Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Coastal Home
We’re sharing some of our favorite tips for Spring cleaning your coastal home to help you get organized, de-clutter, and refresh!
Start From the Outside and Work Your Way In
You’re ready to begin Spring cleaning your coastal home. But, whether you’re planning on selling your home soon or keeping it forever, you probably want your home to be as clean on the outside as it is on the inside. Everyone loves a home with great curb appeal. Try and keep the next few weekends open, so that when the sunshine and 65° temperatures arrive you’ll be fully prepared for yard work.
Focus on the big things first, like any trees or bushes that need to be trimmed (or removed if hazardous), then move on to the leaf raking process and finish up with that first cut of the year. Picking up an edger might be worth the cost from Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, or Home Depot, especially if you’ve got a paved driveway and an abundance of road frontage (You can pick one up that runs on a rechargeable battery). Be sure to blow or sweep all the dirt off after to keep your driveway looking clean. (But don’t blow them into our waterways or drainage grates)
Next, tackle any weeds you may have sprouted up over the wintertime. A garden stool (or 5 Gallon Bucket turned upside down) can go along way in saving your knees from the harsh surface of pine needles or mulch. Consider consulting with a landscaping professional if you’ve got an abundance of undesired plants in your yard. Moles have been especially present on island properties the last few years, your local hardware store should have some treatment remedies for these pesky critters.
Finally, turn to focus on your flower beds and pots. You might have to make the difficult decision of what to keep and try to revive versus what to just give up and start over with. Here in Carteret County, we are blessed with an abundance of garden centers that have a helpful staff dedicated to helping you find exactly the right plants for your home.
Once you’re all done, make sure to set a regular schedule for routine maintenance. Setting aside a few hours a week to dedicate to your yard will give you an excuse to get outside, and keep things looking great throughout the year! You’ll be in awe of your hard work every time you pull into your driveway, which will motivate you to keep the inside of your house clean and looking good, too.
Work From The Top Down
Focusing on small victories is key to Spring cleaning your coastal home. By starting at the top, you can concentrate on some of the particularly tricky aspects of de-cluttering and move to the normally easier aspects as you go.
The Kids Rooms
For most two-story homes, the kid’s rooms and playrooms are found on the top floor. These tend to be the parts of your house that gather the most ‘stuff’ and never seem organized. Purging gifts, toys, and clothes can be a particularly tricky situation for most, but if you go about it in the right way, it can be satisfying for everyone. Start by gathering a few large boxes and label them ‘Keep’, ‘Yard Sale/Donate’ and ‘Trash.’ Make it a game with your kids to decide which objects are going to go in which bin, and let them drop the items in themselves.
Depending on how much stuff you’ve accumulated in these areas, you might want to try and focus to spread the load out equally, or for every one item kept, two will go in the Yard Sale box. If your kids are fighting you on letting go, tell them that the money you raise from their items can go towards something big they’ve been dreaming for – basketball hoop, vacation, or even into their college fund.
When you’re all done, find a home for everything in the keep pile, and maybe invest in some shelving units to help clean things up a bit. Decide whether or not your willing to host a Yard Sale, and if not considering donating the items to a local non-profit, and reap the tax benefits. Saying your going to host a Yard Sale later in the year is easy, but will just add more clutter to some of your spaces- make the decision to try and sell everything or give it all away within the next few weeks!
TIP: Keep an Eye out for Community Yard Sale Days & Pages
Community Yard Sales
- Emerald Isle always has one around the beginning of April. You can send a list of items you’ll have and the group will share it with their followers. It’s a totally free way to spread the word and clear some stuff out! Find more information on the Emerald Isle City Wide Yard Sale Facebook Page
- Swansboro usually hosts theirs at the Municipal Park in May. There may be limited spots available so don’t wait to register! For more info visit the Town of Swansboro’s Facebook Page and check their events tab.
- Search for a community Yard Sale Page in your neighborhood and post the items that you have for sale, just be sure to use caution if you plan on meeting anyone or having them to your house. Many local Police Stations have designated & monitored areas for internet sale exchanges.
Tackle Spring Cleaning Your Coastal Home by De-Cluttering the Closets
Picking out an outfit for the day can feel like one of the most difficult daily chores, but if your closet is clean and organized- the perfect pieces for the day will be popping up right in front of your face! Even if you’re not in your dream closet (yet), there are some simple and easy tricks to maximizing space and finding a place for everything.
Where to Start?
Start by removing all of the items you know you’ll never wear and pass them off to a friend or colleague that may enjoy them. (Or even a local domestic violence shelter) An easy way to figure out what you don’t ever really wear is to start with all of your clothes hangers facing the same way. Every time you wear something, turn the hanger the opposite way when you got to put it back. Everything that’s facing the original way after a few months may need to go. Color coordinating can go a long way in stimulating your visual triggers – and is highly recommended if your home is listed for sale. More times than not, a potential buyer is going to look and see what the closet space looks like, and if your clothes are neatly hung in order of light to dark- the space will feel much larger and they will want to do the same if they decide to purchase. Using the same style and colored hangers can also go along way in creating an aesthetic that is sure to please everyone.
TIP: Place a soda can tab over the hook of a hanger, and you’ll be able to hook another hanger onto the other hole. This way you can hang more clothes within the same amount of space.
Next, focus on the shoes- and throw out any pairs that might be damaged beyond repair (especially with kids!). When you’ve narrowed it down to what you actually plan on wearing, find an easy storage solution like bookshelves or even a basket.
TIP: Use wine bottle box dividers to separate each shoe, so you don’t have to dig to the bottom every time you are looking for that perfect pair.
Scarves, ties, belts, can be stored efficiently by securing plastic shower curtain hooks onto a hanger. Loop the items through the hook and you’ll be able to fit multiple items in the same space as a shirt or pair of pants.
TIP: A belt rod on the back of a door, or secured to a small wall is a great way to store those accessories as well.
No Closet? No Problem!
Even rooms without closets can be clutter-free! Assign everything a place, and make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be before you leave the room. If you assign everything its own space and not everything fits flush against the walls, you might have too many things and it might be time to catch up on the Marie Kondo method. (Thanks Netflix!)
Lastly, if you’ve got any extra storage space for clothes, jackets, or other accessories that might not be in season- it would be in your best interest to move them there. Knowing North Carolina weather and the sporadic temperatures it brings, you might want to keep a few things on-hand close by for those abnormal days we all love so much.
Take on the Kitchen
Aside from the daily dish duties and spoiled food purges, you should pay close attention to the cleaning detail of your kitchen. It’s arguably where you spend a lot of your time at home- and it’s sure to be a gathering place when family and friends pay you a visit.
Depending on the size and layout of your kitchen, it might not be a bad idea to spend a day cleaning out all of the cabinets. Try to gather everything on your dining room table and wipe the inside of all your cabinets out, then turn the focus to the cabinets doors and drawer handles.
TIP: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers might be the best trick if you have all white materials.
While you’re in the process of cleaning out your cabinets, take a second to think about the layout of what’s in each nook, and the size of the materials going in it. If you’re constantly cramming dishes into a single drawer, or fighting to remove the Crock-Pot from a corner cabinet- there might be better locations for bulky items. It might also be time to get rid of some of the items that don’t get used.
TIP: Try to give everything a specific place, and leave the countertops clear of everything except the essentials (Paper towels, soap, and a coffee maker- because that should always be handy and will probably help you clean the rest of the house).
Moving on to the Pantry
You should once again take everything out to inspect expiration dates, clean shelves, and make the decision to decide which items should be placed where. While everything is out, considering re-painting or touching up some scuff marks as necessary. Definitely don’t forget to sweep or vacuum those hard-to-reach areas which are sure to gather crumbs from the cookie monster in your house. Consider purchasing plastic containers or glass jars to hold awkwardly shaped and small items, especially if they’re going to be stored in a place that everyone will be able to see. If there’s plenty of room to spare after organizing your food items, consider making a space for bulkier kitchen appliances like Crock-Pots, Mixers, Air-Fryers, etc.
Cleaning the refrigerator out is certainly a chore, but one that might make the most impact in presenting your home. Once again, take everything out and place them in coolers if possible. Most of the racks and drawers are removable, so take those out and place them in the sink. Windex and paper towels or Clorox wipes are going to be best for scrubbing those sticky messes and cleaning up the occasional crumb. Just make sure to dry everything off so the moisture doesn’t build up over time.
TIP: Keep an opened box of Baking Soda in the fridge to help eliminate odors and replace it with a new package every 3 months.
The freezer is a bit trickier, but the biggest thing is to make sure that all items with freezer-burn are thrown away, and space is occupied properly.
Microwave and Stove Top Cleaning Tips
Finally, turn your focus to the microwave, oven, and stove-top. Since these are the areas that get the most use, they are going to need the most attention. Starting with your microwave, wipe the outside off with a mild cleaning solution, and make sure to scrub the buttons and handle, since they are always touched – and usually not with clean hands. One of the easiest tricks to cleaning the inside of your microwave is to cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a small glass bowl and add about a 1/2 cup of water. Place the lemons into the bowl and put them in the microwave for 3 minutes. Let the mixture stand for another 5 minutes, then pull it out and wipe all the walls with a rag or sponge. Always remember to cover items like soup with a wet paper towel to avoid messes the next time around.
Once the microwave is cleaned up, move down to the stove-top. If you’ve got a traditional stove-top with the coiled burners, it might be easier to replace the metal bowls underneath than to try and scrub them out. For those with the more modern glass-top stove, take a trip to your local hardware store for some Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner. Follow the instructions on the bottle and watch your stove return to that like-new stage once again. Wipe off all the outside edges which may have collected grease or dust over the last few months, and then open up the oven and get ready.
Most newer overs have a self-clean mode which will burn a majority of the gunk inside away. It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but you’ll want to make sure you’re around in case that anything happens. Fair warning – This process tends to produce a strong odor, make sure to keep your windows open if the weather permits, and put a few drops of Purification in your diffuser. Once the cleaning is done and the oven has cooled off, remove the racks and scrape any leftover residue off. Wipe the glass off with a wet sponge or paper towel, and avoid using Windex on the inside (instead, you can use a combo of vinegar and water), but feel free to use it on the outside. If your oven has a storage space underneath for pots and pans, remove all those as well, clean, and organize.
Clean and wipe out the sink, make yourself a nice drink and warn the rest of the house that the kitchen is cleaned and they don’t want to see how mad you can get if they mess it up right after.
Scrub the Bathrooms
Oftentimes the shared bathroom mainly for guests will stay relatively clean, but the ones most used and usually connected to bedrooms tend to get neglected. As is the case with almost everything else, it’s so easy to keep the room tidy once it’s that way already. Products tend to accumulate over time and can sometimes get overwhelming. Start with a purge of what you don’t use, and find an appropriate place for all the products you do use.
TIP: There are plenty of useful makeup holders available at local retailers and across the internet.
Start with the shower and scrub off all the soap scum with a half vinegar & water solution in a spray bottle. Allow the mixture to sit on the affected areas for about 15 minutes, then use a soft-bristle brush to wipe off and rinse with hot water. You can use the same method for your glass shower door (if you have one), but make sure you dry it completely after.
TIP: Keep this area looking spotless, spray with Rain-x and rub in with a paper towel.
After each use, be sure to squeegee all the remaining water down to the shower floor. Wipe off all of the products you keep in the shower before placing them back on the shelf.
Then, move your focus to the toilet and take care of that. Take into consideration that the outside of the bowl can use a wipe-down as well. Once that area is conquered, wipe out the sinks and apply your favorite glass cleaner to all the mirrors. Finally, sweep or vacuum the floors, fill up your diffuser for a little aromatherapy, and enjoy the environment next time you go to use the restroom.
Grab a Drink and Call it a Day
When you’re finally done Spring cleaning your coastal home it’s time to have some fun in the sun! Spend the rest of your day/evening enjoying some of the Crystal Coast’s awesome restaurants, or hit the beach for a family picnic. Just make sure to wipe your feet before you come back into the house!