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The winter chill is over and we all know what that means – spring is moving in and it’s that time of the year again – spring-cleaning! Clean up your act with our top tips on how to get rid of how to spruce up your home for the warmer seasons.
1. Open up the windows
When cleaning out all the nooks and crannies in your home, you might inhale the stale air stench that neglect leaves behind. Forget the air fresheners and scents – instead let the natural scent of blooming flowers and fresh cut grass grace through your hallways and rooms. You’ll also light up your home and can flick off the lights.
2. Ditch the dirty laundry habits
Fighting your way through the back of your closet usually ends with heaps of dirty clothes spread throughout the house. Save energy and wash full loads with cold water and hang the laundry outside in the sun to dry. The sun is a natural brightener and will whiten your whites on its own. And for all those clothes that have outgrown you or your style, they’ll fit someone else, so be sure to donate them. Hold on to a few old shirts for cleaning rags.
3. Let go
Be practical. When doing a rundown of your house and looking through piles of old stuff, decide what to keep and what just takes up space. Do you ever use that sewing machine you received as a wedding gift ten years ago? Will you? By letting go of things that lay around your home untouched, you’ll open up your home and lessen dust grabbers. Score some pennies with a garage sale or donate items to a second hand store or your local Salvation Army.
4. Wipe down surfaces with natural products
Scrub down your home with staple products already in your kitchen to disinfect surfaces and make them shine. ¼ cup of baking soda mixed with 1 quart of water can be used as a general cleaner for all surfaces in your home, including inside the microwave and fridge. Even your toilet bowl can be scrubbed clean with baking soda. One cup of white vinegar in one cup of water will also clean surfaces and appliances, including mirrors, stainless steal and laminate. These DIY natural cleaners are also safe for your kids and pets.
5 . Sponge the grunge for a no-waste clean
Opt for reusable sponges or e-cloths as oppose to paper towel now that you’ve made green sprays. Give your appliances a rub down with a sponge then ring it out with hot water and move on to your next appliance.
6. Go Paperless
If you haven’t already, take this opportunity to go for paperless billing. Your counter space will thank you and so will the environment. As for all that junk mail that piles up and settles in the recycling bin, eliminate incoming junk by adding a sticker to your mailbox or by using registering with Australian Direct Marketing Association’s 'Do Not Mail'. You’ll stop receiving mail from companies you don’t directly deal with.
8. Store things differently
Now that you’ve sorted through what you want to keep and what can be better use for someone else, organize our belongings so next year’s cleaning will be a bit easier. Aim for biodegradable bins, such as bamboo baskets or get fancy and decorate your own cardboard boxes. Also acts as a fun craft or the kids.
9. Redecorate with eco-friendly paint
Household paints unfortunately contain many types of toxic chemicals. If you’re looking for a fresher style this spring and have big projects, like upgrading some chipped or out-of-date furniture, or trying out some new colour schemes, move to water-based paint with low-VOC. If you are tackling furniture, play with organic textiles and reupholster for a new look.
10. Plan for next year
We know – the last thing you want to think about already is next year’s spring-cleaning, but if you have a plan ready, you’ll have less stuff to get rid of in 2013. After going through all your belongings, donating some while keeping others, make a note of what you definitely need and what you have. Be resourceful. You’ve probably discovered products around the house that can be used for other tasks. If you know what you have, you’ll shop smarter and be less likely to have things accumulate.