It’s easy to find advice on home cleaning - the internet is chock full of helpful tips and guides for arranging the clutter in your home, and you’ll have plenty of neighbors and relatives who would be more than happy to give their two cents on how you should go about it (even if you haven’t exactly asked them). But there’s one important side of your home you don’t hear discussed too often - the outside! A good clean outside will improve the appearance and value (with some appraisers saying a clean exterior adds 5%-10% to your home’s value!) of any home, no matter how old.
The best place to start is with your home’s siding - and it isn’t as daunting as you might expect! First, try to remove any obstructions or exterior decorations if you can to free up some room. For the next step - the actual cleaning - you should start with simple mixture of warm soapy water with a dash of white vinegar to handle any debris on the outside. This mixture should be safe for both wood and vinyl siding, and the only other thing you should need is a long brush for those hard-to-reach places. If your home has more brightly-colored vinyl siding, you can substitute bleach instead of vinegar - just be careful not to get any on your clothes! This mixture can be rinsed off with your average garden hose when you’re done scrubbing. If the vinegar and water isn’t cutting it, you might want to employ something stronger like Simple Green or Moldex.
Next, you should move on to your front door and deck (or porch, or whatever you might have). Most doors can be cleaned by mixing water and laundry detergent - if you’ve got older, more ornate wooden doors, you might want to consider Murphy’s Oil Soap instead. Wipe the doors top to bottom with a rag or a brush (make sure it’s non-abrasive!) and rinse it gently with your hose. The same process can work for porches, but you might need a slightly longer brush.
If you’re still feeling motivated after all that, you can move on to lights and windows! Remove any bulbs from the lights and turn them off before cleaning. Depending on what the lamps are made of, you can use anything from soap and water to brass polish. Windows shouldn’t be hard either - rainfall usually does the cleaning for you, but if you really want to show off your nice vinyl windows you could try glass and/or household cleaner.
After this, the outside of your house should be as good as new! You might want to repeat this a few times through the summer, depending on the local weather and conditions. Now all you have to worry about is the inside...