- Jenny Hill
Six Ways to Bring Spring Into Your Living Space
The bright sun of March and the warmer temperatures re-awakens our senses. With fresh eyes (and a fresh nose?), we notice it’s a great time to do some deep spring cleaning!
1. Start at Your Front Door
Start at your front door–as in your entry way. Whether you have a foyer, hall or just an entry mat, giving the area a meaningful refresh will boost your sense of “home” with your arrival. Professional cleaners advise starting at the top of the area to be cleaned. This strategy lets whatever dirt/cobwebs you shake loose up be cleaned up from the floor last. Cleaning light fixtures brightens any space and saves energy. Take down any decorations for dusting. Remove cobwebs by covering a broom with an old t-shirt.
If you have a light fixture outside your front door, why not clean that too? If it’s time for a new door mat, here are some ideas for your old one
Recycle (if your local area recycles them!)
Cut to use under patio or indoor plant pots
Compost if a natural material, like coir
2. Clean and Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Some people recommend using an old pillow case that you slide over each fan blade to get the first layer of gunk off. Then you may want to wipe down the blades with a cleaning solution (more on this below). Consumer Reports offers step-by-step instructions.
Once the fan is clean, it’s a good idea to reverse the fan’s direction. During the winter, a clockwise rotation moves the cooler air off the floor and pushes warm air down the walls. For warmer weather, you want the opposite effect. First verify it’s been running clockwise. Then use the direction switch on the fan’s body or the remote to make the change.
3. Clean Your Windows
One of the best (and most environmentally friendly) cleaners for windows is mixing equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. You can use a spray bottle or mix them in a bucket and apply to
windows with a sponge or rag. Using a squeegee leaves the fewest streaks and again an old t-shirt can be handy for drips. More window cleaning tips are here.
4. Put on Screens–AFTER You Clean Them
If screens aren’t especially dirty–vacuum or try a lint brush on them.
If screens are dirty, mix ¼ cup distilled white vinegar and ½ gallon of water. Sponge over the screens and then spray with a hose. Let dry in the sun if possible. Then using a lint brush or vacuum may help clean up any “leftovers.”
5. Open Windows as Often as Possible
You’ve made the windows and screens clean–now use them! Getting the air “turned over” in your living space can improve many aspects of your life. Even a small amount of pollutants might have a big impact indoors The Pella Window Company’s website offers this analogy: “If the air outside were an olympic size swimming pool, your house would be more like a thimble of water.” So otherwise beneficial things like fireplaces, space heaters, gas ovens and water heaters might also be degrading the indoor air quality.
6. Clean Your Outdoor Furniture
And last, but not least, get yourself outside as much as possible! What could be more inviting than to bring your morning coffee or tea outdoors and being greeted by a clean, comfy place to sit? Adopt the cleaning strategy most appropriate for what your outdoor furniture is made of. Distilled white vinegar and water is a good starting place again, but if you’re unsure, test a little bit on an inconspicuous spot of the furniture. Here are several recipes including one for cleaning outdoor upholstered furniture.
Temperatures in March often go up and down like a yo-yo. Be ready to take advantage of as much warmer weather as possible.