Clean Up Your Act: The Power of Spring Cleaning


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After a long winter of cuddling up by the fireplace, dust has had its chance to cuddle up into the cracks and corners of homes. It’s high time to start cracking down on the window streaks and grime that you have been meaning to get to, and with a few tips and tricks from some experts, your house will be clean and ready for a new chapter this year.

Robin Wilson, author of Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, is an expert at cleanliness and organization. As an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, she understands the importance of a clean home, particularly during the pollen season. Read on to see how your home can benefit from spring cleaning.


By the time you have finished rummaging through those shoes you got for the David Bowie concert in the ’80s, or the blouses that still have tags on them, one thing is clear: your old goods are worth recycling rather than throwing away.

Reach for a trash bag when it comes to unwearable or stained clothing items, but box up those that can be donated or sold at a consignment shop. Your closet will be prepped for summer duds to come while your old ones are given to someone new.

Robin Wilson’s tip:

Start with the closets for one very important reason: Start with your closets so you’re not dumping everything into a room you’ve already cleaned. Closets are dust mite havens because of the clothing and junk that sits untouched for years and collects dust. Empty it, trash what you don’t need, and put it back together neatly and organized. Then take on the rest of the room.

spring cleaning . bathroomBathrooms

Staying in touch with the eco-friendly theme mentioned above, try filling your bathroom with natural, sparkling citrus scents. Luxurious, heavy candles are best for colder seasons and holidays, so switch it up for spring and use an organic air freshener. Or open the bathroom doors and allow the scent of boiling citrus peels and sage to seep in from a bubbling pot in your kitchen. The powerful herbal blend will waft away any stubborn odors.

Robin’s Wilson’s tip:

Bathing the bathroom: Get rid of vinyl shower curtains because they hold mold more easily and off-gas. Use a nylon curtain instead. Give the entire room a good scrub down using eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaners.


If your carpet is here to stay for the season, and you have some fluffy friends or little feet are pattering across your floors, be sure to thoroughly de-dander and deodorize them. Before using a HEPA-filtered vacuum, sprinkle some baking soda on the floor and allow it to set for about 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll be left with a carpet free of any old scents or remnants from Fido’s last haircut.

Robin Wilson’s tip:

For fresh floors: Get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting. Tile and hardwood floors are preferable, but don’t forget to vacuum on a regular basis. Ensure that your vacuum has a HEPA filter to better manage dust particles in your home, especially since dust can be a leading trigger for allergic or asthma reactions.

One Room at a Time

Take a good look at what you really need in your home. Spring is all about new life and color, and it may be time to represent that in your kitchen or home office.

Many people often change wardrobes and sort through clothing while dressing. However, you might not take the time to step back and recognize that your antique end table is falling apart. Evaluate and donate before replacing your possessions with items that are more convenient to use or add unique qualities to your home.

Robin Wilson’s tip:

Empty each room: For the ultimate in spring cleaning, remove everything from each room as if you were moving, and mop or steam clean the floors. You’ll be shocked at all the nastiness living underneath and behind furniture and appliances.

spring cleaningLiving Room Brightening

For homes with light walls, such as white or beige, it’s easy to see where scuffs and marks are, especially when windows will be open and shining natural light on them. Try a simple vinegar trick by rubbing wood stains or smoke residue from a fireplace with apple cider vinegar in a circular motion.

Robin Wilson’s tip:

Lighten up the living room: Consider using slipcovers on upholstered sofas, which can be washed regularly and have come a long way from slipcovers of 10 years ago. Eliminate dust-catching drapes and horizontal blinds. Try washable rolling blinds or shutters instead.

Newspapers are Useful Cleaning Tools

To really allow light in, use another vinegar trick along with newspapers. Lemon and vinegar are perfect, powerful additions to water, which you can easily shake up and spray to remove buildup before using the paper towel substitutes to do the dirty work.

Robin Wilson’s tip:

Neaten up with the news: Use newspaper to clean windows. Newsprint is a cousin to paper towels, but its high absorbency makes it more effective and will leave windows sparkling. Newspaper is also recyclable. But be careful: the one downside is wet ink can stain wood moldings so use extra caution. Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels on floors, tile, and countertops. They do a great job sanitizing and can be reused.

Pet-Friendly Home

For indoor pets who are part of the family, filing down claws can be an asset for your home. Avoid their marks by asking your groomer to include nail trimming in their regular cleaning regimens. Not only will your floor be clear and your carpet free of tugs or pulls, but your family will appreciate not having to dodge playful pawing.

Robin Wilson’s tip:

Keep Fluffy dander-free: Groom your dogs or cats as part of your spring cleaning ritual and keep them away from bedrooms and any rooms that contain carpets. If it’s an option, keep pets outdoors to avoid excess dander in your home.

Robin Wilson is an interior designer, author, and expert on healthy homes. She is the author of Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle, ©2015 Greenleaf Publishing.
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