Check out these home spring cleaning tips

Winter's frigid grip is finally loosening, which means many homeowners will soon shut off the heat, cast open the windows and clean out the nooks and crannies left neglected during the colder months. In fact, spring cleaning is an annual ritual for most in the U.S. Approximately 72 percent of Americans engage in the activity every year, according to the American Cleaning Institute.

If you too plan to conduct a post-winter clean sweep, make sure to keep a few salient strategies in mind.

Formulate a plan
You simply cannot kick off an intense spring cleaning session without a solid scrubbing scheme. Planning can cut your cleaning time in half and produce better results, reported Popular Mechanics. Professional speed cleaners approach each situation with a plan. They usually working room-by-room and finish each space where they started so as to maintain uniform cleaning quality. Using a similarly methodical approach, you can tackle your entire house in a matter of hours and produce a whole-home shine that will last for months.

Get the proper tools
Most households store their cleaning supplies in infrequently accessed cabinets and pantries. These spaces inevitably gather dust and grime and render some cleaning tools useless. If you fall into this category, invest in some new, quality equipment before taking on winter crud. Professionals sport carpenter belts stuffed with specialized cleaners and brushes that can fit into the tinniest spaces. You don't have to go this far. Purchasing a new broom, a feather duster and maybe a solid bucket should be enough. If you want to try out something besides a store-bought cleaner, use a lemon. The acid contained within these citrus fruits can dissolve outdoor rust stains and cut through carpet spots. According to Apartment Therapy, you can also add Kool-Aid to your cleaning tool kit. The lemon and orange varieties of the drink make toilet rings disappear and, unlike Coke, another beverage often employed by cleaning innovators, it doesn't leave behind sugary deposits and is eco-friendly.

Start at the top
Even the most committed neat freaks neglect their ceiling fans and allow residue to collect in hidden, ceiling-facing dust deposits. However, during spring cleaning, most leave no surface untouched and gladly cleanse dusty ceiling fan blades. This task is often saved until the last minute. Side tables, couches and other easy-to-reach surfaces always seem to come first. Unfortunately, the majority of fan-cleaning finales leave recently wiped coffee tables covered in dust. The moral of the story: clean from ceiling to floor. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up stubborn cobwebs. As for the infamous ceiling fan blades, Real Simple suggested using a homemade cleaning solution made from water and distilled white vinegar. Also, as you clean up top, be sure to look for mold. If you encounter some, call a home inspection company and schedule professional mold testing.