Whenever I think of spring cleaning, I picture a plume of dust coming out the front door and out the windows. A harried sweep at its finest, the minute temperatures start to warm up, spring fever kicks in and it is time to put winter away.

Growing up, my mama would use an expression to my sister and me that I find I now say to my kids.

“You both need to go outside and get the stink off.”

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This really means stop being lazy and go outside and get some fresh air. It also means I need some space and a little peace and quiet. As much as this expression means these things, it holds true to bidding adieu to old man winter and welcoming the freshness of spring; albeit spring cleaning. Time to open the windows and let the stink out. Last fall I shared how to prep your home for the cold winter months and today I’m going to share a few spring cleaning tips, and how to pay attention to things that don’t get the weekly cleaning focus.

Let’s start by dusting your lampshades.These things attract dust just like any other surface. All you need to do is take a lint roller and roll the entire surface of your shades. I did this and was a tad embarrassed at what the sticky sheet collected; I guess it had been a while, if ever. This chore could even make it to my monthly cleaning list. All in all, a good tip.

Those LED light bulbs are certainly energy savers, and I’m happy that they now come in warmer temperatures, but because of a longer life, they do collect a lot of dust. Never having to dust a light bulb before, this is how I do it: Unscrew the light bulb and dust with a dampened microfiber towel, avoiding the metal base. Then, screw it back into the lamp base and you’re good to go. For those light bulbs that are recessed and high in the ceiling, use a telescoped rod with a microfiber towel tied to the end and carefully rub the surface of the bulb. Now, you really can see the light.

Open the windows and let the fresh air in. And, while you’re at it, clean your windowsills. Dirt, dust, cobwebs and an occasional leaf scrap can consume a windowsill. Vacuum the grime and use an antibacterial wipe to clean the sill. If you have the time and the windowsill needs even more freshening up, brush a coat of paint on the bottom to make things look new again. Vacuuming the screens is also a good chore to put on your spring cleaning list.

While we’re on the subject of windows, now is a good time to clean your windows as well. I know, I know, this job is just as procrastinated as going to the dentist; never any fun, but so worth the time. Whether you can afford to hire a professional window washer, or take on the chore yourself with a rubber squeegee and mild dishwashing soap, clean windows are well worth the investment. I guarantee that everything will look so much clearer.

Cleaning blinds never got easier than this next tip. I use a Swiffer sheet on more than just the floors. These gems are perfect for dusting blinds, picture frames and just about any surface. Trust me on this, the Swiffer folks don’t know me from Adam, but I do swear on their product — Jack of all dusting trades.

I’m safe to say (or I hope I’m safe to say) that we won’t need our fireplaces anymore. Scoop up the cooled ashes into a galvanized bucket and spread them in your garden. Then, vacuum up the residual ashes and make sure your flue is closed.

As we close up shop on our fireplaces, now is the time to pack the winter clothes away and bring out the sleeveless. But some of these cute tops slip off the hangers. No need to get all wrinkled about this; simply cut a thin piece of rubber drawer liner and apply to the top of each arm of the hanger using two dabs of glue. Let the glue dry before hanging anything. Clever tip, if I do say so myself.

So, get the stink off and start your spring cleaning. You’ll never appreciate a dusted light bulb more.

Brooke Fedigan is the DIY Dutchess. Contact her at befedagain@gmail.com

Be Fed Again blog

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