Spring Cleaning For Aunt Bertha

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By Oretta Croushore, Property Manager for Home Rental Services

If you asked me to describe this past winter, I would probably draw a picture of an endless, bitter cold, dark and deadly ice dungeon. Something which would make the folks at Game of Thrones shudder in horror. I do have a flair for the dramatic and I don’t like to be cold.

The good news is, the endless winter has ended and we’re into the beautiful, multiple personalities of Kansas Spring. She has a little Katie Perry thing going on, our Spring. She’s hot, then she’s cold, she’s sun then she’s snow. Still, I will welcome her like a long-lost relative. Just like my sweet old Aunt Bertha, I want Spring to feel like my house is her house. I want to get drunk on her lilac perfume. I want her rose red lipstick kisses all over my cheeks.

Before all that can happen, I have got to get the house ready for her!

We’re all familiar with the idea of Spring cleaning but how can we make the most of it in the precious time we have? After all, what we really want is to be out in it!

Spring CleaningHere’s a few tips and tricks to get the house spruced up in anticipation of your favorite relative.

  • Use a lint roller to clean your screen doors. Get all the cobwebs, pet hair, and cottonwood tree debris off the screens. (There was so much cottonwood fuzz in front of my neighbor’s house, I thought someone hit a rabbit!). Get those screens cleaned so you can let in some of that fresh air.
  • Tackle the exhaust vent in your bathroom. Take the cover down and put it in some hot, soapy water. Let the vacuum suck up all the dust bunnies in the motor. This is an area easily forgotten in our daily cleaning regime. It will not only keep you from having dust bunnies sticking to you when you are wet from the shower but will prolong the life of the motor and reduce the risk of fire hazard. No one wants charred bunny in the bathroom.
  • When was the last time you saw your sink faucets sparkle? Did you forget what they looked like when they were clean? Take a screwdriver to remove the handle, grab a cotton swab and go to town on those areas you just can’t get with a rag. Give the handles a soak in some hot, soapy.
  • Magic Eraser will really go to town on  your oven glass. As I mentioned in a previous post, we put these in our move out boxes. Maybe I should add this into our move out tips page for renters. Dirty oven glass makes a property manager sad.
  • Spring CleaningUse a dry Swiffer or dust mop to clean your walls. More dust bunny removal!
  • Give the washing machine a cleaning. It washes your dirty underwear. It deserves to have a spa day sometimes. Fill it with a quart of bleach and water and let the cycle run.
  • While you are at it, Dryer needs love, too. It gives you the warm towels you love so much. Check that your vent  screen is clean. Go outside and suck out what you can from the outdoor vent if you can reach it. If you have something like a Lint Lizard, use it to get down into the dryer to evict all those laundry-loving dust bunnies. You may also want to look into professional vent cleaning. The number of house fires caused by ignited lint is staggering.
  • Take a flat head screwdriver and a disinfecting wipe to get the crevice under the toilet’s water tank. Let’s not dwell on what might be under there. Just clean it and move on.
  • Clean your shower head. Some vinegar in a bag, rubber banded around the head and left to sit overnight will do wonders.
  • My favorite thing to do after the house has had a good cleaning is to give it a good smell. Everyone has their own preferences. You can use room sprays, air fresheners, those little things that plug into the wall, or my favorite, essential oils in a diffuser. I often diffuse oils in my office. Great choices for fresh, Spring smells and feels are citrus, rosemary, lavender, rose, and geranium. The last two I caution you with. A little goes a long way unless you really do want the house to smell like Aunt Bertha and the bridge club have been over.

Spring Cleaning RecipesHere are two “recipes” to try.

Spring Clean: 2 drops each lavender, lemon, and rosemary.

Spring Breeze: 1-2 drops geranium, 3 drops each lemon and wild orange.

Whatever Spring cleaning you choose to do, don’t let it take over your schedule. Most of us have limited down time. Get out and enjoy the air, do things you like, meet people, and remember to stop and smell the flowers. In 20 years, no one will remember how well you kept house. Clean quick and get out and play!

That’s Aunt Bertha’s secret to a long, happy life.