10 Things You Should Do Before Spring Cleaning
Ok, Ok, I know it has technically been spring for a little over two weeks now, but here on the East Coast it feels like we are just getting to it now. Which means it feels like it is the right time to clean the winter out of your house, open those windows, and let some sunshine in.
I know most of us tidy and keep our homes clean throughout the year, but there is something symbolic about spring cleaning. Winter is for soup and sweatpants, and for many of us being fairly antisocial. So spring celebrates the return of all of the things we have been putting on hold for 5 months (because honestly it's just too damn cold!), and the perfect time to take stock of our homes and what needs to be done. So here is a checklist of what to take care of before you drag out that mop.
1. Clear Your Counters
Sort through old mail, loose papers, and miscellaneous stuff that covers your counters, tables, dressers, and desks in your home. Recycle what you don't want, and put what you do want where it belongs.
2. Put It In The Right Room...
This rolls right after number 1 for a reason, not only do the papers and clutter need to go where they belong, but so does everything else. Have you stashed some hair bands in the kitchen drawer? Take them to the bathroom. Did you find some winter boots by the back door? Put them in the closet.
3. Seasonal Decor
Put away those Valentine's Day decorations! And if you still have things left out from Christmas, we need to have a bigger discussion ;)
4. Blankets & Pillows
This is a two part to-do. First, make sure you put away any decorative pillows and blankets from last season. Two, discard old pillows and donate any linens you don't use.
5. Clean Out Your Closet
If you are anything like me, you don't want clothes you can't use for the season cluttering up your closet. I have a hard enough time figuring out what to wear! Before you go and pack up your winter clothes to store them, make sure you go through what you have, because you don't need to pull out a bin of clothes next fall and realize you never even wore them the season before! Toss anything damaged or too worn, and set aside any clothes you just don't love anymore.
6. Books & Magazines
I know, I know, this one is a tough one for a lot of people. The idea of discarding books for most book lovers is blasphemy. But, they can be dust collectors, and they do take up a lot of real estate, so any books and magazines you don't intend to read again, or reference, should be set aside.
There was a time in my life that everyone thought I LOVED salt & pepper shakers and gave them to me for every occasion...needless to say I have quite a collection which I keep organized on a shelf in my kitchen, and I have politely told my friends and family that my collection is at it's limit. If you have any collections of items you keep in boxes, or drawers, or stored anywhere that is taking up space in a non-useful way, now is the time to do something about it. If this is something you love and feel adds value to your decor, give it a good dusting and find a great way to put it on display. If you have a collection of something that no longer makes you happy or isn't useful, it is time to archive it (take photos or scan it) and discard it.
8. Clean Your Freezer, Fridge, & Pantry
Check expiration dates and toss anything that is no longer fresh. Throw out those freezer burned veggies. Set aside any non-perishable items you know you or your family won't use.
9. Make Donations
It is time to take all those items you have been setting aside during your home inventory and purge that others could use to your local second hand shop or food bank.
10. Get Your Cleaning Supplies
Safely discard anything you never use. We all have that old bottle of something that just doesn't do the job right, but for some reason we hang on to it. Toss it. Make a list of everything you are running low on and don't forget to add a new vacuum filter to the list. Head to the store, and get that cleaning done.
So there you have it... everything you can get back in shape to make your spring cleaning a breeze.
Happy Spring Cleaning, Folks!