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Spring Cleaning 101 - How to Spruce Up Your Rental

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Ah, summertime. It’s time for beaches, BBQs, and having friends over for those long summer evenings. But before you pull out the grill (did you remember to clean it last year!?) and start inviting people over, you may want to check that your home’s ready for summer. Spring cleaning is something that involves a bit of time and effort, but most people can fit it into a spare weekend. Of course, this will depend on the size of your home, what condition it’s in, and whether you have any help.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can do to get your home clean and fresh. See how you can have it looking like new and ready to enjoy over the summer months ahead.

What’s Spring Cleaning All About, Anyway?

Back in the days when homes were heated by fires the soot and grime would build up over the long winter months, but once the spring weather arrived the doors and windows could be opened and all the dirt and buildup from the winter would be cleaned out.

Spring cleaning is still a tradition today. While we might not be cleaning the soot from the fireplace, we are certainly cleaning out the winter grime and freshening the place up. There is something about a freshly cleaned home in spring, with the windows open and a cool breeze that can really help rejuvenate you and your home. In many ways, having a clean space can help us not only to feel our best but to be more productive as well. In some cases, it can even help to cut down on seasonal allergies. 

Even if you’re renting your home, there’s a lot that you can do to get your place clean and ready for the summer months ahead. With this in mind, here’s a look at some tips that’ll help to get you off to a great start.

Getting Started 

Getting started is often the hardest part of any cleaning project. If you’re not sure where to start, then here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Make a List 

Making a list can help you to ensure that everything you’d like to accomplish gets done. Writing things down will help you to see the full extent of the work as well, so you can see for yourself whether it’s going to be a manageable job, or if you may need to shorten the list. It’s also a good way to see at a glance all of the supplies that you’ll need as well. You’ll save time if you can get everything in just one trip to the store.

  • Prepare All Your Essentials 

Assemble all your cleaning supplies and source your cleaning solutions, make sure you have enough supplies on hand before you get started. There is nothing worse than getting mid-project only to discover that you’ve run out of soap or sponges.

You’ll probably have your own go-to cleaning products that you use, but if you’re stuck, a few basic supplies that you’ll want to have include dish soap (this works wonders on baths, showers, and surfaces), a nicely-scented laundry soap (for getting odors out of textiles, cleaning carpets, or even for floors), as well as a broom, a dustpan and brush, a heavy-duty scrubbing brush with bristles (for cleaning floors, carpets, or any stubborn stains), and a few old towels (for mopping up excess water). You’ll also need a vacuum, of course, and a good mop and two buckets (one for the kitchen, one for bathrooms). Spin mops seem to work especially well. From there, you can get some good sponges, green scour pads, and maybe even an antibacterial spray cleaner for especially grimy kitchen surfaces. Don’t forget oven cleaner if you’re planning to clean your stove. You may also want to get an extendable duster, for dusting those hard-to-reach places. And make sure you get some sturdy rubber gloves to protect your hands. Don’t worry! We have this list at the bottom if you’d like to save it for easy reference.

  • Keep It Fun

Cleaning doesn’t have to be drudgery. It’s a good idea to put on some music or listen to an audiobook or podcast while doing the long or boring tasks. You might even consider rewarding yourself once everything has been checked off your list. Say, going out for dinner or to the movies when it’s all finished.

  • Enlist Some Help 

Finally, you don’t have to tackle all the cleaning on your own. If you have help, enlist in help. Divide up your list and get things checked off all the quicker. If you’d rather not spend your time cleaning, you can always enlist the help of a professional cleaner who can come in and do the job for you. This is especially good if you don’t have time, don’t enjoy cleaning, or find it difficult.

Areas to Consider Cleaning 

Not sure where to start? Make a list and then prioritize in order of importance. If you’re having a professional cleaner come in, a list can be helpful for them as well. 

Here are some often overlooked areas of the home that could almost always use a good deep clean:

  • Start Up High, Work Your Way Down

Starting up high and working your way down is a good strategy whether you have an entire house to clean or just one room. With this approach, you begin with the top cupboards, or even the ceiling, and work your way down. As you clean, the dust and dirt fall down as well. Be sure to get in all the corners and clean out any cobwebs that have accumulated over the months. You should also be sure to get the ceiling fan blades while you are up there. If your light fixtures are easily removable, you might consider removing them and washing them, and replacing any burnt-out bulbs. (Just remember to keep safety in mind, use a sturdy stepladder, and don’t replace bulbs yourself if they are up too high) If you are feeling adventurous you should also vacuum out the air vents. You might be surprised at how much dust collects in a short period of time. At the end, you can sweep up or vacuum everything that’s fallen onto the floor, mop the floor, and you’ll be good to go.

  • Walls, Cabinets, and Baseboards 

Wiping down the walls, cabinets, and baseboards are projects that only really need to be tackled once or twice a year. You can use a sponge and a bucket of soapy water to remove any stubborn dirt. 

  • Deep Clean the Beds

You’ve probably been pretty faithful about changing your bedsheets, but there’s is a bit more cleaning that comes with a spring cleaning. While heavy items like blankets, comforters, and pillows don’t always need a complete washing, they can all benefit from some fresh air. Putting them outside on a clothesline, or draped over a chair for a few hours can help freshen up your bed. Be sure to put your pillows outside as well, or pop them in the dryer for 15 or 20 minutes to give them a nice fluff and help to kill germs that may be lingering. Sprinkling your mattress with some baking soda and then vacuuming it up can help freshen it up as well. Finally, you can use a damp cloth to wipe down your bed frame. Once everything has been freshened up and put back the only thing left to do is resist falling into it for a quick nap! 

  • Screens and Windows 

First, you should remove the screens from your windows to help make the cleaning process easier. Hose the screens down with water to remove the loose dirt and leaves that have collected, then scrub them with soap and water, rinse, and let them dry while you wash the windows. You can clean the insides, outsides, and windowsills as well. Using a mixture of dish soap and vinegar works wonders. Just make sure you rinse the windows with a hose or dry them thoroughly with a cloth so things don’t dry in streaks. Once everything is clean and dry, be sure to put the screens back in.

Note: If the windows are too high and difficult to reach, then again, you’ll want to skip this task or have a professional in to do it.

  • Curtains and Blinds 

If you have blinds, now would be a great time to take them down and give them a wash. Blinds can be wiped down with a damp cloth and shades can be cleaned using a vacuum or damp cloth. If there is a lot of dust, you might want to vacuum them off first.

  • Don’t Forget the Fridge

The fridge is often one of the most overlooked appliances when it comes to cleaning. Sure, you probably clean the surfaces every so often, but this is a different kind of clean. Take everything out of your fridge and then carefully remove and removable shelves and drawers to soak and wash them at the sink. Take a damp cloth to the inside of your fridge to wipe the walls and the bottom as well. Before you put your food back in, check the expiration dates, and see if anything should be thrown out. A bit of dish soap and vinegar diluted with warm water is a good, safe cleaner for inside the fridge. While you’re at it, you may want to clean under the fridge. You can empty the drip pan that’s underneath the fridge, and give it a quick clean as well, a good way to help prevent odors.

Spruce Up the Place 

While you might not be able to remove walls or cabinets if you’re in rented accommodation, there are still plenty of things you can do that can help give your space a fresh and updated look. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your rental this summer:

  • Get Some Fresh Textiles 

Put away those heavy winter blankets and bring out some bright, cheery throws that are perfect for cool summer evenings. Add some splashes of color with a few new throw pillows or cushion covers. You might even consider adding a new rug to help transform the space. 

  • Invest in Some New Decor

Spruce your place up a bit with some new artwork and decor. You don’t even have to buy all new pieces, often you can swap out pieces from one room to the next and fill in with a few new things as needed. New artwork and decor can instantly change the entire look of your room. Take a few pieces down, put a few new pieces up and suddenly you have a whole new space. 

Note: In most cases, hanging pieces with a small nail or two isn’t too much of an issue with landlords, but you’ll want to check with your landlord first just to make sure. If your landlord agrees, remember to plaster over the small holes and apply matching paint over the top to return the property to the condition that it was in before, when you move out. Alternatively, you can always use Command hooks to hang your pieces.

  • Freshen Up the Towels

Now might be a good time to change out the rugs and towels in your bathroom, throwing out the old ones (or better yet, saving them for those spring cleaning tasks!) and adding in some new ones. A couple of new hand towels, a new rug, and a nice soap dispenser aren’t too expensive, but they can go a long way in helping to improve the look of your bathroom. 

  • Get Some Flowers

Spring has sprung! Nothing says spring like some new plants or fresh flowers. Bring home some new greenery for the front entrance, or even indoors, to add some life to your home. One idea is to get some potted plants or spring flowers and bring them inside, keeping them in some nice pots. They’ll last longer than cut flowers and are often cheaper as well.

  • Organize and Declutter Your Space

Want to make your space feel bigger? Then pack away seasonal things that you’re not using, or consider donating things that you’re not going to use. Even if your house is organized, spring is a great time to give your organization a once-over to make sure everything is in its place and not overflowing. 

  • Touch Up Paint (With Permission)

Before you do any painting, it is important that you talk with your landlord first to get permission. If you have already done some painting (with permission) spring can be a great time to do some touch-ups or even add a fresh coat. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way when it comes to freshening up your space. 

  • Spruce Up the Outdoors

Once the inside has been cleaned up, you might consider doing a little spring cleaning and sprucing up on the outside of your property. You could plant a few flowers in pots, buy a new doormat, and dust off the cobwebs under the eaves. If you have outdoor furniture, you might also consider giving that a clean. Dust off the cobwebs and dirt, wipe down the cushions, and get things ready for the seasons to come. Don’t forget to pull the BBQ out and clean that as well!

Check With Your Landlord 

Finally, if you haven’t already, you might consider checking in with your landlord or property manager. If you’d like to paint the walls a different color or do some serious landscaping outside, then you’ll want to reach out to make sure your landlord is okay with that first. You may also want to consider checking to see if there are any spring maintenance tasks that you are responsible for, or if there are any projects you could help out with. Landlords often have a list of cleaning projects that need to be tackled, so offering to do some could be very much appreciated. You should also check your lease to see if there was anything listed in there that you are responsible for.

With a little bit of spring cleaning, you’ll be able to set yourself up for a great summer ahead. When your space is clean and organized, you’ll feel more on top of things and will be able to relax, focus, and enjoy spending time in your home. Who knows? You may even enjoy having guests over as well. Now, it’s time to go fire up the grill!

Supplies Checklist:

  • Rubber gloves 
  • Dish soap 
  • Laundry soap
  • Antibacterial cleaner 
  • Oven Cleaner (optional)
  • Vinegar (for windows)
  • Green scour pads
  • Sponges
  • Cloths
  • Old towels

Cleaning Tools Checklist: 

  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Heavy-duty scrubbing brush with bristles
  • Mop and buckets
  • An extendable duster

Are you looking for tenant resources? We have more on our website. Visit: Renters Warehouse: Tenant Resources for more helpful tips and information. Remember: you can also use our Resident Portal to submit any maintenance requests, pay rent, update resident information, and more.

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