We all have a love-hate relationship with cleaning – we love the fruits of our labour, but we wouldn’t say it’s our favourite pastime!
The problem with neglecting a thorough clean and maintenance is that, over time, small problems can become much bigger issues and, when you do decide to sell your property, they could be reflected in your selling price.
There’s a difference between a general “whip-around” tidy that you probably already do regularly, and a thorough clean which only comes around once or twice a year. A “spring clean” is about getting to those areas you would not usually tend to because they take extra work or care.
But not only can the latter help you appeal to buyers, being proactive about maintaining your property will put you in good stead to fetch a higher price come selling time.
Now that the sun is out, take advantage of the warmer spring weather and refresh your home with a good clean.
Clutter in and around the home is not a good look when selling. Even if buyers don’t necessarily understand why they feel uncomfortable in your house – it may look crowded, dishevelled or disorganised due to clutter and that isn’t the impression you want to give.
It makes sense to declutter your property before beginning a thorough clean, so that you can start fresh rather than creating extra work for yourself.
Use it as an opportunity to get rid of old items and clunky furniture that you don’t want to take with you to your new home. Either pop them in storage, sell them or donate them.
Starting your thorough clean only to find out that your cleaning products are running low or you have run out of something is a sure-fire way to take the wind out of your sails, fast!
So, have a quick check of your cleaning products and tools to see if you’re all ready to go. Make sure you have enough general-purpose detergent, natural cleaning products (whether you make it yourself or buy it), sponges (both abrasive and non-abrasive), bleach (or a natural substitute), a paste cleaner (like Gumption or similar), floor cleaner (specific to the type of flooring you have), dust pan and broom, buckets and squeegees.
Never be caught out again!
Check your equipment
Further to the above, check your cleaning equipment to make sure everything is in working order. Ensure your vacuum’s suction power is still in good condition, and check that your mop and broom don’t need replacing.
Go room by room
When it comes to that annual, big spring clean, it can be a bit daunting. Which is why breaking down the job into zones and going room by room can help make the process much easier.
Our advice is to not juggle two or three rooms at once – stick to one at a time so it’s easier to focus your efforts.
If you have children that are old enough to help, it’s a great idea to assign them their own bedroom to go through. Ask them to make note of “keep”, “donate”, “sell”, or “throw away” items.
Depending on their age, you may have to check what they plan on selling, donating and throwing away, just in case, but otherwise it’s a great way to get them involved and get some help with the workload.
Go through your fridge and freezer and throw away any expired items or unwanted leftovers. Clear the shelves and use anti-bacterial spray or wipes to clean throughout.
Some fridge and freezers have removable shelving, which you can put into the dishwasher for a more thorough clean, but just remember not to leave foodstuff out of the fridge for too long or they may spoil.
Same goes with your pantry. Throw away any expired items and organise your shelves in a way that works best for you. Create a donations pile for any current canned goods – here are a list of great charities and organisations you can donate to:
· St Vincent de Paul Society
· The Salvation Army
All the above jobs can help to freshen up not just the look of the kitchen, but also help get rid of any smells and odours lingering around.
To ensure your air conditioner has unrestricted airflow and can function as efficiently as possible, clean the filter either with a vacuum cleaner or with some warm water. You can also add a little baking soda to the water to help neutralise any odours. Just don’t put the filters in the dishwasher as they don’t tend to be dishwasher safe.
Big ticket items
A thorough clean means it’s time to do those once or twice-a-year jobs – including professionally cleaning your carpet and washing your curtains. Odours, dust and stains can linger on the fabric and can leave a poor impression on potential buyers, so fixing the source of the problem is essential.
Adhere to the curtains’ washing instructions, as the type of wash depends on the fabric. Lightweight curtains can usually be washed on a gentle, cool cycle, whereas heavy fabric curtains should be steam cleaned as they often take longer to dry.
Delicate fabric curtains should be gently hand washed to help avoid shrinking the fabric. Once washed, all curtains should be put back on the rail immediately so they finish drying crease-free.
If it’s a nice day outside, take advantage of the warm weather and hire a high-pressure cleaner to blast away built up dirt and grime from your driveway and pathways. It might seem like a tedious job, but the results are almost instant and it immediately lifts the look of a property.
By doing this once or twice a year, especially after the heavy rains in winter, the outdoor areas will look well-maintained and clean all year round.
If you have wood decking, bring it back from the brink by oiling or treating it. Visit your local hardware store for advice on the best treatment for your decking, and usually all that’s needed is an old, soft-bristled broom to apply. Not only will you enjoy your outdoors more, it will help buyers envision themselves using the space… Without having to clean anything!
Happy Spring Cleaning!