Spring Cleaning in Lincoln, NE – 2018

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Spring Cleaning in Lincoln, NE – 2018

Is anyone else excited that the first day of spring is March 20th? With the passing of another winter, although the nicer weather is what most of us are looking forward to in the coming months, it’s also spring cleaning time!

Sure, it’s pretty darn satisfying to start fresh with clean and tidy surroundings in unison with the natural cycle of rebirth. Then there are the items that are highly recommended to perform in the spring for practical reasons otherwise that you’ll want to get accomplished. When it comes to cleaning of any sort, there are generally three types of people: cleaning fanatics, those who clean fairly regularly and find it enjoyable, and those who would rather do anything else in the world than clean. Accordingly, there are options to consider depending on which type you are and other factors such as the time you have to devote to it, if there are jobs best done by a professional, etc. You can find the motivation to get down to business yourself, make arrangements to get it handled otherwise, or find a good balance between the two. For the jobs you’ll tackle yourself, fortunately there are also ways to make your life easier – work smarter, not harder, right?

Altogether, between your home, garage, office or workplace, vehicle, your place of business, heck even your gym locker or any other space that could use a good spring cleaning, there’s sure to be plenty to do!

{At Home}

A home is meant to be lived in – hence, needing to tidied up regularly. Beyond that, a more thorough cleaning is a must periodically, and spring cleaning is pretty standard as far as that goes.

Mary McCombs
Essentials

“Spring cleaning fever has hit many of us already,” says Mary McCombs with Essentials Home Care. “It is an opportunity to throw open the windows, let some fresh air in, and make our homes clean, happy and efficient spaces.

Follow these quick steps to de-clutter, clean, dust and update your home:

Declutter

  • Toss expired food from refrigerator and pantry.
  • Toss expired spices and herbs.
  • Toss old containers that are stained or missing lids.
  • Toss chipped or cracked plates and glassware.
  • Empty out coat closet.
  • Store out-of-season items.
  • Donate items.

Clean

  • Remove food from the refrigerator and wipe down with disinfectant.
  • Wipe down all doors and handles.
  • Deep clean kitchen appliances including the stove, oven, microwave refrigerator, etc.
  • Wash inside and outside of garbage can and recycling bins.
  • Launder bedding and curtains. Wash pillows and duvets in hot water. Air out mattress pads.

Dust

  • Countertops
  • Cabinet Shelves
  • Stove Vents
  • Refrigerator Coils
  • TVs & Cabinets
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Art & Wall Décor

Update

  • Change out cabinet lining if torn or worn.
  • Replace storage containers with missing lids.
  • Replace worn kitchen towels.
  • Update kitchen décor by painting room in a bright color using semi-gloss paint.

Don’t be daunted by the size of this list; many of the jobs are small ones that can be completed expediently, and you’ll be so glad you took the time to do them!”

McCombs also provides a list of seven items that commonly overlooked:

  1. Pillows: Dead skin, mites, food, mold and filth can be found in all pillows – from the pillow you sleep with to any pillows that adorn your bed or couches. Remove pillow covers and wash separately according to the instructions on the tags. For throw pillows with no removable cover, use a vacuum to clean them.
  2. Bathroom Décor: Bacteria can easily spread in the bathroom. In addition to your normal weekly routine, for spring cleaning, make sure to disinfect any of your bathroom decor — vases, jars, picture frames, decorative soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, etc.
  3. Dishwasher: Cleaning your dishwasher will improve the machine’s overall performance. If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it and discard any buildup of food particles. If not, check the macerator (the food-grinding component) for cleaning or replacement. Next, fill a dishwasher-safe plastic container with a cup of vinegar, place it on the upper rack and run it through a hot water cycle. Then, sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run a shorter cycle.
  4. Trash Cans: These are inevitably dirty, but when was the last time you disinfected your bins? If you line your containers with garbage bags, disinfecting should not be a big job. Simply hose out the bins, and then scrub the interior with disinfecting spray and seal with an odor-eliminating product.
  5. Cleaning Supplies: You’re only spreading more filth if you’re cleaning with dirty supplies. Toilet brushes, sponges, cleaning cloths, brooms, dusters, and your vacuum cleaner should be cleaned or replaced regularly.
  6. Electronics: Keyboards and remotes are hot spots for germs. Use a compressed air spray to regularly remove dust or gunk from your keyboard. To disinfect, use a disinfecting wipe, but be sure to squeeze out any excess liquid before scrubbing.

With respect to the timing of certain tasks, she notes, “There are several things that are best done in the springtime or in preparation for spring. As far as exterior aspects, the most important thing to do is to check your shingles. There could have been damage done by storms over the winter. The flushing around your plumbing vents, skylights, and chimneys also need to be checked and replaced if needed.

Gutters are also another thing that should be inspected in the spring. Snow can weigh down gutter systems which can cause damage and potentially lead to a leak in your system. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are free and clear of debris.

Similarly, check your outside faucet systems. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system then you had this shut down for the winter season in late fall. This will need to be turned back on, and your hose and spout on the outside of your house should also be checked for pipe leaking and hoses checked for dry rot.

At Essentials Home Care, we have experienced technicians on staff who are able to answer any questions you might have about spring cleaning and prepping for the warmer weather ahead. Contact an Essentials Technician to see how our spring checklist can benefit you and your home the best.”

Teresa Hodgen
360 Clean

“Springtime is a great time for cleaning,” echoes Teresa Hodgen with 360 Clean. “There’s that fresh smell in the air naturally and you have an extra perk in your step. It’s yet another opportunity for a new beginning to a new year. Let’s face it, it just feels good when your surroundings look good.

When there is dust and dirt in your home or office it creates its own set of problems. Things get worn out sooner, not to mention that it just looks bad and can cause health issues.

Floors in particular have taken a beating over the past three months. Clean them good then have them sealed or polished. After the snow is gone and no one is tracking in ice melt and walking on your floors with dirty shoes, you can finally start cleaning up areas of your home or office and keeping them that way. In my opinion, washing by hand is always the best way to deep clean a floor this time of year. For that method, kneepads are a must if you want to be walking around upright when you are 70. This is a great example of how we go the extra mile for our clients, so if it doesn’t sound like something you want to do, we’ll gladly do it for you.

It’s also a great time to attend to the things you don’t pay attention to on a regular basis. These would include light fixtures, long-forgotten shelves, ceiling fans, blinds, windows, carpet and flooring, baseboards, hard water spots and buildup in your shower, and so on. Even if you clean a few things per week or tackle things on your to-do list here and there you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, being organized, even in a small area, lightens up a person’s mood. Clutter is just junk in your space that stresses you out, get rid of it. You won’t miss it. Finally, don’t overpromise yourself that you will get 5 hours of work done at once. Instead, set a goal of 1 hour each day or week.”

She concludes, “A clean space is a happy place to be. When you live or work in a relatively clean space, you are more relaxed and in a better state of mind.”

{At Work}

For employees, cleaning tasks generally are specific to your personal work space, or perhaps you may be assigned other tasks to complete or share certain responsibilities with your coworkers. Every workplace is different in that respect. A little decluttering, organizing, and basic cleaning can really go a long way in setting the tone for your professional life and interactions throughout the day, boosting your mood, increasing your productivity, and so on.

For business owners, how the cleaning is handled varies as well. You may have the resources to keep your janitorial operations in-house, opt to outsource it to a commercial cleaning company, or delegate certain tasks to your employees. There might even be tasks you’ll do yourself. You not only want the space to be inviting and presentable for your clients/customers and guests, but a work environment that is pleasant and most conducive to getting the results you want from your team.

Angela Paolini ServiceMaster PBM - Headshot

Angela Paolini
ServiceMaster PBM

Some of what was discussed pertaining to the home is also relevant to one’s place of business, but on the other hand, you’ll also need to take certain factors into consideration for a commercial space that wouldn’t necessarily be applicable at one’s residence. As a general rule of thumb, Angela Paolini with ServiceMaster Professional Building Maintenance advises, “First, focus on reorganizing and getting rid of clutter. Second, focus on the cleaning that doesn’t normally get done on a daily or weekly basis.”

Specifically regarding her company’s specialty area, commercial cleaning, she notes, “Deep cleans and carpet cleaning are especially popular services we provide this time of year.

With flexible offerings, we’re happy to perform one-time deep cleans or put together an entire cleaning schedule for the year based on your specific needs. If you keep up on the detail cleaning, such as high and low dusting or dusting behind and underneath items for example, throughout the year your spring cleaning will be much more manageable. However, what’s usually involved in detail cleaning is exactly what tends to fall by the wayside unless you diligently attend to it or have someone who is actively managing that for you. Since most people you’ll do business with will hold you to high standards of cleanliness, the goal is to ensure your place of business remains presentable year-round.

There are also things to consider for high-traffic locations, such as is typical for commercial spaces – businesses, offices, etc.

One that remains especially timely is flu prevention. It is recommended to clean high touch points at least once a day using a sanitizer that’s an antifungal germicide.

After all the ice melt, slush, and sand tracked in from the winter months, it not only feels and looks good to get a carpet extraction performed, but it is necessary for the maintenance and health of your carpet.

A lot of folks get carpeting cleaned in spring, which is good, but be sure to choose a carpet cleaning company that is certified. We go through IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), but there are several organizations out there that certify carpet cleaning companies and technicians. Choosing an uncertified company can be risky; with some processes and cleaning agents, you may be doing more harm than good to your carpet.”

Angela McRoberts Star City Heating & Cooling

In agreement on the importance of sanitary conditions in the workplace as well as good air quality in any environment, Angela McRoberts with Star City Heating & Cooling adds, “Air scrubbers are especially great for offices, beauty salons with heavy scents, and commercial sites.

We have received an overwhelming amount of feedback about how much relief people struggling with asthma and allergies have gotten from using the air scrubbers. I highly recommend having one installed for your home or business. Even using a portable tabletop-style model, which also covers up to 3,000 sq. ft., will dramatically improve your air quality.

Similarly, don’t forget to change your filters! One- and two-inch filters should be swapped out or cleaned about every three months, depending on the environment. Four-inch filters should be changed about every six months.

A great upgrade to consider is Trane CleanEffects, an electronic filter that takes the place of a standard filter. It does an excellent job of trapping dust and dirt particles, minimizing the amount that you’re breathing in and cleaning off furniture and floors. It also helps relieve pesky allergies and eliminate bacteria.

Electronic filters such as the CleanEffects should be vacuumed every two-three months, or for other brands, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Finally, duct cleaning can also be very beneficial to help reduce dust and allergens, especially after remodels have been completed.”

She also offers recommendations on checkpoints and upkeep that is best done in the spring. “Be sure to clear away any debris that may have collected around the air conditioner or heat pump. Once grass, plants, and the dreaded weeds start to grow, it’s important to keep these trimmed away from the outdoor unit(s) as well.

Spring is the time to schedule a maintenance or tune-up service on your air conditioning unit. This will prepare the system for the hot, dog-days of summer by maximizing its efficiency, increasing the system’s lifespan, and potentially preventing breakdowns.

The biggest thing we hear from people that do their own air conditioner maintenance is that they hose off the air conditioner or heat pump with plain water each time they’re outside. Doing this just to get the loose debris out may be okay, especially after the end of winter, but it doesn’t do a thorough enough job and may actually cause some damage. If your air conditioning unit has spine fin coils, be especially careful in how you wash down your equipment. Too much pressure and the wrong angle can cause the coil fins to bend or even break, doing more harm than good.

The major difference between this type of DIY maintenance and Star City’s professional maintenance is thoroughness. Plain water won’t entirely dislodge or wash away the dirt and grime that has collected. Over time, the collection of dirt and oil will form into an air-restrictive wall that interferes with the air conditioner’s functions. To prevent this from happening we use a specialized coil cleaner to dislodge the compacted dirt, oil, and debris; something plain water can’t do. Secondly, Star City technicians clean and inspect 50 specific components in the air conditioner to ensure everything is working properly and to its highest efficiency. Many common breakdowns are easily prevented through regular maintenance. Air conditioner maintenance is just as necessary as a vehicle tune-up.”

{In The Garage}

One of the more neglected spaces, perhaps it’s time to direct your attention to your garage. It’s a great spring cleaning project and one that many of us would benefit from if we’re being honest.

Ryan Stauffer Levrack

“Being garage gurus who offer an innovative garage storage solution, we love a clean garage,” says Ryan Stauffer with Levrack. “As a transitional space from outside to inside, spring is personally our favorite time to clean!

Unfortunately the average American garage has become a collect-all for all of the stuff that doesn’t fit inside the house. In a lot of cases that stuff also displaces another one of our favorite things: CARS! That’s where Levrack comes in. We only have so much square footage in our garages, so maximizing it is extremely important. Levrack is a ‘mobile aisle’ storage solution that includes hanging shelves turned inward, essentially doubling your shelving space in any given area while hiding your stuff at the same time. Whether it’s Christmas decorations or recreational equipment, Levrack is full of opportunities to revolutionize your storage situation.”

He continues, “Cleaning of any part of the house is kind of a drag, but there are things you can do to make the process easier. The main reason we came up with Levrack is to solve the problem of misusing space. In a lot of cases things are stored inefficiently. Along with taking up valuable space, it can be an eyesore. By exploring innovative ways to organize while you clean, you can transform whatever type of space you’re dealing with and make cleaning easier and more enjoyable the next time around too. Essentially, investing in shelving or any type of product that helps organize your stuff will make life easier down the road. Also one of the reasons our customers love our product is that it conceals your stuff as well. No more shame in leaving your garage door open!

The garage basically becomes an extension of the house during the spring and summer months in Nebraska, so the more function you can add the better!”

Finally, Stauffer offers the following general recommendations for spring cleaning: “Winter can be tough in Nebraska, so anything that gets neglected that time of year should be first on the list in the spring. The floors are a great example. Most garages have some slope to them, which allows you to use the garden hose or power washer to get the salt and grime from the winter off of the surface. Additionally, washing outside windows, or power washing the exterior of the house and garage are great places to start. Even a deep clean (inside and out) of your vehicles becomes tedious in the winter, making spring a great time to get serious about that. There’s nothing quite like pulling your clean car into your clean garage! Can you tell we’re passionate about garages?”

{In Transit}

As for your vehicle itself, there are a few things to keep in mind with respect to spring cleaning here too.

Kendra McDonald
JetSplash

“Unfortunately, we are still experiencing winter on the roads as we approach spring,” says Kendra McDonald with JetSplash. “It is very important to wash your vehicle regularly after snow and anytime roads are treated with the salt and brine mixture. Also, vacuuming regularly to remove the material used to treat parking lots will increase the life of the carpet in your vehicle.

I think it is easy to try and wait for the weather to get nice to wash ‘winter’ off your car. You shouldn’t wait. Every day the salt and other materials are damaging the exterior of your vehicle.”

Ready to get started on your spring cleaning yet? The professionals sure are, and while you’re going down your to-do list if you find that you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help or pass a question or concern by them.

Also, as previously noted, oftentimes with spring cleaning comes downsizing and getting rid of items that are no longer used or serving a purpose. Although you may consider them to be clutter, others could potentially benefit from having them around. Consider donating to a local non-profit who will use them to meet a need they’ve identified in our community. Rehoming benefits us all!

Living your best life does take a little work sometimes. By getting your spring cleaning out of the way now, you can move on to fully enjoying your surroundings and everything that you consider to be the best parts of the spring and summer months!

 

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