The One Thing You Need to Clean to Set Yourself Up for Spring

updated Jul 15, 2020
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

This year, we’re on a mission to help you tackle spring cleaning on your time. Each weekday until April 13, we’ll guide you through a plan to clean and organize different areas of your home, but you’ll have the flexibility to choose exactly what to work on and how long you have to dedicate to the job.

Five days down, and five days to go. We’re at the halfway point of our spring clean and I hope you’re feeling reset for the home stretch. The cleaning plan we’re going to tackle in week two is designed to spruce up your home inside and out, but just like our lessons from last week, you get to choose exactly what to work on and how much time you have to dedicate to the task.

The assignment we’re starting on today feels like a classic spring cleaning event. It might take some time, depending on the size of your home, so let’s jump right in…

Today’s Task: The Windows

Decide how much time you can dedicate to cleaning your windows today, then choose your micro-mission:

If you have 1 day…

Wash all your windows. Inside and out. Spring cleaning is an opportunity to really dig in and handle your windows with the thorough detail you usually don’t have time for with your everyday workflow.

How you handle it depends on your home, of course. If you live in a big house, you might grab a ladder and make your way around the windows from the outside. Or if you live in a small apartment, today’s the day to open or unhinge the windows (if you can) and get as good a clean on them as you are able. But no matter how you make your way around, here are step-by-step directions that should work for everyone:

  • How To Wash a Window

If you don’t already have a great glass cleaner you like, I’d recommend an easy half-and-half mix of vinegar and water.

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

If you have 1 hour…

Vacuum and dust your window treatments and blinds.

If you have curtains, grab your brush attachment and vacuum them right on the wall, working gently from the top down. If you think they need a more deep clean, you can take them down and — check the tag — give them a spin in the washing machine tonight.

If you have window blinds, you can use the vacuum hose (or a powerful hair dryer) to dislodge regular dust and dirt. If you find you’re dealing with heavy dust, I love the kitchen tong hack: Wrap cleaning rags around both sides of a pair of kitchen tongs, securing them with rubber hands or hair ties, then use the tongs to slide over both slats of the blinds at once. You can check out a video of the process right here.

If you have 10 minutes…

Clean the window tracks. First, make a pass with the most focused vacuum attachment you have, trying to dislodge as much dust and dirt as you can from your window tracks. That likely won’t do the job in itself, so we’ll have to get a little dirty. (There’s no shortcut for this, I’m afraid!) Grab an old toothbrush (or something like this that’s designed for the job) and dig in with your favorite cleaner, scrubbing the gunk out from the corner towards the middle of the track before vacuuming it up.

If you have 1 minute…

Dust around your windows. Grab your favorite dusting tool and take a quick moment to dust the windows themselves, as well as the window sills and around the window frame (don’t forget the top!). If you can’t get around all your windows in one minute, just focus on your most-used rooms first and see how far you can go.

All of our homes are different, so I’m really curious to know: What did you handle today, and how did it go? How long does it take you to clean the windows in your home?