Although there are no long winters in Miami, a good spring cleaning is always beneficial. Yeah I know, it sounds ideal but intimidating, am I right? Sometimes getting around to deep cleaning/organizing our homes can be intense, especially if your intention is to tackle every crevice. But what if there was a way to make these tiring and time-consuming tasks practicable and doable? (Besides your daily colada shot.) Here are a few ways to tackle your home room by room with bite-sized tasks, with some Miami-Mama chispa (aka Miami Spunk). Whether you only have five minutes to freshen things up or an entire weekend to get to it, here are some practical tips to get you started:
- Start off with the maintenance mindset: Ask yourself if the areas you’re cleaning can be easily maintained; if not, what’s stopping it?
Miami mama, closet cleaning can be a yearly task, IF proper systems are put in place along with certain habits. First, go through clothes, shoes, and accessories from the season that just ended—since we don’t experience hard winters this shouldn’t take too much time. Remove any items that are stained, need to be repaired/worn out. Don’t keep anything you haven’t worn in 24 months. If you’re feeling uneasy about throwing it out, keep it in a clear bin in the garage or storage. If you don’t pull for it after another 12 months, it’s time to donate! This is a good time to invest in matching hangers to spice up your Miami-Mama closet.
Use two mats in order to trap more dirt, keep one outside the door and look for a mat with rough bristles. Keep one indoors that is more absorbent in order to finish the job. It’s so easy to settle for just one, but if you’re living in these busy Miami streets, chances are you’re facing unpredictable weather at times and one doormat isn’t going to cut it— ESPECIALLY if you’re coming home from a minor spring shower.
Sinks are one of our most used appliances and learning to maintain them can be tricky. Try keeping lemon essential oil nearby and use 1-3 drops under warm water to help deodorize. Another option is keeping it old school by throwing down some lemon rinds in your garbage disposal and following it with cold water in order to get rid of any unwanted odors.
FRIDGE + FREEZER
Keep your occasional interior shelving cleaning to a minimum by finding fridge systems. Give clear removable bins a try in order to compartmentalize and keep your produce/leftovers from rotting. This will allow you to deep clean your shelves every now and again. When ready, it’s just a matter of removing the door shelves and clear bins and washing them in warm soapy water. This will help keep your fridge clean of food bacteria and any spillage.
2. With a micro-perspective, consider those daily used items and freshen them up.
You know the drill, blast some salsa and pull furniture away from walls in order to vacuum and mop behind/under. Remove those cushions and vacuum any crumbs, use a steamer to sanitize, or rent a furniture-cleaning machine to go over the cushions as well. This is a great way to remove any gunk, stains, and bacteria. Luckily this is also a once-a-year job, so take advantage of this spring cleaning spree!
Mamas, there is nothing like getting rid of expired makeup, skincare, and hair products, am I right? Not only is this a quick way to declutter but your skin will thank you for it. Grab those brushes and give them a good rinse with a nontoxic all-purpose cleaner, use some makeup remover or some make-up brush shampoo. Then, give your products some love by cleaning them with make-up remover wipes to get rid of any leftover makeup residue. Do the same with the products that live in your shower. At times, we accumulate far too many products when we really only need a select few.
Kids’ toys are some of the items that can be found everywhere and anywhere… Unfortunately, some of those places may not be the cleanest, therefore this would be a good time to do some deep cleaning. Use your dishwasher if your kids’ toys are dishwasher safe and use the steam/sterilizing feature. If not, fill up a tub and add some household cleaner and drop some clove essential oil to kill any bacteria. Let them soak in there with hot water and then drain/dry after 20min. For your kiddos’ stuffed animals, use a mesh bag before throwing them in the washing machine on a delicate cycle.
Clean your shower curtains on a delicate cycle with a scented detergent to give your bathroom’s aroma that extra touch (let the curtain hang dry before showering). Spring cleaning is also the perfect time to start cleaning out that grout! Grout picks up EVERYTHING. With a grout brush (or toothbrush) scrub those grout lines. Maintain your clean shower by keeping an all purpose cleaner and sponge nearby (or in the shower) to remove any soap scum/leftover residue before hopping out.
3. Think of the areas that don’t need to be maintained daily, but can use some TLC annually:
We all have one and in some cases, some—there is no shame here, just solutions! Empty out your junk drawer, and vacuum out the dust and crumbs. Then, toss and relocate anything you no longer need or that doesn’t belong. Try using a drawer organizer and make this miscellaneous space your adventure drawer. Keep all those odds and ends compartmentalized and you’ll see great results over time. Ex. Keep wires, chargers, and anything of that nature in a ziplock bag inside of a drawer organizer square.
If you enjoy using Pinterest for cleaning hacks, you’d know there are MANY cleaning recipes for our beloved ovens. So how about keeping it simple: use the self-cleaning function to remove stubborn stains and any grime then scrub and clean with an oven cleaner. Finally, maintain your oven by molding a few long layers of foil at the bottom—this will keep the bottom of the oven clean by catching any crumbs or melted spills.
Use an all-purpose cleaner/cabinet cream to deep clean your cabinets’ exterior. Take it a step further and deep clean the interior. This can take a while, maybe even a day but you’ll be so satisfied by the end of it wanting to maintain it all year long!
Pillows and comforters should be cleaned/maintained quarterly, so take this spring cleaning as your sign to get to it! Make sure you check the manufacturer’s label before tossing these items into your washing machine. Your mattress, however, is a yearly job! Vacuum your mattress and if possible, use a steamer in order to sanitize. Finish off the job by using a disinfectant spray. You can also use an iron to kill dust mites near the surface.
There you have it, in true Miami fashion, some spring cleaning tips! Blast that salsa, drink that cafecito, and get your house ready for the next season—what we’re known for: SUMMER!