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It’s that time of the year again. Winter is gone for good and it’s time to partake in the annual tradition known as spring cleaning. This time-honored routine is not just about putting the laundry away. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and transform your spaces from dusty and disorderly to clean and organized. Before you get discouraged thinking about all that has to be accomplished, here are some tips to help you turn things around for the new season and the year ahead.

Planning the Work

Most successful work efforts require a plan. Developing that plan requires some upfront investigation and decision-making. Inspect your home from top to bottom and prioritize the things that need to be done. Coming up with a schedule for the work to be done helps you break down the entire task into achievable portions. Think of the chores that aren’t usually involved in your regular cleaning, which might include something like shampooing your carpets or sanitizing the insides of your appliances. A plan for each room helps you set smaller objectives to accomplish towards the overall goal.

Purging and Decluttering

Spring cleaning is a great time to purge your home of trash and other items that you no longer need. Do you have a file cabinet full of old documents that you really don’t need? Take the time to go through them and discard the unnecessary items, taking care to properly dispose and/or recycle when applicable. This is an opportunity to go through your closets and garage to see if there are items that can be donated to charity or sold at a resale store, online or as part of a garage sale. Getting rid of trash is essential to decluttering which can have an appreciable, positive effect on your mood.

Improving Air Quality

Spring cleaning shouldn’t just be limited to wiping down and sanitizing surfaces. The air quality in your home can significantly affect how you and others breathe and feel. Consider using a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to remove impurities and allergy-inducing particles from the air. This is also a good time to have a professional to clean air ducts. Dirty circulation/ventilation systems not only negatively impact the health of you and others, but they also run less efficiently, driving up your energy costs. Dust and other allergens can also get trapped in your soft surfaces such as rugs and carpets. Consult a professional service to assist you with air duct, rug and upholstery cleaning.

Organizing and Implementing Storage Solutions

Your routine cleaning probably doesn’t involve organizing closets, drawers and cabinets. Consider using this time to properly organize your pantry, all-purpose drawers and your garage. Bringing order to the chaos that is your storage spaces can be deeply satisfying and make your overall tidying effort worth the time and energy. Turn that junk drawer into a useful storage space with an inexpensive caddy that allows you to compartmentalize and organize essential items. Buy storage containers or racks for the items in your pantry. You can label these for easy, logical access when it’s time to put together future meals.

Using Eco-Friendly Products

Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals or toxins that can irritate or create other health hazards. Eco-friendly items such as a steam cleaner offer a healthier way to clean certain surfaces. Although not everything can be steam-cleaned, there are also other products such as baking soda and distilled vinegar that can be used to clean your place. There are also several non-toxic products available that you can use to keep your home clean. Such products are not only better for you and your family, including your fur babies, but they’re also better for the planet.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom to your sanity and peace of mind. Take this opportunity as a reset not just for you, but for your residence as well. Come up with a plan that prioritizes tasks and breaks up the work into smaller, achievable tasks. Use this time to purge your home of junk and organize your spaces. Keep in mind that your air should also be clean and invest in natural, toxin-free products.