Spring-cleaning might seem a little old-fashioned, but there is some merit to opening up your house and freshening things up.

Cleaning checklist

Windows – Start with the outside first, for best results. Wash with a soft cloth and buff to a shine with a ball of newspaper.

Linen – Wash and dry winter curtains, blankets and linen before you pack them away. Buy cedar blocks, or cut laundry soap into small blocks and scatter them into the storage to keep pests at bay.

Mattresses – Drag them out into the sun for a day if you can, and give them a good vacuum.
Carpets/upholstery – hire someone to clean them for you, or rent carpet and upholstery-cleaners and do it yourself. It doubles as a workout!

Pests to look out for

Cockroaches: Cockroaches thrive on heat, and chances are that in winter they would be more active in places such as behind the geyser. With temperatures getting warmer, cockroaches become more active around the house.

Rodents: They love to find small spaces to hide in, behind wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. Make sure pet food is kept in rodent-proof containers, and be sure to vacuum spaces where crumbs might accumulate.

“If you suspect an infestation of pests in the house, it’s best to call on the services of a pest-control company,” says Christopher Kapanga, owner of We Clean It All, a cleaning solutions company. If the problem doesn’t seem too bad, you can buy pest solutions at most grocery stores – just be sure to keep items such as rat poison out of reach of children and pets.

Tips for spring-cleaning

• Set a date for spring-cleaning.
• Focus on one room at a time – the Internet is full of checklists that can help you to keep track of your chores.
• Break down chores into bite-sized chunks, to avoid giving up halfway.
• Make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies before you begin.
• Before cleaning, declutter and organise. Recycle or donate items that you no longer need.
• Get help from other household members! If the workload is too much or you are too busy, a cleaning service would be your best bet.
• Use the top-down approach when cleaning a room. Start from the ceiling, then move on to walls, storage and, finally, floors. When the inside is done, move outside and hose down the exterior walls.
• Concentrate on high-traffic zones. Places where the family gathers most often will probably be grubbier.
• Start as soon as possible. The more you delay, the less likely you are to start – or finish.
• Don’t forget to throw away expired products such as medicines, some cosmetic items, and definitely food.

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