.com offers a grand plan for spring-cleaning, which is broken down into a 14-week schedule. By separating the task of cleaning into several weeks, it does not seem to be so overwhelming for the cleaner(s). For each week, a separate room or particular chore is specified.

For those who live in townhomes, apartments or even dormitories, the 14-week schedule would be reduced, since less space is involved.

Spring-cleaning requires hard work, time and good planning. It is imperative to make a checklist of chores so the same task does not get done twice and so that time is not wasted. When cleaning, it is important to remember to bring all of your cleaning tools and items into the room that is being cleaned. This will help avoid unnecessary trips back to where cleaning supplies are stored. Be advised that safety is always important when cleaning. Remember to wear rubber gloves when needed and to never mix cleaning products, because some are toxic when mixed together. Be sure to use products with strong chemicals or fumes in well-ventilated areas.

In the living room and bedroom, OrganizedHome.com offers plenty of pointers. First, take everything off the walls, dust or wash it, and then set it aside. The walls should also be washed, from bottom to top to avoid streaking. Any draperies or blinds that occupy the room should be removed and cleaned. Also, be on the lookout for cobwebs, which like to hide in the corners of walls from the ceiling to the floor. Remove cushions from upholstered furniture and vacuum all couches and armchairs. Baseboards in every room should be either dusted or washed. It is important not to forget to dust the TV and any other audio/video equipment. Finally, the carpet should be vacuumed and spot-treated as needed.

For a quick and inexpensive way to freshen the scent of carpet, real estate agent Debra Paratore says on her Web site to “… leave baking soda on carpeting over night, and it will absorb musty odors that have built up over time.”

The bathroom and kitchen are also very important rooms that need a thorough once-over. According to OrganizedHome.com, items in the bathroom that should be cleaned include door handles and knobs on faucets, floor mats or rugs, the toilet bowl and all metal fixtures. The shower, tub and sink should also be scoured. The wastebasket should also be sanitized and cleansed thoroughly, as well as the shower curtain, and both should be replaced, if needed.

The kitchen also requires a good spring-cleaning. Most importantly, in the kitchen, all appliances should be cleaned, inside and out. The sink should also be scoured and cleaned with a toothbrush to get all the built up dirt and food out.

With all major rooms within the house cleaned, another feat of spring-cleaning should be tackled: the removal of clutter. The rule of thumb when eliminating clutter, according to OrganizedHome.com, is to trash or donate anything that has not been used within the last six months. To get more organized, it is a good idea to invest in storage bins, both large and small. These can be found at any department store.

With help and good plans, spring-cleaning can be everything but a bad time. Try sprucing up the idea by adding some refreshments and music to make the atmosphere more fun. And in no time, the place you call home should become more organized as a result.