I was recently asked to look at Martha Stewart’s Summertime cleaning list of things that need to be cleaned. I had to say that I don't even clean these things in the summer. So I went through her list and made some “suggestions” so you don’t have to spend as much time cleaning this summer. Some would call these hacks - other are suggestions. When the weather is nice, I recommend just cleaning what’s dirty and saving those big projects for the fall. Unless you have a cold rainy day with nothing better to do. Summer is not a time to clean – It’s a time to get outside and enjoy!
Martha's list in the bathrooms: □ Discard expired cosmetics, beauty products, and medications.
Leslie - A quick way to realize what you use is to use a travel makeup bag and pack it as if you were traveling. Use what is in the bag every day and see if you feel like you are missing something. At the end of the summer, go through the rest of your makeup and purge those items you never touched all summer.
Martha's list in the Bedrooms: □ Launder or dry-clean blankets. □ Replace cool-weather bedding with warm-weather bedding.
Leslie - Place blankets in a vacuum sealed bag and put them away until fall. You can launder them when you take them out.
Martha's list in the closets: □ Reorganize closets, giving away unwanted items. □ Replace cool-weather clothing with warm-weather clothing.
Leslie - Place a plastic tub in your closet and place warm weather items in there as you have time. Do the reverse with a container holding your summer clothes. Anything that doesn’t come out of the summer container by the end of the summer gets given away.
Martha's list in the home office: □ Clean out files. □ Review and update insurance policies, contracts, and household inventories.
Leslie - These items are great things to do on a snow day. Don’t waste a beautiful summer day worrying about them.
Martha's list in the kitchen: □ Vacuum refrigerator grill and coil. □ Wipe the inside of the freezer.
Leslie - Spot wash your frig as it needs it. Use plasticware and paper plates for outside dining. You’ll won’t have to spend as much time cleaning up.
Martha's list in the living room: □ Rotate heavy curtains, rugs, and throws for lightweight ones.
Leslie - Instead just pop the curtains into the dryer and leave on a light toss for 10-15 minutes. That will knock the dust off and you won’t have to go through washing, drying and ironing.
Martha's list in the outdoor spaces: □ Clean gutters. □ Scrub outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and awnings. □ Scrub porch ceilings and walls. □ Scrubs porch floors, decks, patios, the driveway, and walkways. □ Wash light-fixture covers.
Leslie - Get yourself an electric blower and a power washer. These two things can help you clean your outdoor space easily without scrubbing or brushing. Use the blower to remove dirt and debris from your patio, deck and even the sides of your house. The power washer will clean off your outdoor furniture, fences and light fixtures.
Martha's list in the utility spaces: □ Clean the attic and basement, giving away or discarding unwanted items. □ Remove lint from the hose attached to the back of the clothes dryer. □ Vacuum and mop attic and basement floors.
Leslie - Focus on the dryer vent and the garage. These two things can’t be cleaned in cold weather correctly so focus on them in the summer. The dryer vent can be cleaned with a special dryer vent tool that goes inside the piping and pulls out the buildup. Clean the garage by putting everything out in the driveway and using a blower to clean out all the buildup from the winter months. Forget the broom – just blow it out.
Martha's list throughout the house: □ Dry-clean non-machine-washable window treatments. □ Dust radiators. □ Launder machine-washable window treatments. □ Oil window and door hinges. □ Polish metal door and window hardware. □ Remove, wash, and store storm windows. □ Reseal stone surfaces. □ Reseal grout. □ Send area rugs without backings out for professional cleaning. □ Shampoo wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs with backings. □ Steam-clean upholstery.□ Strip and rewax vinyl and linoleum floors. □ Take books off shelves; dust shelves and books. □ Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings. □ Wash windows and window screens. □ Wax wood furniture. □ Wax wood, stone, concrete, brick, and unglazed tile floors.
Leslie - This entire list can be done in the fall except for cleaning your windows and screens. Instead of removing and washing screens, just wipe them with a large looped microfiber cloth. The microfiber will capture the dust on the screen and make it look as clean as if you washed it.