(BPT) - It’s that time of year - throw the windows open and refresh your house with a good, deep clean. Americans spend nearly 70 hours cleaning their homes each year, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Get your time back with three easy tips to make the process fast and stress-free.
Set the stage
Before diving into spring cleaning, tidy up your home and get rid of the clutter left behind from a long winter cooped up indoors. This will help to clear surfaces and make room for a deep clean.
Storage bins are an affordable solution for organizing items that you want to keep but don’t use frequently. Consider installing a shelving unit in your closet to create added space for items you use on a daily basis.
During warmer months, outdoor spaces can be just as functional as indoor rooms, so don’t overlook these areas when you start cleaning. Hide blankets, pillows and other items in storage that doubles as decor pieces. The design-savvy, Home Depot-exclusive storage bins, the Rubbermaid Rattan Resin Storage Cube Deck Box and Suncast Wicker Resin Deck Box provide ample room for storage, can double as a side table and match a wide variety of outdoor decor styles.
For items you’ll be throwing away, be sure to use trash bags that are up to the job. “Choose trash bags that are able to handle heavy loads of garbage without breaking or spilling,” says Rick Carpenter, Home Depot store manager. HDX Expandable Drawstring Embossed Kitchen Bags are strong, expandable bags designed to safely and efficiently hold large amounts of garbage. “The embossed texture helps prevent tears and increases durability, making them a must-have for tough cleaning jobs,” Carpenter says.
Don’t forget the tough spots
Roll up your sleeves and tackle the hard-to-reach spaces after you declutter. In the kitchen, scrub safely with Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner - it’s a powerful nontoxic formula that’s completely safe for children and pets and will make every inch of your refrigerator sparkle. It’s also multipurpose and can be custom-diluted for almost any type of surface cleaning, like floors and walls, pots and pans or large appliances.
Many begin and end cleaning the laundry room with emptying the dryer vent. But taking care of your dryer isn’t just limited to the lint filter screen. Small particles get through and can eventually build up inside the dryer to block the outside vent ducting. Avoid this pricey mistake and use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean out all remaining lint. It takes a couple minutes but this easy step could save you headaches in the future.
Clean smarter to sniff less
Spring should be enjoyed, both inside and out, without the sniffles. Basic upkeep around the house with easy-to-use products can help you stay healthy and enjoying the season.
For everyday sanitizing, the Windex Touch-Up Cleaner is a multi-surface cleaning solution, ready at the push of a button. Just a dab is all you need to clean and sanitize kitchens, bathrooms and other frequently used areas of the home. Keep the Touch-Up within reach in high-traffic places (like the living room or kitchen) and encourage family members to sanitize items like the remote, faucet handle and doorknobs after each use.
“For perennial allergy sufferers, an indoor HVAC system can make a difference. The HVAC has a filtration system built into it and if maintained regularly, can help protect against pesky allergens,” Carpenter says. Below are two simple ways to maintain your HVAC system and help improve the air quality in your home all season long:
* Change your air filter regularly: Changing the air filter will prevent build-up of allergy causing particles that can enter the home. Make sure to check your specific manufacturer’s recommendations for the best possible results.
* Assess your air quality needs: If there are pets in the home or multiple allergy sufferers, you’ll want to choose an air filter with a higher rating.
Starting the spring season off with a deep clean can reduce the time you spend cleaning throughout the year. Following a deep clean, maintenance cleaning is faster and less frequent, giving you more time to enjoy spring with friends and family, gardening, grilling or simply relaxing in your backyard. For more information, visit www.homedepot.com/cleaning.