First, go through your house in sections. Go through all the bedrooms. Gather clothes, toys and housewares that are no longer being used. This is also a great time to store winter clothes and get out warmer weather clothes. Then do the office, kitchen, storage and garage. Organize as you go. Once you have done that, sell anything you can through consignment stores, have a yard sale or donate it to Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Use your sale money to hire someone to deep clean your house, OR…
Start high and go low. Do the upstairs rooms first, then go down. Start with walls, shelves and fixtures and then do the floors. This is a great time of year to target tile, crown molding, ceiling fans, baseboards, blinds, windows, screens, doors, light switches and out of the way corners and nooks.
Be sure to dust and clean your picture frames. If the glass needs to be polished, be sure to remove it from the frame to avoid damaging your portraits. Use a clean, cotton cloth and some glass cleaner. For dusting, use furniture polish or a damp cloth. This can really extend the life of these products and make them look new.
Move furniture to get everything clean and then steam your carpets or clean and wax hardwood floors. Have your grout cleaned, either professionally or rent a steamer and do it yourself. For smaller areas, grout can even be cleaned by hand with some rubber gloves, grout cleaner and a sturdy brush.
Change your home’s air filter. You’ll be amazed how much dust and dirt can build up over the winter.
This is a great time to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries, if needed.
Pressure wash your decks, driveway, and even your home’s siding, if needed.
If you have a pool, have it cleaned and stock up on chemicals and a water-testing kit.
Fertilize and irrigate your lawn. Prune trees and shrubbery and get ready for any spring gardening you might want to do.
Remember – This doesn’t have to be a one-person job. Recruit children, husbands and friends to help you get this done. A neighborhood yard sale is one way to make cleaning and de-cluttering fun. This also doesn’t have to be a one day or even one week process. Take your time, make a to do list and check things off when you can. The finished result will be worth the effort!