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Spring Cleaning Is Easier With A Plan

National Cleaning Week is March 28th-April 3rd! It is time for some spring cleaning. For some, spring cleaning can seem like a daunting task, so here are some reminders to make the job achievable.

Make a check list. It is reassuring to see your progress as you go so you do not get overwhelmed. Do a little every day. This will also help you to not forget cleaning that needs done.

Accumulating too much stuff is easy but getting rid of unused items tends to be hard. Start a donation box to fill as you go. Reorganize your space as needed.

Evaluate your living space. As you clean, pay attention to what may need fixed. Ask a loved one or friend if you need help.

There are some tasks that are easily forgotten but necessary for your health and safety.

· Medicine Cabinet: Get rid of all medicines that have expired by taking them to your local pharmacist to be disposed of properly.

· Smoke Alarms: When was the last time you replaced your smoke alarm? First Alert advises that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Make sure to test smoke alarms monthly and replace the battery every 6 months.

· Carbon Monoxide Detectors: It is advised to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector every 6 months and test monthly.

· Fire Extinguisher: Fire extinguishers vary by type. Visit the American Family Insurance website to see what is recommended for the type you own.

To prolong the life of your appliances, here are some suggested cleaning instructions.

· Dishwasher: You should remove bits of food daily from your dishwasher. Weekly, wipe down the door, gasket and do not forget to clean the filter. Deep clean the interior monthly and clean the exterior, as needed, throughout the month.

· Washing Machine: Better Homes & Gardens has some great tips to clean your washing machine. Here are some of them.

1. Run an empty hot cycle with 2 cups of white vinegar added in the detergent dispenser. This will remove bacteria and act as a deodorize.

2. Scrub the inside and outside by using ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of warm water, clean with a sponge and toothbrush for those small spaces. Do not forget the dispensers, inside of the door, the door opening and machine’s exterior.

3. Run a second hot cycle without detergent or vinegar. You could add ½ cup baking soda to the drum to help clear away and buildup. Following the cycle, wipe away any remaining residue with a microfiber cloth.

4. Top-Load Washers: Follow the tips above, allow the machine to fill and agitate for one minute, then pause the cycle for one hour to let the vinegar soak. Continue the cycle and follow the rest of the directions listed above.

5. Front-Load Washers: If you have musty-smelling laundry, make sure to clean the rubber seal around the door regularly. Spray with distilled white vinegar, let sit with the door open for one minute, wipe with a microfiber cloth.

6. To prevent mold and mildew, leave the washer door open for a few hours after each washing.

· Mattress: While most of us wash our sheets every week or two, how many of us clean our mattresses? Use your vacuum’s crevice attachment to clean the top and sides. Spot-treat any stains and spray with a disinfectant spray.

· Panty and Refrigerator: While removing items, check all dates. Throw away anything expired. Clean the inside of your refrigerator and pantry shelves with 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart hot water to removed food and odors.

· Vacuum: Merry Maids has great tips on cleaning your vacuum. Cleaning the canister, filter and clearing the base plate if hair and fibers can extend the life of your vacuum and keep your house clean. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions if you do not know if your filter is washable or needs to be replaced. Make sure everything is dry before putting it back together. For more detailed instructions, visit the Merry Maids website.

Don't let the spring cleaning tasks overwhelm you. Slow and steady will get the job done. Make sure to ask for help if there is a task you need help with.


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