April 5, 2013

Well-Feathered Nest

I did not fully appreciate that sentiment until I had a family of three + a pooch in a quaint, 2-br apartment in New York City! With a tendency to be fairly anal retentive about my personal living space (alright, completely), I am always evaluating and re-evaluating what stays in and what goes out.

Spring is here - for me, the moment I can open the windows again means it's time to clean every nook and cranny of our apartment! With four distinct seasons and limited closet space, I automatically do the wardrobe switcharoo at then end of every winter and summer.  But there are also a few other things that happen as well:

Clean Those Windows

Yes, this means I pull a proverbial Spiderman and hoist myself out the window and onto the fire escape with a bucket of 1-part vinegar to 2-parts hot water, a sponge, and paper towels. The screens come off and are scrubbed down in the shower (yes, a full bath/shower scrubdown commences afterwards!) and the windows look divine when they are done.

Bring it to the Floor

Sorry, kids, but unless you mop every single week, your floors will need some extra TLC a couple of times a year! I take the opportunity to scour the floors, the grout and and wipe down the baseboards, too!
  • Hardwood & Ceramic Tile: Murphy's Oil Soap will leave a gorgeous shine without a sticky residue. It really does do a beautiful job on both hardwood and faux wood flooring as well as tile.
  • Grout: make a paste of water + Ajax, get a heavy duty scrub brush and a toothbrush and work in sections. You don't want the paste to dry, so after you've scrubbed the grout back to life, take a wet sponge and rinse the area. This combo works far better than any grout cleaner I've used, and it has serious staying power. You'll find that doing this once a year (barring a major disaster involving red wine or marinara sauce) will keep your grout clean and bright. Your biceps will enjoy the process as well as your quads from all of the up and down!
  • Baseboards: If you haven't already vacuumed them, you can also take a dryer sheet and wipe them along the edge where the baseboard meets the wall. You'll be amazed how much better they look after this process! 

The Fridge

Take the time to go through your fridge and purge those mysterious leftovers, expired pickles and anything else that you can't recognize! I like to remove the shelves and the drawers and give them a good scrubbing. It always amazes me what a difference it makes. Also, use this time to replace your water filters and baking soda, too!

Flip the Mattress

If you're like me and you're changing outer linens seasonally, it's a great time to flip the mattress after the good ol' linen strip down! It's also a good time to vacuum up at the headboard where you usually can't get to ... you will more than likely find that spring has sprung with more than a fair share of dust bunnies!

Shake it Out, Baby

Now's the time to take down the curtains and fluff up the rugs by shaking everything out, as well as a good time to either wash or replace your outer shower curtain and liner. If you're windows are curtain-free, dust those blinds!

Virtually Speaking

In this day and age, it's probable that what we lack in actual closet space we make up for in virtual memory! 
  • Go through your Contact List.
  • Clean off space on your iPhone or other device by removing unused apps and extraneous photos. Create new playlists.
  • Organize your Inbox.
  • Clean up your Desktop.
  • Purge the DVR.

Spot Clean

Now's the time to pick up a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and spot clean the walls for scuff marks as you go along. You'll love how much better the walls look!

Filter This

After all that dusting, cleaning, scrubbing, purging, fluffing and organizing, don't forget to change your air filters! Nothing like having a dust-free home until the air kicks on! This is also the time to change your filters on your humidifiers and air purifiers, too. 

Have your own tips you'd like to share? Make sure to comment below!

xx JN

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