It's not that Rikki Snyder is a perfectionist; she just has an eye trained to see what makes spaces beautiful. As an interiors photographer, she spots all the little dust bunnies, paw prints and crumbs the rest of us overlook. "You might not realize it when you're living in your own space day to day," she says, "but when I come in with my camera, everything shows up!"
Rikki lives with her boyfriend Riley and their German shepherd Zoe in a small but stunning space, complete with gorgeous hardwood floors. After a long New York winter, Rikki uses spring cleaning as a way to air out and reenergize her home: "When I start, it's usually warm enough to open the windows during the day, but there's still a little bit of that crisp coolness that makes the rooms feel fresh."
The thing about spring cleaning, though, is that while it feels good to have it done, the doing-it part can feel overwhelming. Here's a big secret: by knocking out a few key tasks, you can get that deep-clean feel. We asked Rikki what a busy person can do to make their home look photo-ready.
1. Deep clean your floors.
"I actually enjoy cleaning all the floors when I get in the cleaning zone," says Rikki. "I always have to vacuum before I mop because Zoe sheds a lot, especially in the spring. So step one: vacuum; step two: mop." Rikki's a fan of Bona cleaning products, specifically their Hardwood Floor Cleaner Original Formula, which she used this year with the new Bona Premium Spray Mop. "It's soooo helpful. I don't have to deal with buckets of dirty water, or changing out cleaning pads (which feels so wasteful). It also doesn't leave any residue and dries super fast. I love how shiny it makes the hardwood floors, too."
RIKKI'S TIP: Move the furniture off the rugs and give your rugs, blankets and pillows a good shake-out. Do a quick sweep or vacuum for the big stuff, then mop your hardwoods. Just this once, pull big pieces off the wall to clean the spaces we don't get to on a normal weekend clean. It's a drag (literally), but it's probably the only time you'll do it this year.
2. Clear out your kitchen and purge your fridge.
"I dread this task a little bit if I'm being honest," says Rikki, "but it's something that has to be done. I also shoot for food clients, so we always have a surplus of things we'll never use, and they get pushed to the back where they can hide easily."
RIKKI'S TIP: Remove everything from the refrigerator, sort it by grocery store department (condiments, produce, deli, etc.), and toss whatever you're not going to eat. Wipe the fridge down—inside and out—then put all the food back. Use your freshly organized fridge to kickstart a habit of weekly purges—it'll make things way less daunting the next time you do a deep clean.
3. Tidy your bathroom.
"I totally don't mind cleaning the bathroom," says Rikki. "It's probably the least daunting of these three tasks. I buy fabric shower curtain liners that I can throw in the wash and reuse, rather than buy the plastic ones. I've tried using those, thinking I'd clean them when they get dirty, but I'd end up throwing them out and buying new ones."
RIKKI'S TIP: Remove all the products from your sink, bath, shower, and medicine cabinet. Put back only the products you'll actually use (be ruthless!) and vow to keep from buying more extraneous ones. Next, some bathtub cleaner work its magic while you wipe down the sink and toilet. Spot scrub the tub's grout and corners and rinse. And, since this is your big annual clean, wash your curtain and liner (even if you go the plastic route).
Stock your toolkit for year-round upkeep.
It's so much easier to clean when you've got nice, new tools. Bona just introduced a new premium Hardwood Floor Spray Mop with a microfiber cleaning pad and a refillable cartridge, so you can grab your mop and go without wasting time or materials. Plus, it's got a retractable hook for easy storage and it's engineered to work with all their cleaning formulas.
This post is sponsored by Bona and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.