19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Living Room
Air Filter
1.     Move large furniture to clean behind and underneath it.

2.     Clean the windows and the inner seals of the windows.

3.     Change your air filters and clean your air vents.

clean ovenKitchen

4.     Defrost your freezer and wipe it out.

5.     Clean out your cabinets. Throw away expired food.

6.     Clean the oven, including the exhaust vents.

tileBathroom

7.     Dust those light fixtures!

8.     Go through your cabinets, throw away any expired makeup or beauty products.

9.     Check the grout in your shower. (The grout in tile can wear out.) Re-grout areas that are weak or damaged. (You can DIY or hire a professional.)

pillowsBedroom

10.  Flip your mattress and check your pillows! Pillows can house bacteria and mold. If they are machine washable, wash them, if not either hand wash or just replace.

11.  Clean out your drawers and closets.

12.  Clean off your blinds and ceiling fans.

washing machineLaundry Room

13.  Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean the vents and exhaust.

14.  Clean out your washing machine. See instructions for top loading and front loading.

General Living Areas

15.  Check your porches for cobwebs and debris

16.  Clean your blinds and wash your curtains.

17.  Look for those hard to reach baseboards and areas that are hard to dust.

Ceiling Fan18.  Free up space by putting coats and heavy blankets into storage.

19.  Change the direction that your ceiling fans turn. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals.

Need some help with the regular Spring Cleaning To Dos? Why not schedule a Deep Cleaning? Download our Deep Cleaning checklist to get started!  

Why You Should Change Your Fans & Filters with the Time Change

Looking for ways to save on heating and cooling costs while keeping your air at home healthy?  These two tips will improve your air quality, the life of your HVAC system (one of the most expensive appliances to replace) and keep your home at just the right temperature for YOU.

One of the best ways to build habits is to set triggers around those habits.   This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time, and though we’re losing an hour, it’s the perfect time to change your filters and fans.  Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 12th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).

HVAC

HVAC

Call your HVAC guy to come and check out your system and give it a tune up. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.

Haven’t changed your air filters in a while?  Make sure that you’re changing them monthly during winter and summer when your HVAC system is working the hardest.  During spring and fall, you can change them every three months if you have a pet-free home and good quality air filters.

If you suffer from allergies or notice your air quality going down, changing your filters will improve your air quality and preserve the life of your HVAC system since it keeps out dust and other particles that clog up the system.  Let’s take a second to breathe that in.

Why You Should Change Your Fans and Filters with the Time Change  | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Ceiling Fans

When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise to force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards.  In spring, we want to prepare our house for the summer heat and use our fans efficiently.

This downward flow of air creates a windchill effect, which will make your home feel cooler than it is! Then you can raise your temperature and save your hard-earned money for something more fun–like spring break!

 

PollenBonus Tip

Pollen season in North Carolina lasts pretty much from March until September, with the worst of the yellow stuff plaguing us through March and April. Get some allergy medicine (antihistamines and/or nasal washes) now so you’ll have it when you need it!

By forming the habit of changing your fans and filters with the time change, you’ll be able to breathe easy as the seasons change.  Now go out there and make your home fresher and cooler!

Decluttering your House the Marie Kondo Way

Decluttering Your House the Marie Kondo Way | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Do you want to live more simply this year?  Or, do you just need to make room in your house for what you love?  This is a great time of year to declutter and get your house in order!  Marie Kondo’s book will help you to re-examine your space and things in a ruthless yet refreshing way.

We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what to get rid of. – Marie Kondo

Who is Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering and organizing expert who has helped hundreds of clients tidy their homes.  Impressively, none of them have relapsed into how they managed their clutter before her.  Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over six million copies worldwide.

Her main theme is that you should only keep items in your house that spark joy.  Any items that don’t bring you joy should be released with gratitude towards what they have done for you without guilt.  While some of her suggestions are quirky to our Western culture, the framework will help you to efficiently declutter your entire house.  She insists that this tidying process be done quickly in no more than 6 months.  This way, the dramatic change will affect you in such a way that you do not go back to your old ways of collecting clutter.

Decluttering in Action

Here are the things to declutter (in order) so that your decision-making skills are honed by the time you discard photos and mementos:

Clothes – Don’t let unwanted clothes be turned into lounge wear.
Books – Arrange books on your shelves so that you can see only books that you love without stacking them on top of each other.
Documents – Recycle (and shred as necessary) all documents except for ones such as birth certificates or passports. Find documents online as needed. And do you really need that pay stub or mortgage payment from 3 years ago?
Miscellaneous – Go through all other categories of items in your house separately.  These include such as skin care products, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, etc.
Photos/Mementos– Set these items aside until the end of the tidying process, and discard what you don’t love.  This will make the things that spark joy feel even more special.

pillows, bed, decluttered

Gather items by category so that the entirety of that type of item is in one place when you sort through it.  This way, you only have to make the decision once regarding what things to donate or throw away.  For example, you might have six different pairs of scissors throughout your house when you really need only three.  Would you really remember where the best ones are? However, if you organized your house by room over the course of several weeks, as many decluttering experts recommend, you wouldn’t use the best scissors.

Stay Organized!

Deciding where every item in your house goes is an essential part of Marie Kondo’s decluttering process.  Often things that belong nowhere end up everywhere.  Store things where they are easily put away so that you don’t continue to clutter up your house. Marie Kondo suggests that you not stack things on top of each other since things on the bottom often are forgotten.  Instead, she says to use boxes to organize your things.  Shoe boxes work well for larger items such as clothes, and iPhone boxes work well for office supplies and makeup.

Her folding method for clothes is a game changer, as it allows you to see all of your clothes in each drawer and actually fits more clothing in the drawer. Fold your clothes in thirds twice, and place upright in your drawers.  Never again will you look in a drawer without being able to see everything at a glance!

Want to try it for yourself?  Check out the book from the library for details or just start tidying today!

Prepping your Home for Snow + Free Checklist!

prepping for snow checklist

In North Carolina, we never know what to expect from the weather, especially in the winter!  Some years we have lots of snow and ice and power outages, and during other years we barely have a snowflake.  Whatever comes our way, it’s good to be prepared!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for the link to a Winter Home Maintenance Checklist to get your home ready for snow and ice.

Serious Snow Prepping
snow-shovel

Worried about possibly being without power for a few days if a snow or ice storm hits?  Buy gas heater or generator and have everything on hand and set up in advance.  Make sure that you have a thorough knowledge of safety hazards around a gas heater as it can be a serious fire hazard if used incorrectly.  Never leave a gas heater unattended, and keep it clear of any fire hazards, such as curtains and blankets.  Wouldn’t it be awful to think that you’ll have power in an emergency and spend time and money setting up a generator, only to not have it work?  If you have never had a generator set up before, have an electrician come to your home ahead of time to set it up so that you know that it is functioning correctly.


During the Snow Storm
winter-boots

If your car is parked outside, do yourself a favor and put your windshield wipers up and cover with old tube socks.  This prevents your wipers from sticking to your windshield and saves them from the ice and snow.  If temperatures drop below 25 degrees F, turn your faucets to just a drip so that your pipes don’t freeze.  If your pipes freeze in the winter, wrap your pipes in newspaper, towels or rags as needed.  Then warm them with a hair dryer if they freeze.

Make sure that you have charged electronics as needed if there is a threat of snow or ice before there is a power outage.  If you lose power, unplug important electrical equipment to avoid ruining it in a power surge when power is restored.

Click here to download the FREE Winter Home Maintenance Checklist!

Hopefully, we’ll have safe and happy snow days this year, and with these tips, you’re sure to have a peaceful rather than stressed snow day! 

Get Ahead of Spring!

Spring is just a few weeks away, and we sure are ready for some warmer weather! As we’re gearing up for Spring Cleaning season, we thought we’d put together a list of some simple spring TO DOs that tend to get overlooked.

Click here to watch our Spring Cleaning segment as seen on NBC-17’s My Carolina Today, and check out the full list below!

HVAC1. HVAC
Call your HVAC guy to come check out your system and go ahead and change those filters. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.

2. Daylight Savings Time
Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 9th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).

3. Ceiling Fans
When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise which will force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals at ceilingfan.org.

4. Mattresses
The mattresses in your house should be flipped every spring and every fall. An easy way to remember this is to flip your mattresses at the same time that you change your clocks. Turn the mattress so that the end which was at the foot is now by the headboard, then flip the mattress over so that the side which was the top is now the bottom. Follow these simple steps on WikiHow to rotate your mattress.

PatioFurniture5. Patio Furniture
Warm weather is on the way, and you’ll want to be able to enjoy the outdoors when it comes. Go ahead and get your patio furniture out of the garage, or if it’s been outdoors, go ahead and clean off any dirt that’s accumulated over the winter. Check out the Real Simple site for tips on how to clean all types of outdoor furniture.

Pollen6. Prepare for Pollen
Pollen season in North Carolina lasts pretty much from March until September, with the worst of the yellow stuff plaguing us through March and April. Get some allergy medicine (antihistamines and/or nasal washes) now so you’ll have it when you need it!

7. Cleaning Goals
Figure out the Spring Cleaning goals which are particular to your home, and get them on the calendar. Maybe you need the carpets or upholstery cleaned, your curtains washed, or your baseboards wiped. This may be something that you can tackle by yourself, or you might want to call in the professionals to handle the dirty work.

Prepping For The Holidays

Wendy Clark shares tips with My Carolina Today

Wendy Clark shares holiday tips with          My Carolina Today

Preparing your home for the holidays and for houseguests can be a daunting task, lucky for you we’ve come up with a handy checklist to help you get your household in order. Click here for a printable PDF and here to watch Carpe Diem’s Wendy Clark share holiday tips with NBC-17’s My Carolina Today.

General

♦ Cover your bases! ♦

  • Carpets: if carpets have obvious stains, have them cleaned before guests arrive. If carpets are in good shape, wait until after the holidays so you can start the new year with clean carpets (we can help – that’s right folks, we clean carpets too!)
  • Nightlights: place nightlights in the rooms that guests will be using.
  • Sidewalk Salt: have salt on hand for your driveway and sidewalks in case there’s some unexpected weather.

Hospitality

♦ Happy houseguests make for a happy holiday – make sure everyone is comfortable! ♦

  • Sleep Areas: vacuum sofa beds and sofas, make sure all surfaces inside and out are clean. Put clean sheets and blankets on beds.
  • Towels & Toilet Paper: make sure that items like bath towels and toilet paper are available and easy to find.
  • Personal Care Kits: create care kits containing little soaps and toothpastes, pain reliever, and allergy pills if you have pets.

Kitchen

♦  Be prepared and let no guest go hungry! ♦

  • Food: clean out your fridge and pantry, then stock up on some basic foods in addition to your holiday meal shopping. Show your house guests what foods are available if they get hungry. If you have a guest with food allergies, make sure your buy foods which are appropriate for them.
  • Food Storage: buy some basic plastic containers or Ziploc bags so you can easily give out leftovers after parties and meals. These will also help for storing extra holiday food if you have a shortage of containers.
  • Labeling: make sure you have a Sharpie (or multiple Sharpies) handy for labeling and dating leftovers.

Childproof

♦ A word from the wise: always childproof BEFORE visiting children arrive. ♦

  • Electrical Outlets: make sure you have covers for all of your electrical outlets.
  • No Tinsel: do not decorate with tinsel as it is a choking hazard both for children and for pets.
  • Baby Gate: get your old baby gate out of the closet if there is an area that you would like to partition off from little people (or pets).