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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Cleaning Tips

I am someone who absolutely can’t stand clutter and messes. But even with how cautious I am about how much stuff I bring into my home, it always turns out that once or twice a year I find things that I want to get rid of. This past weekend I did just that—took a few hours to do some spring cleaning. Not only did I collect things to get rid of, I did some deep cleaning to areas of my home that I don’t get to weekly.  

Here’s a quick guide to things to consider cleaning, tossing or donating:

  • Throw out expired cleaning products.
  • Clean your dishwasher. I recently discovered Finish dishwasher cleaner. Open it up, stick it in your dishwasher and run a cycle. You’d be surprised how much gunk builds up and how will this little package can help eliminate it. 
  • Throw out expired hair products, sunscreen, lotions, etc. 
  • Go through your makeup collection and get rid of expired items or those you never use.
  • Deep clean tiles and grout.
  • Take a few minutes to wipe down your washer and dryer, including crevices.
  • Use a vacuum attachment to vacuum around your washer and dryer and in between. You’d be surprised how much dust accumulates.  
  • I have a bunch of linens that I don’t use. This includes placemats, cloth napkins and pillowcases. If possible, I plan to donate them. If not, I might try to find a way to repurpose these items or give them to someone I know before just tossing.
Living room
  • Remove couch cushions and vacuum/clean inside the couch.
  • Clean blinds or window treatments. 
  • Find clothes, purses and shoes to donate—if you haven’t worn or used it in over a year you probably won’t again. It’s incredibly hard to part with these items, but it’s all in the name of de-cluttering!
  • Unfortunately, my garage is being used to house a bunch of my dad’s items. Otherwise I’d make it a point to sweep out the garage and wash the floor. 
  • Dust areas of your house that you may not regularly get to (e.g., tops of pictures or wall hangings, door frames or top of cabinets).
  • Take time to organize your junk drawer. Everyone has one—just organize it. My junk drawer is located in my kitchen and it’s been home to an array of tools, papers, keys, knick-knacks, Tylenol, etc. It now only contains a few tools that will help me around the house.
  • Vacuum places you don’t regularly get to—under couches, beds and furniture. You can even use an attachment to clean walls, ceilings and corners. 
  • I collected a bunch of books I have laying around the house and plan to donate them. If a book has special meaning to you or is something you reference often, don’t get rid of it. I’m planning to keep books I used for grad school or ones that I received as gifts. Everything else can go.
  • I had a bunch of board games in the closet in my guest bedroom. Why? I never play them. I went through to make sure all the pieces were intact and I plan to donate the games.
This list is by no means complete—it’s just a list of things I did last weekend or things I plan to do very soon. What are your spring cleaning rituals?  

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