Clean before you stage

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By The Staff


For The News-Enterprise

Spring is here, and thank goodness.  Last week I wrote about ways you can stage your home for spring. One of the most important aspects of that article was everybody’s least favorite thing to do: cleaning. Cleaning is a necessary evil. It takes effort, but there is a huge pay off. You can see instant results, which is gratifying. It is worth the time and elbow grease to make your home sparkle and shine. Spring brings with it a desire to shed yourself of all things old and worn out. This is a perfect time to devise a strategy for whipping that house into show-ready state before it gets too nice outside and you get into gardening. There are many tasks that should be on your list to tackle. A thorough cleaning of all areas of the home is necessary. That means getting down on your hands and knees to clean floors and baseboards. It means removing the refrigerator grate and heating vent covers and spraying them off outside to be rid of dust and grime from use over the winter.  You will go in and out doors of your home frequently, so remove all the fingerprints, boot marks and salt stains from the winter. If you have glass in your doors – make sure it shines. Don’t forget to take down window treatments and light fixture globes to clean them too.  Now would be a good time to launder slip covers and bedding as well. Wiping down walls, dusting ceiling fans and window blinds are all important, as well. Whew. Had enough yet?  Now also is the perfect time to change your wardrobe and clean your closet.  When packing away winter clothing, do not pack anything that you did not wear this past winter – chances are you won’t wear it next winter either. If something needs to be mended, do it now or ditch it. Separate whatever is left over into three piles: Keep, Toss, and Give Away. After you complete that task with winter clothes, do the same with your spring and summer clothing.  Don’t forget to sort through your accessories and shoes. Once you have separated your clothing, coats, shoes and boots, appropriately dispense the items in your throw-away and give-away piles. Don't just let them sit. Leaving the give-away pile in a bag on your bedroom floor until fall is not the epitome of clean. I suggest you also clean out cupboards, linen closets, the garage and storage closets throughout your home. Clean out the clutter and organize what is left. If you really get into it, use a label maker. It may help you stick to your new organizational plan. Cleaning does not have to be drudgery. Crank up the music, open the windows and get all of your supplies in one place to carry with you room to room. Use bright colored rags if dirt colored ones drag you down. The smell of clean will invigorate you once you get started. Think about the end result and that should provide some motivation, too.  If you are selling your home, it is vital that this level of cleaning is done. If you plan to grow old in your home, spring cleaning is a wonderful way to enhance your living environment. Of course, once all of the cleaning is done, then you can get to the fun part: staging. Sheila O’Mara, owner of Staged SO Right, a full-service home staging company, is an accredited staging professional. She can be reached at stagedsoright@bbtel.com.