When it comes down to housework, procrastination sometimes takes over, and we push cleaning to the back burner. Subsequently, we feel stressed when the house does nothing but yell, “clean me!” And then we make the dreaded decision to do all our cleaning in one day.
Even if there’s less house to clean, it sure doesn’t mean it’s easier cleaning. Quite the opposite actually, sometimes. The floors get dirtier faster because there are fewer square feet to track over, and the one bathroom gets more use. Today we have a way to make your cleaning easier, and hopefully more fun.
That’s right, a “commercial break” cleaning routine. Obviously, in the age of recorded TV, it doesn’t work exactly the way it used to, but then, it’s the thought that counts. Instead of cleaning everything in your house all at one time, let’s look at a few ways to keep your house clean and tidy all week long, by cleaning in 10-15 minute bursts.
Using this article/checklist as a guide, you should be able to identify and fix all the major risk areas throughout your home, as well as give it a proper cleaning to completely rejuvenate your home and put it on the right foot.
Un-winterizing your mobile home
Being the diligent mobile homeowner that you are, you probably took some precautions ahead of winter to safeguard your home against the harsh weather conditions during this season. Good for you! Now, winter has passed and spring is right around the corner. It’s time to get your home back in its normal state.
Some things you might need to do if you prepared your home for winter is:
- Tighten up the tie-downs if you relaxed them to compensate for the soil’s contraction during winter.
- If you closed off the water to an unused home or switched off the water in parts that you don’t often use, it’s now safe to switch them back on.
If there are any other temporary measures you took before winter, you will know best how to take care of them. However, making a list of them now and including them in this process is a good idea.
Freshen up the furnace
Because winter is cold and we like to stay warm inside our homes, this is the time of year that we put the most strain on our heating equipment. We don’t blame you. Since they have made it through this tough time in order to keep you nice and cozy, it’s only fair that you return the favor and provide your furnaces with some much needed TLC.
Maintenance is an integral part of owning a furnace, especially if you want it to run consistently for the duration of its lifespan. Give your furnace a go-over by looking at the following:
- Clean the air ducts. This is important for the health of you and your family as much as for that of your furnace.
- Inspect the belt. If the belt shows significant signs of cracking or other damage have it replaced. Also, make sure it’s still tight and give it a good clean.
- Check the filter. If the filter is so dirty you can’t see through it, it’s also time for a replacement. A filter should last 6 months so you should be good if you changed it just before winter, but better safe than sorry.
- Check the thermostat. The battery needs to be replaced every now and then. Make sure your’s is still getting power.
- Lubricate the central pump and blower motor.
- Flush out the system for dust and other debris using a compressor.
Here is an in-depth guide to self-service your furnace, including different steps for gas and oil furnaces.
Inspect the roof
As one of the parts of your home that is on the frontline against the elements, there is a whole list of things that can potentially go wrong with your roof throughout winter. You should take the proper precautions by thoroughly inspecting your roof. A lot of problems should already be apparent from the ground, but take a ladder and get up there for a closer look
Common things to look out for and repair include:
- Clear off any remaining debris or snow.
- Inspect the shingles or tiles if your home happens to have them. Some might be missing or damaged. They will need to be replaced.
- If you have a metal roof, you also need to check whether the coating is still in good condition, particularly if you have a membrane roof coating.
- Check any flashings or areas where the roof comes together in a corner or has a vent or chimney coming through it. Clean them of debris and make sure they are still watertight.
- Inspect the roof’s eaves and soffits for any damage, particularly water damage from melting snow or damage from the strain of carrying extra weight.
- Try to identify any threats to your roof. Trees that are close by and might be dropping branches are a frequent culprit.
- Clean the gutters. Don’t just do this superficially, any corners are bound to get leaves and twigs stuck in them at some point. Use a long, thin tool to check for any clogs and try and loosen it. You can use a hose to check if the water still drains properly.
- Reattach gutters that have come loose from the house or from each other. Use caulk or epoxy to seal any damage or improper connections.
Check your skirting
Your home’s skirting protects the underbelly of your home from all kinds of outside dangers. Whether it be pests, snow, water or any debris blowing in as well as to help keep the temperature stable.
Skirting also helps to keep your home cooler during the hot months as it helps isolate your home from outside temperatures. Winter is a particularly dangerous time as it’s first under attack from snow and low temperatures and then from the water of melting snow. Make sure it’s still in good condition and that air is still ventilated properly throughout the space.
The toys that Joe left out on the living room floor. Sally’s painting supplies on the kitchen table. Your books and magazines draping the armrests on every chair. These are probably just a few of the cluttered areas that are no doubt consistently driving you nuts. And there’s an easy solution.
To make cleaning up clutter easier, put a few baskets or bins around the house to catch all those random objects that are constantly on the floor. Even give everyone in the house their own storage container so that their personal things have a place to go. In addition to that, have an evening routine that consists of everyone taking 3-4 minutes before bed, and grabbing everything they’ve left out and putting it in their bin. Subsequently, in the morning, you can wake up to a clutterless house, and start your day off on the right foot.
Generally, dusting is a simple cleaning job, and all it requires is a microfiber cloth, and possibly some dusting spray depending on what you’re dusting. Start at the top of the room, ie, highest shelves, and then work your way down. This way, whatever isn’t making its way into the cloth, goes to the floor, and can then be swept up. Otherwise, you’ll be kicking yourself by dusting the high shelves after the lower, and getting your newly cleaned objects dusty all over again! Move systematically from room to room so you can keep track of which ones you’ve dusted.
Sweeping is another easy yet often neglected object. Why? One reason is that any objects that are on the floor that needs to be swept often make it seem like it will be a more strenuous job than it is. Therefore, it’s important to do a quick clutter cleanup, as we mentioned earlier before you do your sweeping. Likely, it will only take 2-3 minutes to clean all the clutter up, and you’ll then have a clear path to sweep through.
Just like sweeping, you’ll make vacuuming much easier for yourself by cleaning up random toys/ tools before you begin. After you’ve done that, choose a room to start in, and work your way around the house. Then sit back and enjoy your clean carpet.
The dreaded bathrooms. Some folks fear these like the plague and others just plunge right in and get the job done. If you’re one of the formers, it’s alright. Buying some disinfectant wipes will save you lots of time, and makes wiping down surfaces super fast. Because the tub doesn’t get as dirty as other things, you’ll probably want to focus on the sink and toilet. With a quick wipe of counters and toilets and a scrub of the toilet bowl, your bathroom will be sparkling clean again
Siding and exterior walls
Again, the biggest risk here is from the snow melting as the coldest weather passes. The excess moisture could lead to mold and water damage inside and outside of your walls. If your home is constructed of wood and you have wood paneling, you are at particular risk.
You should clean the exterior siding of your home with a pressure washer if you are particularly scared of mold buildup. While you are at it, check for any missing or peeling paint and replace it immediately. Remember to take the different kinds of materials and their painting requirements into consideration.
Also, look for any tiny cracks that might have developed, especially at the corners of your home. Caulk these over as soon as possible and sand it smooth before painting. Replace or repair any existing caulking that is easily damaged during winter.
Check your home’s underbelly
Next up, grab a flashlight and head into the deep, dark abyss of your home’s underbelly. Don’t worry, it really isn’t that scary. Hopefully, you did follow HUD safety standards and have laid a waterproof tarp on the soil beneath your home. Check this tarp for its condition and replace if necessary.
Try and drain any excess moisture in this area that could be a result of snow or ice. Remove any extra debris or rodents that might’ve decided it looks like a cozy hideout for winter.
Also, check the underside of the home and the plumbing for any damage. If you have metal pipes, some of them might’ve frozen over in winter and been cracked or damaged as a result. The same goes for any fittings.
While you’re down there, check the foundation too. The foundation is a very important part of your home and has serious implications for its stability and structural integrity.
You would be surprised how much strain a foundation can be under during winter. Soil that contracts and expands because of the change in temperature across seasons can bear on the concrete. You should look for any signs of cracking, heaving or deterioration. Missing or crumbling mortar is an indicator of problems. You should let a professional fix any issues.
Check your exterior steps for damage
The steps leading into and out of your home is also subject to mold and water or other kinds of damage during and after winter. Make sure they are all still sturdy and have no physical damage. You can seal concrete steps with acrylic or silicone-based sealers. Stain wooden steps along with any decks or patios.
Inspect your decks, patios or porches
Do the same checks for mold and damage that you have done for your walls on your patios and porches. Pay special attention to any wooden railings and support pillars you might have. Look for evidence of damage as a result of more weight bearing on them. You might need to treat your entire deck or porch if it is made of wood if there is damage or peeling.
Also, check for any evidence of insects or mites in the wood. As part of the spring clean, we will go through later, also properly clean these areas as well as any furniture.
Do some lawn work
Winter isn’t really plant-friendly. Whether you are an avid gardener or not, there are some steps you should take to at least get your lawn to not be an eye-sore when spring arrives.
- The same risks that apply to your plumbing count for your irrigation system as well as exterior taps and sprinklers. Check them for any damage.
- Even out the lawn if there is damage as a result of snow removal.
- Rake up any small debris and dispose of any larger ones such as fallen branches.
- Check for signs of pests in heaps of rotten or old wood.
- Prepare your lawn for warmer, friendlier months by trimming and pruning foliage. It’s also an opportune time to re-apply weed killer and mulch.
- Check the footpaths to and from your home. They might have undergone some damage from snow and water as well as snow removal. Not only can they be a trip hazard, but they will affect your home’s curb appeal.
This article provides a handy Spring Gardening Checklist that also covers the different stages of spring gardening from early to late spring.
Check windows and doors
People often neglect to acknowledge that window sills and door frames are under constant stress and should be carefully checked for damage on a regular basis. That’s because they are especially susceptible to the home’s movement especially when there have been drastic temperature changes.
Replace any damaged windows or doors and check their frames for signs of cracking or for not properly being sealed off. You can fix light damage with some caulk but need to consider replacement if it’s more extensive.
Do a spring clean
To completely shake off the winter chills and embrace the warmth of spring and summer, it’s also a good idea to give your home a good clean. A proper deep clean will leave your home feeling organized, refreshed, and like a much healthier living space.
Let’s go through a basic spring deep clean list that should help you achieve this level of cleanliness:
- Before you do any kind of cleaning (especially dusting or sweeping), open windows and run any exhaust systems you might have.
- Clean all the floors of your home properly using a vacuum, mop, and broom.
- Declutter the home. Especially over the festive season, we tend to horde all kinds of unnecessary things. This includes boxes, wrapping stationery, unwanted clothes, etc.
- Properly clean the kitchen, washing room, and bathroom sinks, making sure to check for any clogging in their drains.
- While you are in the bathroom, clean the bathtub, shower pan, and toilet bowl in each.
- Also, make sure to remove any slime or scale buildup between the tiles and the corners of the room.
- Clean all kitchen appliances, including the microwave, oven, dishwashers, and dryers as well as the stove top.
- Move appliances out of their spots and clean the grime building up behind them.
- Wash your door frames and window frames. Make sure to open them and clean the areas between the window pane or door and the frame.
- In every room you clean move the furniture out of their place and clean underneath and behind them.
- Clean the fireplace and chimney.
- Hire a professional service to deep clean all your carpets.
HOW TO GET IT DONE IN SHORT BURSTS OF TIME
Obviously, everyone has different standards of cleanliness. Furthermore, some people have particular parts of the house that they’re more particular about cleaning than others. For instance, having a clean counter, or freshly mopped floors. Maybe it’s keeping your bathroom clean in case of unexpected visitors, or having your windows free of fingerprints. The simple point is, you have to do what works for you.
Maybe you want to do 10-15 minutes of cleaning once a day, or maybe you have time to do that much three times a day. Either way, you’re probably not sure how to get all the cleaning done, and still have time to live life.
One easy way to accomplish cleaning is to assign a room to every day of the week: Monday do a quick clean in the living room, Tuesday do your bedroom, and so on. Or, you can do a little in every room every day. A quick clutter cleanup, dust, and sweep/vacuum in every room can easily be accomplished in 15 minutes. If you work fast, you might even be able to get your heart rate up high enough to count it as cardio, and kill two birds with one stone!
With this checklist, your home will be clean as a whistle!
As your most prized possession, never take the needs of your home for granted. Just like we make our new year resolutions for a fresh start, and to tie up loose ends from the past year, your home is in need of the same to tackle the future. Making home maintenance and cleaning a part of your yearly schedule can keep your mobile home in tip-top condition. You’ll be providing a safe, clean, and healthy living environment for you and your family.