Underneath melting snow await piles of grit and gunk, an indication it’s spring cleaning time.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Queen of Clean (although I recommend her books). I usually live by the motto, “A clean house is the sign of a life wasted.” But there are times when I can’t avoid taking up mop and broom. Spring is one of those times.
Seasonal basics scream for attention. I usually gloss over the rest. I’ll start by packing away the mountain of boots by the door. I’m officially declaring an end to snow-boot season. (It’s Minnesota, so keep at a hat and a pair of gloves handy for each family member until about June.)
Once the boots are stored, it’s time to tackle the sandbox that’s accumulated under them all winter. This requires a stiff broom, a vacuum hose attachment, then a thorough washing of the entryways.
Now that job does no good without also sweeping the garage and porch. Folks will just keep tracking it all back in. If you have cheap labor like me (school-age children), sweeping the garage is a good chore for them. It’s outside and doesn’t involve lifting Grandma’s crystal to dust underneath. A push broom and a large metal dustpan usually do the trick.
If you’re one that breaks out the shop-vac for garage duty, consider dragging that baby to the curb to suck up the sand the salt/sanding trucks have left behind on the yard. (Editor’s note: Woodbury is planning to do street sweeping starting April 18.)
I thought my neighbor was a dust bunny short of an under-the-bed Easter basket when I first saw him vacuuming his lawn. But if you take a look, you’ll see it’s not a bad idea.
While outside on one of these first days above 60 degrees, I’ll consider tackling the filthy windows. Longer days of bright sunlight make the inability to see my kids in the yard difficult to ignore. I’ve found that a regular old gas-station style squeegee works best. Fill a bucket with hot water, a squirt of dish soap, and a half-cup of ammonia. Dunk the squeegee, scrub the window with the spongy side, scrape the dirty water off with the rubber side, wipe any remnants with a rag, move to the next window and repeat.
The glass comes crystal clean with no need to rinse as long as I don’t use much soap. It’s faster than you think and instantly rewarding to see that film of brown gook whisked away.
The upper level and inside windows are less fun. They require removal of muntin grids, pinched fingers from tilting panes to wash the outside, and trying to avoid streaks with coffee filters and Windex. It’s slow and may or may not get done this spring.
Other spring cleaning tasks include removal of mucky dead plant material to make room for new growth, dry cleaning winter coats and down comforters and vacuuming drapes and dusty corners. Then I’ll revert to only cleaning dishes and toilets on an as-needed basis until next spring!