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Spring cleaning brings renewal

Kim Whitten of Phil Campbell knows a thing or two about cleaning. At one time she was professionally cleaning seven houses, in addition to her own.

“For me, spring is a time for renewing, taking out the old and bringing in the new, getting rid of what we no longer want or need, changing décor, freshening the home with aromas and working to get things extra clean,” said Whitten. “Some people get overwhelmed thinking about it all, but there are lots of ways to make the process less intimidating.”

Spring Cleaning Tips

1. Declutter first, then work on dusting and more extensive cleaning. Make sure everything is in its place. It takes a lot less time to clean when everything is where it should be.

2. Work on one room a week. Depending on the size of your home, you might be able to finish in a month. Maintain by doing a deep cleaning once a month.

3. Decide on items you no longer want or need and sell, donate or otherwise dispose of them.

4. With clothing, if you haven’t worn a particular outfit in the past year, it’s probably time to get rid of it.

5. Open windows to let fresh air in.

6. Bring flowers in from the yard and put them in vases.

7. Change your décor by buying something new and/or rearranging what you have.

8. One inexpensive way to add color to your home is to take an old pallet and paint it.

9. Choose up to three accent colors to use with a light base color, such as having white cabinets and using the accent colors other places in the room. Turquoise, yellow and light orange are colors that would work well in this instance.

10. Every three months, clean blinds and baseboards.

11. Use vinegar and water to clean windows and blinds – one part vinegar to three parts water in a spray bottle. This is a good way to clean without harsh chemicals.

12. If something stronger is needed, a floor cleaner such as lemon Mr. Clean can be useful while also providing a pleasant scent. Dilute it with warm water in a bucket and use it to clean countertops, appliances and other areas.

13. Lemon and other citrus scents, such as orange, are among Whitten’s favorites for enhancing the mood of the home. Some people find lavender calming, while others find it too strong.

14. When using vinegar and water, consider burning a candle or running an electric oil diffuser with a citrus or preferred scent to help cut down on the strong smell of vinegar. Before doing this, first make certain whether candles or diffusers are safe for all people and pets in your home. You can check with your animal’s vet to see if there are concerns for your pet.

15. A Webster duster – round at the top and extends to 20 feet – can help reach the corners of ceilings and get all the cobwebs down. It is also helpful for reaching ceiling fans. Consider dusting at least once a week. Everything will feel fresher.

16. A Webster duster can also be used outside on the eaves of the house. Special Clorox for outdoor use won’t kill your plants – use one part outside Clorox to a gallon of water.