Never got around to that spring cleaning? It's not too late!Get the family involved, make a list and assign age-appropriate chores for the kids.
By: Kim Schlichting, for Blueprint
So, is it safe to say that we are done with snow for a while? Since it took so long for spring to arrive in Duluth, I’m betting that you may have put off spring cleaning. And if you have, now is the perfect time to get back on track.
Get the family involved, make a list and assign age-appropriate chores for the kids. When the tasks are all done, treat yourself and your helpers. Celebrate with a pizza, a movie or an afternoon at everyone’s favorite park.
Tackling the house, yard, garage and basement are huge projects, and it won’t all get done in one day. There are ways to make it enjoyable: Listen to the radio, put in your favorite playlist, burn a favorite candle — anything that would make your work more enjoyable.
To make it manageable, break it up into smaller tasks, one room at a time. Start with high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathrooms.
As you move from room to room, declutter and evaluate your belongings. If you don’t love it or use it, it needs to go. Pack up unwanted items for charity or plan for a summer garage sale.
A good place to start is with a task where you can see instant gratification. It will give you the motivation you will need to keep working. For me, washing the windows inside and out is a good place to start. Keep in mind it is best to wash the windows on a cloudy day to prevent the glass cleaner from streaking. Then leave a few open to let the fresh air in while you work! If storm windows need to be replaced with screens, now is the time. If necessary, use masking tape or painting tape to label each window with its appropriate location.
Put winter in its place
Store down jackets, boots and mittens in an extra closet or plastic bins (make sure to label). Make sure they are put away clean; send to the drycleaners if necessary. If these items are to be put in the basement or garage, make sure they are stored in a plastic storage bin with a tight-fitting lid.
Launder the winter quilts and bedspreads, and store. If you are using bags or bins, insert a fabric softener sheet to keep them smelling fresh. Down comforters should not be compressed too tightly, as this will compress the down.
Time to put the snow blower and shovels in the back of the garage or shed, and move the lawn mower and garden tools to the front. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on storing the snow blower for the season. Same with the lawnmower — follow the spring maintenance instructions. Check fluid levels, make sure the blades are sharp, etc.
Once the muddy season is gone, it’s an ideal time to deep-clean any carpet and rugs in the house.
If the outdoor furniture hasn’t spent the winter outdoors, it’s time to get it out, along with the grill and any outdoor play equipment for the kids.
Your hard work will pay off. This is a win-win for everyone. You will end up with a clean and organized environment to live in.
Duluthian Kim Schlichting is the owner of Northland Organizing. Her website is northlandorganizing.com.