This very long, very cold winter is finally coming to an end. Okay…so maybe not just yet, but hopefully soon! Sunshine, more hours of daylight and the liberating feeling of not having to put on layer-upon-layer of clothing is around the corner (we hope!) Why not channel some of that energy into a bit of spring cleaning? A little effort now will result in a healthier, more comfortable home as we enter the season of new beginnings. Below are some of the many helpful hints from our friends at HGTV and Martha Stewart Living.

* Let the sunshine in by cleaning the window panes. Your best bet is to use rubber-edged squeegees, which come in range of sizes. A screw-on extension makes it easy to reach  way up high.
All you need is a bucket of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap.

* Dust. Dust. Dust. Pay special attention to the places that are out of sight and/or out of mind, including ceiling fans, the tops of kitchen cabinets, and baseboards and doorways. Wipe blinds with a damp cloth.

* Bring drapes back to life by taking them down, removing the hooks and running them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer with a damp towel, which captures the dust, for 15 minutes. As soon as the dryer cycle finishes, hang the curtains up again.

* Change the direction of your ceiling fans. If you switched the direction for winter, now’s the time to return it to the standard counterclockwise rotation, set to take the edge off of a room’s heat. (Running the fan clockwise creates an upward draft, redistributing the warm air throughout the room, which is helpful during cold months.) Check the base of the fan for a switch to adjust rotation.

* Wax wooden floors and shampoo carpets to get rid of salt and other debris tracked in by winter shoes.

* Attack that refrigerator. Toss out food that is spoiled or past its eat-by date. A simple solution of abrasive salt and bubbly soda water can help you make the shelves and walls smooth and sparkly.

* Use the self-clean oven option, but only after taking care of major spills.

* Remove lightbulbs from their sockets and polish them with a microfiber cloth dampened with water. Be careful not to get the metal screw base wet.

* Wash out trash cans. Spray garbage cans with a hose and dump out the water. Then, cover the insides with a disinfectant spray, scrub with a brush and rinse.

* Clean outdoor furniture with dishwashing detergent.

Taking these steps will help actual spring get here faster! Well, maybe not, but we can dream, right?

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: By Thekohser (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons