Regardless of the weather outside, spring is upon us – and spring is synonymous with fresh starts. It’s time to get rid of those winter blues, revitalize your home and prepare for warmer weather.
The American Cleaning Institute reports that 72 percent of Americans make spring cleaning an annual ritual. Whether you’re part of the majority, or attempting to tackle the process for the first time, here are some helpful tips to get you started.
1. Get rid of clutter.
Before you start preparing for spring, get rid of items that are needlessly filling up your home. Step number one: Tackle your unwanted items.
Clothing: Ditch the heavy outerwear and winter boots for lighter clothing and accessories. For clothes you will no longer need during spring, consider donating them to a local Goodwill or placing them into seasonal storage. Remember to label!
Linens and décor: Professional organizer Jeni Aron suggests putting away heavier bedding and seasonal décor to help declutter and rid your home of the winter feel.
“Spring should be all about celebrating the sunshine that we’ve been missing,” says Aron. “It’s time to put away or purge. Maybe change up your curtains, in favor of lighter materials.”
2. Swap out seasonal gear.
Over the winter months, garages and basements become popular storage areas for grills, lawn mowers, sports equipment and patio furniture. With nice weather around the corner, it’s time to boost your curb appeal and get your garage back into summer shape.
Remove winter: Items such as snowmobiles, snow blowers, shovels and winter sports gear should be placed into a storage unit near you – especially if it’s something you won’t need for another eight months.
Assign areas: Perhaps your garage has a hobby area in one corner and a workshop in another – decide where you will place your items and how you will organize them.
“A pegboard organizes tools and brooms, while a metal cart can serve as a mobile workbench,” suggests Martha Stewart. “Adjustable shelves can display an assortment of containers, including wooden boxes and glass jars containing small hardware.”
Welcome spring: Once you’ve decided on designated areas, it’s time to place your lawn mower, grill, patio furniture, gardening tools and other spring items where they belong.
Looking for grill cleaning tips? Kevin Kolman, Weber’s grilling expert, shares some helpful ways to get your grill in tip-top shape.
3. Clean like a machine.
Americans spend around 90 percent of their lives inside, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Why not take the time to rid your home of dirt, dust and other allergens to turn your home into a refreshing atmosphere?
Sarah Aguirre, housekeeping expert who has appeared in several national publications, suggests thoroughly cleaning draperies, windows, fixtures and other items that may often get ignored.
“Dust down and wash any blinds, floorboards, window sills and corners,” she notes. “Vacuum and flip your mattress over to provide even wear, and replace your bed with clean bedding.”
Items to add to your cleaning checklist:
- Broom and dustpan
- Sponges, rags and mop
- Floor cleaner
- Rubber gloves
Minimizing messes as they appear will reduce your number of overwhelming tasks at the end of the week.
4. Maximize home storage.
As you begin your cleaning process, consider the space you already have in your home that you may not be taking advantage of. This will allow you to create (and keep) an organized space.
Open Shelving: As you clean your kitchen, bathroom, office spaces and more, look for existing space on the wall that may come in handy.
Open wall shelves can create a light, refreshing look (especially while spring is in the air). You can keep your home organized, functional and bright – all while saving space.
Don’t forget about the space above your cabinets, which can provide four to five inches of extra storage.
Think vertical: Lorrie Marrero, bestselling author of The Clutter Diet, suggests using stackable units and modular components, particularly for bedrooms and closet spaces.
“Transform dead space into useable storage with shelves and baskets that can house everyday essentials. If you have small items, corral them into a bin or basket – like tea boxes, DVDs or slippers – and maximize use of the entire space.”
5. Make spring cleaning a routine.
You might be surprised to find that we should be dusting and vacuuming every few days. Marcia Prentice of Apartment Therapy suggests staying on a cleaning schedule to help “spring” cleaning become a routine.
“We find ourselves more relaxed, happy, and balanced when we are living and working in a clean space,” she notes. “As we do in every part of life, we create a checklist for household tasks to keep the home looking beautiful and clean every day.”
The more often you tackle chores like laundry, dusting and vacuuming, the less often you’ll have to do a thorough, tough clean.
6. Consider storage unit options.
For seasonal belongings, oversized items, or accessories you haven’t yet found a home for, renting a storage unit can be a space-saving and accessible way to store your things. For fragile items like wood, antiques or furniture, climate-controlled storage can protect from humidity, temperature and the elements. As you tackle your spring cleaning checklist, consider renting a storage unit to prolong the life of your belongings.
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