Spring is in the air at many military communities around the globe. As is tradition in many cultures, the change in season brings about the desire to thoroughly clean out and organize the home.
The PCS purge is only part of the equation. As good as it feels to de-junk, sell your unneeded items and lighten your load a little bit, if you’re PCSing you’ll also be thoroughly cleaning two homes.
While this would sound overwhelming to the average civilian family, it’s par for the course in the military lifestyle. For many military families, spring cleaning rolls right into PCS season and we’re preparing to do double (triple?) duty as we clean up our homes and also clean out in preparation to move on yet again.
Although it’s undeniably an extra burden to have to organize, clean and move so often, there is good reason to appreciate the excuse to start from scratch. Even if you’re not moving this year, it feels good to get the extra layer of grime out of your household.
It’s easier to purge first, as you’ll likely be kicking up a few layers of dust. But when you’re finished combing through your husband’s old T-shirt collection, have hauled a few bags of garbage down to the curb and have combed through the “extras” to post for sale in your house, take a moment to mentally prepare yourself for the cleaning.
If you’re PCSing,and intend to deep-clean, it’s helpful to get a head start on certain tasks before the movers come knocking. When your items are getting hauled away and you’re already completely exhausted, you’ll likely be left with less to do. Cleaning the floors and other surfaces will be a lot easier than deep-cleaning with your last ounce of strength.
Once you’ve mentally prepared yourself for the task ahead, use the following list to help your organize your spring/PCS cleaning. Remember, the purpose of “spring cleaning” is to be more thorough than a normal house cleaning. Many of these tasks are not terribly time-consuming while others are a huge pain.
Many of these tasks also only make sense on one end or the other of your PCS, depending on your unique situation. Things tend to get dusty when you move and vacuum bags for clean linens and other fabrics become a time-saver.
You might be prepping a home to sell, cleaning up a rental or simply meeting the terms of your contract as you clean out your base home for the next resident. No matter what your situation, use the following go-to list of annual or bi-annual cleaning jobs to help you organize your Spring/PCS cleaning:
- Dusting – including the lighting and areas you can only reach with a step-ladder
- Wash walls, trim, doors and knobs, vent covers
- Wipe down, vacuum and/or launder cushion coverings, couches and upholstery
- Empty out closets and clean the surfaces. (You can combine this with your purge)
- Wash area rugs
- Wash floors, spot clean carpets and rent a steam cleaner for your carpets
- Scrub grout and reseal/repair if necessary
- Wipe out window sills/thresholds/sliding door rails (anywhere dirt gets caught)
- Wash windows, inside and out
- Soak and wash screens
- Wash mirrors
- Remove and wash mini blinds
- Arrange for pressure-washing the exterior of the home
- Move beds and clean out the items and surface underneath
- Launder bedding and curtains. For really big items, you can go to the local Laundromat to use the extra large machines or trust a local cleaner to take care of it for you.
- Clean lamp shades
- Clean/oil wood surfaces, including the tops of your cabinets and other furniture
- Use a repair pen to correct scratches on your wood surfaces
- Empty your cabinets and vanities, clean the surfaces and replace items. Use this time to toss expired items.
- Deep-clean toilets (remove seat and clean around and behind the bowl), bath tubs and drains.
- Clean out and organize your pantry and kitchen (take the time to check dates!)
- Deep clean the nooks and crannies in your kitchen: i.e. refrigerator drip tray, stove top, microwave, dish washer and laundry areas, base boards and drains, under the refrigerator if you can move it, refrigerator coils, toaster, coffee maker, etc.
- Clean china/silverware in your cabinets or other knick-knacks that collect dust
- Wash trash cans, recycling cans and diaper pails thoroughly
- Clean television and other electronic screens with appropriate products
- Scrub high chairs, booster seats, car seats and strollers
- As tempting as it may be to tackle it full-force once the kids are in bed, you might choose to save a few chores for them. Not only will it help you out, but it can be a good family team-building activity.
- Don’t forget the car: wash and detail
- Don’t get overwhelmed! A little planning goes a long way and this type of list is much easier accomplished over the course of a few weeks or weekends. If you tackle a few things a day, you’ll be done before you know it.
Can’t fathom the idea of cleaning and/or organizing so thoroughly? Find a local business to help you on SargesList.
Need help with your PCS? Download the free, Ultimate PCS Guide.
Need to lighten your load? Sell your unneeded items on SargesList.
Looking for a new place to live or need to sell your home? Post a free listing.
Looking to rent? Check out AHRN.com