Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with cleaning,” declares interior decorator and HGTV expert Kim Myles. “It’s gotta be done, but it’s never anything I’m super excited to roll up my sleeves for.” After all, the concept of a deep seasonal spruce up conjures images of Martha Stewart on all fours scrubbing the linoleum with a toothbrush. That’s a huge and overwhelming misconception, says Myles. “It doesn’t need to be that deep.”
Whether you have 15 minutes or five hours, Myles breaks down her quick-but-thorough strategies for refreshing your space this season.
• Change the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Clean out the beauty junk drawer.“It’s a really easy thing for the ladies to do, and it’s always satisfying,” says Myles.
• Wipe down cabinets and hard-to-reach surfaces. “In the bathroom, for example, wipe the top of a medicine cabinet. And no matter what space you’re cleaning, always start from the highest place and move down.”
• Clean window treatments. “Check the labels. A lot of draperies and curtains can be machine washed.”
• Swap out linens. “Switch the heavy bedding for lightweight cotton, something
• Wipe down all blinds with a warm water and dish soap mixture.
• Move the furniture for a thorough vacuum.
• Clean upholstered furniture. “Take all the cushions outside and beat them with your hand,” Myles advises. “Put the kids on it. If you’re worried about dust, buy little disposable face masks from Home Depot to keep everybody from getting allergies or having sneezing fits.”
• Wax wooden furniture. “Using butcher’s wax, work in small sections at a time. That’s a little exercise, a biceps workout.”
• Shampoo the rugs. “It’s one of the things that you endeavor to do, and it always takes longer than you think. Give yourself time.”
• Wash windows and window screens, both inside and out.
• Steam and flip all the mattresses.
• Machine wash pillows and air dry.
• Wash the walls and cabinets.
“The kitchen is a great place to start. Degrease cabinets, degrease walls and the backsplash; it’s supereasy to do with a mild soap and water solution.”