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Tips to make the most of your spring cleaning this year

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extra Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

It's that time of year again: time to clear out the closets, power wash the garage floor and kill those dust bunnies living on the refrigerator coils.

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Every year, at the start of the spring season, people everywhere begin their annual spring cleaning efforts. If you need some help with your spring cleaning, consider these tips from Russ Lammers, owner of Lammers Household Services in Willmar.

Start by decluttering and organizing. "The number one thing that we strive to tell folks is the value of decluttering your home," Lammers said. "If you have a cluttered house, you can't really clean it properly."

Lammers suggests starting small and focusing on one room over the course of a week. Take time to notice the corners that are often overlooked but could be filled with clutter, he said.

As a general rule of thumb, if you haven't used something in the last year, it's time to get rid of it, Lammers said. This rule applies to clothing, furniture, electronics, appliances and any knick-knacks you may be holding onto. Donate or sell these items to make room in your home, he said.

Clean those areas you normally don't think about. This could include the side of the countertop adjacent to the stove or the top of kitchen cabinets, Lammers said. These areas can produce significant levels of grease and grime. Use a quality degreaser on those areas and wipe surfaces with a high-quality microfiber cloth that doesn't leave lint behind.

In the bathrooms, make sure to clean the vents, Lammers said. Also clean grout lines with a bleach product. Tackle hard water build-up in the bathroom with a phosphoric acid, rather than a hydrochloric acid, which can damage chrome, Lammers said.

Clean your windows and walls. The beginning of spring is the perfect time to clean your windows, Lammers said. Use a damp microfiber cloth to clean and a dry cloth to buff. A squeegee also works well to clean windows, he said. When cleaning your walls, use a slightly dampened sponge or rag. A microfiber mop can also work to clean walls, Lammers said. "It's more ergonomic and a little easier," he said.

Don't forget about the basement and garage. Too much clutter in the basement can cause mold and mildew, Lammers said, especially during cold Minnesota winters. To make sure air is circulating, place a dehumidifier in the basement. Also clean out the garage and power wash the concrete floor.

Know when to call an expert. There are some jobs that are best left to professional cleaners, Lammers said. For example, if you see a mold-like substance growing, it's best to have a professional cleaning service come take care of it. If you have large windows, it may also be easier to have a professional clean them, Lammers said.

Consider doing spring cleaning throughout the year. Instead of saving all of your spring cleaning for spring, do a thorough house cleaning at each change of season, Lammers said. "Do a seasonal cleaning," he said. "We naturally rotate things in our house around the seasons. When you're storing away the holiday decorations, clean out those corners you don't get to that often. This way, you'll have a much easier time when you do your spring cleaning."

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