30 ways to freshen every room for spring
Kitchen | Clean around & inside appliances
Dirt, pet hair, and dust particles can build up behind your refrigerator, says Steve Ash of partselect.com. Airborne materials can block the appliance’s coils, restricting airflow through the appliance. It’s worth it to pull out the refrigerator and vacuum the coils. Also, sanitize the dishwasher. Place a shallow dish of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it (empty) on a long sanitation cycle to kill fungi.
Kitchen | De-smudge windows
A simple mixture of two parts water to one part white distilled vinegar is all you need for a streak-free finish on windows and glass surfaces. Wipe the inside of windows from side to side, and the outside of windows from top to bottom. This makes it easier to see which side (if any) needs further cleaning.
Kitchen | Dispose of old food
Go through the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for foods that are past their expiration dates or those items you know you'll never use. Throw them away. For unopened can and jar foods that are still good, donate them.
Kitchen | Create a natural air freshener
Give your room a fresh scent. Whip up a room deodorizer on the stovetop by simmering orange rinds or lemon slices and rosemary in a pot of water. The scent will freshen your space.
Kitchen | Take inventory of small appliances
Donate the novelty appliances you rarely or never use. Clean out the inside of your microwave. And turn your attention to your must-have appliance: the coffee maker. To clean your coffee maker, brew a pot using 2 parts distilled water and 1 part vinegar. Brew this mixture through 3 times, then follow up with 3 brews using distilled water.
Bathroom | Clear your counter
Organizer MaryJo Monroe of Respaced says those little bottles of lotions and potions are dust-catchers. "If you're not using them, give them away or throw them out. If you do use them, find a storage system to hold and organize them in your bath."
Bathroom | Neaten up the medicine cabinet
Throw away any medicines or health and beauty items with expired dates. Many personal care products deteriorate after six months.
Bathroom | Go through old linens
If your towels, rugs, and shower curtain are looking shabby or worn, it might be time to donate them and replenish your supply with fresh ones. Organizer Michelle Paxton of The Organizer Gal says it’s smart to invest in products such as containers, racks, shelves, or drawers for extra storage in a small bath.
Bathroom | Scrub tile grout
Clean grout is like a facelift for your bathroom. To remove mold and mildew, home care expert Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, recommends scrubbing grout with a toothbrush and a simple solution of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach diluted in a gallon of water. Test on an inconspicuous section of grout and tile first.
If deep cleaning your tiled surfaces doesn't go far enough, try regrouting the surfaces.
Bathroom | Create natural scents
Soak a cotton ball with essential oils and toss it under the bathroom sink (out of reach from pets) for a clean, fresh smell. Try lavender, jasmine, or any fragrance you like. The cotton will stay fragrant for about two weeks.