Get Set for a Successful Spring-Cleaning Spree

If you’re about to jump into the annual rite of spring-cleaning, here are a few tips that can help make the process more manageable – and maybe even more pleasant – from the start.

Make it fun

Yes, fun! Why not look at spring-cleaning as something that will help you feel good about yourself and your fresh, organized home? It’s all in how you approach it. Play your favorite upbeat music. Dance and sing as you go. Get the family involved and plan to do something relaxing afterwards, like watching a movie together or going to the park. Set a timer and play “beat the clock.” See if you can complete several small tasks before the timer goes off.

Start by decluttering

You can do this! Be ruthless. If you don’t love it or use it, you don’t need it! You’ve probably heard of the art of feng shui. It suggests that if energy can easily flow through a room, your life will be more harmonious and happy. Clutter is an obstacle to this relaxed, calm state. Getting rid of the excess means you’ll have fewer dust magnets, less clutter to look at, and an easier time finding the things you do use. Decluttering truly is an effective way to relieve stress.

Donate or sell what you don’t need

After you’ve gathered the things you no longer need or use, do something worthwhile with the items that are still in good condition. If you decide to donate them, consider the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a shelter. If you want to sell them, go ahead and set a date for a yard sale. You can also take some photos of the items and offer them for sale online. Just make sure you get them out of your house as soon as possible.

Open the windows

Give yourself – and your home – a breath of fresh air. Let the sun shine in to give yourself plenty of light. It will be an energy boost (as well as a way to see dust and dirt you may have missed while cleaning). Get rid of the musty, dusty winter odors and protect yourself from any harsh fumes from cleaning products at the same time.

Speaking of harsh fumes, take it easy on the chemicals

Speaking of fumes, we are so used to the smell of bleach and harsh cleaners that many of us don’t feel like the house is clean unless it smells of chemicals, but you can make your house shine with a few simple supplies you probably already have on hand. Here are just a few common examples:

  • Mild dishwashing liquid can be used for removing spills that water alone won’t budge. You can make a simple, all-purpose cleaner by mixing two cups of water with two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Use it on countertops and other hard surfaces.
  • Baking soda is a mild abrasive that won’t scratch surfaces. You can make a paste of three parts warm water to one part baking soda to scrub kitchen stains or clean the oven. You can also make a bathroom cleanser by mixing baking soda with dishwashing liquid until you have a thick paste.
  • Distilled white vinegar and lemon juice can be used for cleaning, deodorizing, and mild bleaching. They are acidic and can get rid of tough soap scum. You can also make a glass cleaner by mixing equal parts vinegar and water.
  • When you must use bleach or a harsh cleaning product, use only as much as you need to get the job done. And be sure to wear rubber gloves and a mask, and ventilate the area well.

Spring cleaning can also help control things we’re allergic to and that can trigger asthma attacks. Here are some tips to help:

  • Do a quick check before you start spring cleaning to make sure you have all the supplies you need.
  • If you know you have severe allergies, you may want to wear a mask while you clean.
  • If you have pets, make sure to give them a bath and watch out for places their hair might collect, like under the fridge, under the bed, or in corners.
  • Wash sheets and blankets in hot water.

Pay particular attention to the parts of your house that may collect lots of dust without you noticing. Look out for window frames and shades, floorboards, the insides of closets, and lampshades.

Step back and enjoy the results

Once your spring cleaning is done, you can take pride in the fact that you’ve helped create a clean, fresh, healthy, and efficient environment for yourself and for your family. Way to go!

This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor.

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