The days are longer; the sun shines brighter. Open the windows and breathe in the sweet smell of fresh cut grass and lilacs blooming outside! The world is coming to life and you have more energy and enthusiasm. Time to shake off the winter gloom with a good round of spring cleaning!

The first thing on the list is to bring more light to your home. Remove curtains and window shades and clean them well. Take the venetian blinds outside and wash them with a hose. Iron starch curtains for a flawless look, but don’t hang them again until you’ve washed the windows – inside and out! You can clean your windows in one day with a bucket of water and ammonia, a squeegee, and a stack of newspapers. Clean windows are the number one feature of a bright and welcoming home. Replace dark insulated curtains with sheer curtains or perhaps just a window trim to allow sunlight to illuminate the room.

Now that you can see more clearly, take a look around you. Is your house cluttered? Have stacks of newspapers and magazines, scattered toys, stacks of papers, and various foreign objects taken over your counters, tables, chairs, and the floor? Throw away anything you don’t need, and most of it will likely go with the trash. Get some good looking storage containers or shelving / shelving to store the things you need.

What shape are the walls? Consider painting the walls after cleaning with a lemon-scented degreaser. Pastel shades brighten up a room. Experiment, you might be surprised to find that light colors really brighten your mood. Or just give your walls a good clean and stencil on one edge, or hang your favorite pattern or dried flower arrangement. Consider using a hallway as a gallery for framed family photos.

Woof! Now that the walls are clean, you can see that the baseboards, doors, and trim are quite dirty. Clean the woodwork with a bucket of water and a little Murphy’s Oil soap to add a real shine to your rooms. Consider renting a polishing machine to polish your hardwood floors. Clean the rugs or buy some brightly colored rugs to add a pop of color.

If you’ve moved furniture for cleaning, think about putting it back in a different way. Rearranging your furniture, removing or adding a two-piece, can give your room a whole new feel.

This is also a good time to go through your cabinets and drawers and get rid of any clothes that you haven’t worn in the last three years. There is nothing more satisfying than hauling big garbage bags full of clothes you no longer need or want for Goodwill or the Salvation Army, and you get a tax break! The most expensive clothing in good condition can be taken to a consignment store. How about placing a shelf in your closet to utilize the space to the maximum effect?

Now that the heavy housework is done, have fun. Choose new bedding for your beds, wash it with baby laundry detergent, and hang it outside to dry. You will love the sweet and clean smell. New guest towels and fancy soaps can add pizzazz to bathrooms. Get a head start in your garden – and breathe new life into your kitchen – by starting your tomatoes and peppers in shiny ceramic pots on a windowsill or sunny counter. And a new tablecloth (or a new dining set!) Will make it easier to eat the right foods to fit in the swimsuit you will be wearing too soon!

Spring scented candles, such as peach or honeysuckle, and fresh flowers, even a single daffodil, crocus, lily or tulip in a vase of buds, in every room of the house will complete the resurrection of your home, from winter to winter! new birth of spring!

Fast! Invite your mother-in-law before the house returns to its old ways!