30 Day Spring {Green} Cleaning Challenge!

channeling springtime...

channeling springtime…

Spring is almost here! Well, at least yesterday it felt like it was almost here. In typical Virginia-weather fashion it was cold and absolutely pouring in the morning, but bright and sunny and warm in the afternoon. But then this morning it’s cold and windy again. Spring isn’t quite here yet, despite what Mr. Groundhog led me to believe, so I figure I can possibly encourage Spring a little bit by starting my spring cleaning!

I’m sort of a neat freak to begin with. I have a permanent to-do list on my counter that I truly enjoy crossing things off from and adding to as needed. And, twice a year (so I guess it’s spring and fall cleaning in my house!), I love giving my apartment a thorough cleaning, as well as generally reorganizing my house and donating unnecessary items to a local charity (usually The Salvation Army). In fact, I think I may be the opposite of a hoarder because I obsessively go through an area of my house every month or so and donate a big bag of clothes, shoes, books, bags, etc. And somehow there never seems to be any less stuff in my house! πŸ™‚

Seeing that I love lists so much – in addition to my home to-do list, I usually have a work to-do list on my desk and several lists of my fridge (grocery list, lists of foods that are in season, lists of dvds to buy, etc) – the idea of a list for spring cleaning really appealed to me. And even better, structuring the list so that you could cross off one item a day and be done spring cleaning in 30 days! Or, do two a day and be done in only 15! When I’m doing chores around the house, I like to watch TV and make myself get up every commercial to get one thing done. I’m sure some people would find this up-and-down annoying, but I find it keeps me active and I get a lot of things done without feeling like I spent an entire afternoon or evening cleaning. So this list sort of works in the same way πŸ™‚ One accomplishment a day, and then before you know it you’re done! Let me know what you think!

Spring {Green} Cleaning 30 Day Challenge:

  1. Dust ceiling fans, lamps, light fixtures and other high-up objects. A microfiber cloth damped with a little vinegar/water mixture works well for dusting.
  2. Sweep along ceiling, especially in corners, to get rid of accumulated dust and/or cobwebs.
  3. Dust all horizontal surfaces, such as bookshelves, counters, coffee tables, and baseboards. Don’t forget to dust the items on the shelves as well! πŸ™‚
  4. Dust all screens – TV, computer, etc with a microfiber cloth.
  5. Spot clean the walls. A magic eraser works well for this, or you can use the all-purpose vinegar/water combination.
  6. Wipe down fans and air vents with a microfiber cloth soaked in vinegar. This one was especially important for me – my circulating fan in my room was very gross!
  7. Launder bed sheets, comforters, bed skirts, pillow cases, etc.
  8. Clean your mattress. This is easiest to do while the bed linens are in the wash, so it’s easy to knock these two steps out at once! Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda (you can use baking soda mixed with 10-15 drops of the essential oil of your choice – but the essential oil is for scent only and is optional). Let the baking soda sit for an hour or two, then vacuum up with the hand vacuum or the brush attachment.
  9. Vacuum furniture such as couches, chairs, ottomans, pet beds, etc.
  10. Vacuum and/or launder curtains.
  11. Take rugs and other mats outside to be shaken out. You can repeat the baking soda and oil mixture on these items if you’d like.
  12. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly before replacing rugs. You can use that same baking soda and oil mixture as a carpet freshener before vacuuming instead of the chemicals you can buy at the store – yuck!
  13. Sweep and mop/swiffer hardwood or tile/linoleum floors before replacing rugs. A combination of vinegar and water can be used as floor cleaning solution.
  14. Spot-clean the carpet for any stains that you notice. You can make at-home carpet spot-cleaner with a combination of a few drops of blue dawn dish soap, a few tablespoons of vinegar and a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. It works like magic! Just pour over the spot, and gently blot with a white cloth (old t-shirts work great!).
  15. Clean the outside of kitchen cabinets, baseboards, and under the fridge/stove. Being a pet owner, these areas notoriously accumulate pet hair and dust. Not to mention pet toys and other small items that just pushed underneath.
  16. Empty out your fridge and freezer and deep clean the shelves and sides. You can use the all-purpose vinegar/water spray. Check the expiration dates on your food and don’t replace any items that are questionable. This is also a great opportunity to re-organize the fridge/freezer so you can find everything again!
  17. Empty out your pantry and wipe down the shelves – you’d be surprised the food particles and dust that can accumulate – but it’s a quick and easy fix! Just as with the fridge, check the expiration dates and general freshness of items before replacing them in the pantry.
  18. Empty out and wipe down your silverware drawer – I have one of those plastic drawer organizers and surprisingly it gets dusty/dirty too.
  19. Run a few handfuls of ice and a sliced up lemon down your garbage disposal with cool water. It cleans and freshens the disposal!
  20. Give your bathrooms a deep clean.
  21. Empty out your medicine cabinet and/or under the sink and check expiration dates and general freshness of items. Throw out anything questionable. Speaking of organizing under the sink, I bought a few metal shelves and they are absolutely wonderful! You can get them at the Container Store here.
  22. Go through your make-up and throw out anything that you don’t use, or that you’ve had for more than a year. I’m notoriously bad about this and hoard unnecessary make-up for long periods of time. I feel so much better having condensed my make-up drawer and getting rid of all the ridiculous trendy things that I honestly do not use.
  23. Wash windows inside and out with a mix of vinegar and water, and a microfiber cloth works great!
  24. Go through your wardrobe and throw out or donate anything you don’t wear. I do this about 3 times a year, and my method is a little crazy. I literally dump out my dresser drawers or closet a section at a time, and things only go back in if I’ve worn them in the past year (or if they are special occasion items), and they only go back in the proper place. Everything else gets donated to the Salvation Army. I think this method was ingrained in me as a child when my mom would dump my dresser drawers on the floor when they weren’t organized properly (i.e. wouldn’t close). Thanks Mom!
  25. Bring your summer clothes out of storage or to the front of your closet and move the winter items into storage or to the back – and vice versa in the fall!
  26. Take your heavy wool coat to the dry cleaners before putting away – it’s pricey but only once a year.
  27. Go through linen closets, the front entryway closet, other closets etc. for items that can be donated or old boxes that can be thrown away.
  28. Check the batteries in your smoke alarm, alarm system, etc – it’s best to make sure everything’s working before they’re needed!
  29. Don’t forget your pets (if you have any). Take this opportunity to take them in for a summer grooming, or for flea and tick treatment.
  30. Sweep off your balcony or porch. If you’re anything like me, this area can get a little neglected during the winter months when you’re not spending as much time outside.
  31. I hope this helps! You will definitely have one super-deep-cleaned house after these steps. For more green-cleaner recipes, visit my green-cleaning pinterest page at http://pinterest.com/jfox915/green-cleaning-freshening/.

    Thank you for reading!

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3 responses to “30 Day Spring {Green} Cleaning Challenge!

  1. In the sprit of spring cleaning, I just finished going through boxes I never went through after my move 4 years ago, paperwork, pictures, old cards ect…To my surprise, I found a $50.00 Gift card for Bath and Body works and a $10.00 gas card! Who says cleaning doesn’t pay off!! Very nice list! Now to have my carpets done on Monday πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Workout Playlist – Throwback Edition | Foxy [Whole] Foodie

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