Mark your calendars – the first official day of spring is March 20th. Spring is the perfect time of year to pack away your winter supplies and make room for the new. Prepare for the sunny, active months of summer by mastering your spring cleaning checklist. Every busy homeowner can use a few tips to tackle the job. Try these ideas for easy – and even fun – spring cleaning.
Organization is Key
Clutter can make an otherwise clean space feel messy, cramped, and disorderly. Tackle your home’s clutter with a few simple and effective organization tips. Spring is a perfect time to introduce a new storage system in your home. Here are three innovative ideas:
- Purchase cheap decorative bins for the odds and ends that always seem to appear around the house. Bed, Bath & Beyond has many affordable options in different prints and patterns. Many canvas bins come with a place for labeling or add your own with a bit of hot glue. Decorative bins are the perfect way to make the pantry, game room, toy area, or entertainment center look neat and tidy.
- Lazy Susans are your friends! Put a rotating lazy Susan in cabinets, your refrigerator, cosmetic areas – anywhere that could use some easy and neat organization. Lazy Susans are inexpensive at IKEA, Lowes, and Amazon.com and can completely transform a cramped space. Keep condiments, spices, nail polish, and a variety of other odds and ends tidy and easily accessible.
- Hang items whenever possible. Use the space on the backs of cabinet and closet drawers to maximize storage solutions. Using a door-hanging shoe holder in the pantry, for example, is the perfect area to store bottles of spices, condiments, and cooking supplies. You can find many hanging baskets and other solutions to put in your cabinets for a fast and easy bit of extra storage space.
Turn messy, cluttered spaces into eye-catching smart solutions with a few cost-effective investments. The more storage space you create, the less you’ll find items scattered on the floor or thrown helter skelter in drawers. Use pretty storage bins to make an area attractive and decorative as well as functional.
Involve Friends and Family
Turn spring cleaning into a fun family or friend get-together. Inviting adult children or friends over to help you clean may not seem fun, but it can be with a bit of creative thinking. Make it a brunch and offer food and drinks to anyone willing to help. Trade your skills and tools for someone else’s. For example, if you have a carpet cleaner but your friend has a power steamer, offer to clean your friend’s carpets if he or she can steam your curtains. Splitting up spring cleaning among friends and family can lighten the burden and make it possible to accomplish tasks you couldn’t do by yourself.
If you have young children at home, assign each a place in the house – say, each child’s bedroom – and tell him or her to create stacks. Tell your child to go around the room and organize clutter into piles. A pile for trash, a pile for donations (i.e. toys and clothes your child no longer wants), and a pile to keep. Tell your child to look under the bed, clean out drawers, and go through his/her closet and dresser to get rid of old clothes. You may want another pile to collect winter gear.
The Secret to Streak (and Stress) Free Windows
Forget smelly chemical glass cleaners that always leave streaks behind – all you need for a beautiful, crystal-clear shine is water and a microfiber cloth. Say goodbye to mountains of paper towels and wearing your arm out trying to get rid of streaky windows and mirrors. Microfiber cloths like these affordable options from Amazon are a safe, easy, and cost-effective way to clean your glass year round.
Simply dampen the cloth (soak it and wring it out fairly well) and wipe your glass, windows, and mirrors. Too much water will leave streaks behind. A damp microfiber cloth will remove 99% of dirt, dust, and germs from any surface. Plus, they are reusable for hundreds of uses – you pay less to get more!
Clean the Garbage Disposal
Your kitchen sink can be a hotbed of germs and bacteria. Remnants of old food can stay inside your garbage disposal indefinitely, creating awful smells that resurface every time you use it. Start by running hot water down your disposal for about one minute. Then, pour ¼ cup baking soda into the drain. Turn the garbage disposal on for a few seconds to whirl the baking soda around. Then let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Next, pour one cup of vinegar down the drain on top of the baking soda. Cover with a drain plug to keep the reaction below the surface of the garbage disposal. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then flush with a pot of boiling water. Rinse through one last time with hot water, turning the disposal on for five seconds. The baking soda, vinegar, and hot water loosens up sludge and stuck pieces of food that have festered in your garbage disposal, breaking it all apart. The pot of boiling water flushes it all away, leaving behind a clean, sparkling, and fresh-smelling drain without any harsh chemicals.
All-Natural Home Deodorizer
Who doesn’t love walking into a home that smells as good as it looks? However, many moms don’t want to spray chemical air fresheners around the house. Plus, air fresheners tend to only last a few hours before you have to re-spray your home. Plug-in air fresheners and refills can get costly. This spring, try the trend that everyone is raving about – all-natural air fresheners. Simply sprinkle two to three tablespoons of powered cinnamon on your carpets or area rugs, then vacuum it up.
The cinnamon fights unpleasant odors, masking them and leaving your home smelling clean and fresh. Since cinnamon is natural, you don’t have to worry about filling your home with chemicals – or any nasty side effects for you, your children, and your pets. The cinnamon doesn’t leave behind a scent, so don’t worry if you aren’t a fan of the smell of this spice.
Take on this year’s spring cleaning with confidence and a smile using these five tips. We hope they help you get your household primed and ready for the fun summer months ahead!