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9 Spring Cleaning Musts

When the weather turns warmer, flowers start blooming, and days start getting longer. You know what that means—it’s time for spring cleaning! Here are 9 “musts” that you should put on your list when it’s time to get to work.

1. Air Conditioners and Heaters. The first step is to change the filters and clean the vents. Make sure no debris or furniture are blocking the vents. Get your air conditioning unit inspected by a professional to make sure it’s running properly before summer arrives.

2. Outdoor Areas. Clear debris out of your gutters and downspouts. Clean the interior and the exterior of your grill and wipe any dirt or grime off of your patio furniture. Then power wash the patio itself and do the same for your sidewalks and driveway if needed.

3. Windows and Doors. Yes, you do have to wash the outsides and insides of your windows (and check the weatherstripping while you’re doing it). Then wipe down the outside of your front and back doors to prevent stains from forming.

4. Appliances. Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator. Clean out the lint that accumulates around your dryer and its exhaust system (which is a fire hazard). Inspect the cords and hoses of all of your appliances to make sure they aren’t fraying or cracking.

5. Garage. When rummaging through what is lying around in your garage and other storage areas, invoke the one-year rule: if you haven’t used it in the past year, then throw it out, give it away, or sell it (excluding tool and emergency items, of course).

6. Kitchen. In addition to sweeping and mopping floors, spray oven cleaner in the oven and clean out the refrigerator and freezer (wiping all surfaces in the process). Wipe down countertops and small appliances, and clean out drawers and cabinets. Finally, take down blinds or drapes and have them cleaned.

7. Bathrooms. Scrub all surfaces inside showers and tubs, and clean toilets thoroughly inside and out. Dust any exhaust fans or vents and wipe down sinks and mirrors. Then clean out medicine cabinets and drawers and wipe those surfaces as well.

8. Bedrooms. Dust everything—from ceiling fans and lamps to nightstands, dressers, and chests. Go through each closet and throw out any clothing that hasn’t been worn within the past year. Take all comforters, duvets, bedspreads, mattress pads, sheets, pillows, and coverings and have them washed.

9. Living areas. Clean all carpets and area rugs. Vacuum all of the cushions and pillows in sofas and chairs. Dust all accent tables as well as the entertainment center, and do the same for bookshelves after removing all books. Take down any drapes, valences, or curtains and have them cleaned professionally.