Winter is undeniably one of my favorite seasons, but I’ve checked out early this year. In an attempt to coax spring into coming early, I’ve started the long and grueling process of cleaning my house.
Whether it’s deep cleaning or just tidying up, there are a few ways to go the extra mile and keep your home sparkling. During my spree, I uncovered dirty items around my home that I didn’t even realize were in need of my care. I cannot confirm or deny that I spent 30 minutes vacuuming a loveseat.
1. The upholstery. Vacuum couches, chairs, love seats, rugs and mattresses, then spot clean with a rag and warm water. Depending on the fabric, curtains and slipcovers can be tossed in the washing machine.
2. The walls. If you have kids or pets, this might be a no-brainer – those handprints (or pawprints!) add up. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth, then gently scrub off any dirt with an all-purpose cleaner safe for your walls. (Test in an inconspicuous area first if you’re unsure.) Don’t forget the molding!
Achoo! A couple of us down at HGTV Headquarters aren’t feeling so well. I spent last week in bed fighting what I’m convinced was the plague, armed with only a stash of home remedies and a few boxes of tea.
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that never seem to get sick, you’re bound to catch a cold sometime. Keeping your home spic and span is one of the most important ways to ward away disease, and a thorough cleaning once you’re feeling better can prevent illness from spreading to your loved ones.
Start with the air. If you don’t remember the last time you changed the AC filter in your home, you’re cheating yourself out of good health. Harmful airborne particles like smoke, bacteria, pet dander, mold and allergens can build up in your home with a dirty filter. A quality pleated filter will only run you about $20 and last for 90 days.
Take off your shoes. Your shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Millions of harmful microorganisms can be tracked across the floor – a major problem only multiplied if you have kids that like to play on the floor. Take your shoes off at the door and politely ask guests to do the same.
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The Super Bowl is in a couple of days, and whether you love or hate the sport, it’s the perfect excuse to throw a party. I’m sure you’ve spent all your time picking out the food and drinks, and now you’re stuck with a messy house. If you don’t have time to thoroughly clean your home for your guests, just worry about making it clean enough. I know, I know I’m not supposed to encourage that, but sometimes you’ve got to fake it ’til ya make it, people.
Here are a few quick cleaning tips:
- Focus only on areas your guests will see (the foyer, media room, guest bathroom, etc.).
- Give the room a decluttered look by placing magazines, cords and other items in stylish trays and storage bins.
- Wipe down all surfaces.
- Carry a laundry basket to pick up displaced items while doing a quick sweep in each room.
Get More Tips From Sabrina Soto>>
What are your favorite last-minute cleaning tips?
Small spaces get dirty fast. A sticky spot on the floor or a few cobwebs in the corner might go unnoticed for weeks in a big, roomy house, but quickly become an eyesore in a dorm room. But whereas in that big house you may have cleaning products for days, college students’ supplies are often limited.
This kid doesn't know most college students will never own a vacuum this nice.
Here’s an example: I didn’t always own a mop. I used to loop a hand towel on the end of a broom, dunk it in a bucket (and by bucket, I mean trash can) of soapy water and drag it across the floor, hoping that it would clean something, anything. Those were dark days.
Decorating is basically useless if all of your stuff is covered in trash. There are essentials you need, especially if it’s your first apartment or dorm, to keep your space tidy and clean.
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For the past four months my kitchen has been an unorganized, amateur bakery. From creating tailgating treats and Halloween snacks to savory Thanksgiving sides and Christmas cookies, I turned my kitchen upside-down with each and every recipe. You don’t even want to see my spice cabinet, utensil drawers or pantry. They’re just pure madness! (I know you must know how I feel.) Now that the holidays are over and the heavy baking has come to a halt, I desperately need to get my kitchen under control. So, if you’re dying to start out 2012 organized and clutter-free, then you’ll love this week’s how-to.
Your kitchen can easily be the most cluttered room in the house. The best way to start is to clear off the cabinets and hit one shelf, cabinet or drawer at a time. Just like any other room, items should be sorted according to whether you want to keep, donate, sell, store or toss them. It may seem painful at first, but I promise the end result will produce smiles. Get Tips and Rules for Decluttering the Kitchen >>
Is “cleaning out the garage” or “tidying up the outdoors” on your home’s New Year’s resolutions list? Don’t fret. We have plenty of expert tips to get your home sparkling clean, inside and out, with help from HGTV.com.