Make it easy on yourself with some outside cleaning help. (Stock Xchange)
After a long winter, daylight saving time has arrived and our thoughts turn to outdoor activities and projects. But before we start doing things outside, there is something called spring cleaning that generally tops the to-do list.
If you have been bitten by the spring cleaning bug, you are not alone. According to the latest survey from 2012 conducted by the American Cleaning Institute, 62 percent of those surveyed say spring cleaning is an annual ritual in their home.
Those surveyed indicated that kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms are the most important rooms they put at the top of the cleaning list, followed closely by the family room.
But before you bust out your brooms, mops and cleaners, you should first organize and store things that may be lying around the house. My theory is that if you can't remember why you bought them, when you bought them or the last time you used them, it's time to get rid of them! Donate them or take them to the curb so you won't have to clean around them.
If you have too many large items to dispose of and want some help, you can call companies such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK, www.1800gotjunk.com, or College Hunks Hauling Junk, 800-586-5872, www.collegehunkshaulingjunk.com, to have them ensure that your items get recycled, donated or disposed of responsibly.
Once you organize and get rid of items, the next step is to determine what you want to clean and whether you can do it yourself or need to find a good service company to help you.
While cleaning your home weekly may seem fairly simple, doing a complete spring cleaning from top to bottom will often take more than one weekend, and needs to be well planned out before you begin.
"After getting rid of excess stuff in the home, the next thing people should do is make sure they have all the cleaning supplies needed and then determine whether they are going to clean room by room or task by task," says Brian LaFerriere, the owner of Molly Maid in Birmingham, (800) MOLLY-MAID, www.mollymaid.com.
When you look at all the things that need to be cleaned, and the amount of time it will take, getting a professional service company to help you may make the most sense. Top priorities people have for spring cleaning are window blinds, followed by kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.
"While we have clients who have us clean their home every other week or monthly, after a long winter we do get a lot of calls for a one-time deep cleaning," he says.
LaFerriere explained that a deep cleaning can take from two to three hours, depending on the size of the home, while a typical weekly cleaning would take between one and two hours.
Remember your carpeting also gets a workout over the winter and needs special attention in the spring. If you haven't had your carpets professionally cleaned recently, now would be the time to get it done.
Professionals with truck-mounted cleaners can do a better job than you can with a rented carpet-cleaning machine or one of those portable home versions. Some local well-established carpet cleaners include Chet's Cleaning, (800) 404-0017; Miracle Carpet Care, (248) 721-6136; and Modernistic, (800) 609-1000.
No matter what company you hire to help with your spring cleaning, make sure that they are licensed and insured, and are able to provide references that you can check before you hire them. That way, the end result is a clean home and your complete satisfaction. It also helps that you get all the credit when friends and family stop by your freshly cleaned home.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The “Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.
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