If just the thought of spring-cleaning makes you feel anxious and overwhelmed, here are some chores (based on your comments posted to our Good Houskeeping Facebook page) you might shortcut, delay, or even skip entirely to get the gain without all the pain!
1. Dirty windows
Yes, spring cleaning is all about letting the sunshine in, but if time is short, skip washing the inside of the glass and concentrate your efforts just on the outside (which is the dirtiest part of the window, anyway). If your windows tilt in, washing both sides may be relatively easy to do. But if they are like mine (double-hung windows with separate storm windows), there are actually four surfaces to wash on each window and it easily takes me two days to do all the windows and doors in my house! So, stick to just washing the outside panes (and recruit a helper, if you can) and you'll cut the time spent on this chore in half. Remember, too, to pick a cloudy day to do the job or start with the windows on the shady side of the house. If too much sun hits the ones you're washing, the cleaner dries too quickly, leaving you with hard-to-remove streaks. If you're looking for a new window cleaner, try Hope's Perfect Glass, which did best in our Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) window cleaner tests. Can't bear the thought of washing windows at all? Consider hiring an outside service. If you go this route, look for one that's a member of the International Window Cleaning Association.
2. Grimy oven
You may have given your oven a workout out this winter, but chances are once the grill is fired up, you won't be using your oven much until fall. It's okay to wait until after Labor Day, when the weather's a bit cooler, to turn on the self-cleaning cycle. Until then, just go over the oven front and controls with a grease-cutting cleaner, like Mr. Clean Multil-Surfaces Spray, and use a delicate scrub sponge to remove splatters from the glass in the door.
3. Filmy china cabinets
Summer entertaining usually means outdoors and less formal, so washing your dinnerware, crystal, and glass windows of your china and curio cabinets can certainly wait until the holiday season rolls around again. Clean these items now and they'll only be dusty and filmy come Thanksgiving. Move this job permanently to your fall list and your cabinets and tableware will sparkle for your holiday guests, even with the lights on!
4. Dirty chandeliers
The days are longer now and lights get flicked on later each evening, if at all. So, skip the laborious task of taking down intricate chandelier crystals and globes. Instead, just give them a quick dusting with a long-handled extension duster to remove any visible cobwebs and dust from the fixture and bulbs. We like the GH Seal-backed Bissell Microfiber High Reach Duster. It extends your reach to 14 feet and the washable microfiber head pivots to clean at any angle. Depending on the style of your fixture and when you last cleaned it, this may be the only cleaning you have to do for another year or more! And when they do need a wet cleaning, reach for an easy-to-use glass-cleaning wipe, like Windex.
5. Dusty blinds
The good news is that the days of taking blinds down and scrubbing them in the tub are over! Instead, clean them quickly with the Casabella Microfiber Window Blinds Glove. They come two in a package, so you can wear one on each hand. Dampen one glove for washing and use the other for drying, or just use them both dry for a double-fisted dusting approach. I love that they are reversible, so when one side gets dirty, just flip the glove over and you have a clean side to finish the job.
For the rest of the spring-cleaning chores on your list, follow our online speed cleaning tips to get your housework done in a hurry.
-By Carolyn Forte
Do you have any spring cleaning shortcuts that work around your house? Tell us in the comments!
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Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.