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Homework: Tackle spring cleaning with this handy checklist

Don't skimp on the spring-cleaning details.

Don't skimp on the spring-cleaning details. Credit: Fotolia

Even if housework isn't your thing, you have to admit that it feels good when a home has had a good purge and a deep clean. You feel lighter, and the house seems easier to live in. That's the reward for all that hard work. Use this list to get some serious spring cleaning done and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with it.

Do a thorough purge. Before cleaning, do a major sweep through the house looking for redundant, broken, unloved and unused items. Be merciless. When in doubt, throw it out.

Put away. Try to clear off as many horizontal surfaces as possible. This makes the house feel neater and makes it easier to clean.

Start up high. Clean off tops of doors and door frames, and sweep the corners of ceilings for cobwebs. Vacuum blinds; dust lampshades. Clean glass light fixtures inside and out. Wipe down dusty heating vents.

Get behind. Vacuum and clean behind entertainment centers, the fridge, stove, washer, dryer, sofa and beds.

Clean the bedrooms. Vacuum and clean clutter underneath beds. Flip mattresses. Wash mattress pads and protectors in hot water. Set pillows out in the sun.

Clean all floors. Give the floors a good scrub, steam the carpets and scrub tile and grout.

Reseal granite. Now is the time to pamper your hardworking granite and marble by resealing. Give it a coat of sealant while the carpets are being steamed.

Clean under sink cabinets. Restore order underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. Pitch almost-empty bottles, jars and cans.

Clear out coat closet. Have a missing glove? Maybe your winter coat's seen better days or your umbrella is broken? Throw these out.

Deep clean the bathrooms. Give the bathroom a thorough scrubbing. Be sure to wash the shower curtains.

Scrub the kitchen. Clean the oven, clear out the fridge and freezer, clean the garbage cans and edit the pantry. Toss broken, single or chipped dishes.

Give your cosmetics drawer a thorough cleaning. Get rid of that old, cracked eye shadow and the caked mascara and 4-year-old lipstick. Wipe down organizers and clean makeup brushes with shampoo and conditioner.

Moisturize furniture. If you have furniture that sits in the sun, give it a drink with some lemon oil. The smell will freshen up the house, too.

Do the windows. Spring cleaning isn't complete until the windows are clean. Use a squeegee, bucket of water and microfiber cloths. Wipe out sills and brush screens with a soft brush or spray off with a garden hose.

Tackle the garage. Winter has a way of making the garage collect clutter. Purge, recycle and organize so you aren't embarrassed for your neighbors to see inside.

Reorganize your closet. Put away winter items and bring out your summer apparel. Organize by color.

Don't skimp on the details. Last on the list are little things like changing air conditioning filters, running vinegar through the coffee maker, changing the ice maker filter and cleaning the vent hood filter.

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