Tips, tricks and hits for effective spring cleaning and organization
Spring time not only signifies the arrival of warmer weather and blossoming flowers; It’s also an ideal time to get a move on with all of your spring cleaning and organizing.
You’ve been cooped up indoors over the winter with the windows and doors tightly closed. Before starting your spring cleaning, open up your windows and allow the natural scent of fresh flowers and the spring breeze to fill your home. Your normal cleaning routine may be all right for everyday, but the most used areas of the home need a deep cleaning a few times a year.
With the kitchen being the place that gets the most use, getting it deep cleaned is a necessity. Clean the outside of the kitchen cabinets including hardware. Take out dishes and wipe down shelf liners. Go though the pantry and get rid of expired food items. Organize your pantry using plastic containers and labels if needed. Clean out the fridge, getting rid of expired food and wiping all areas down with a cleaner. Don’t forget the pantry! Scrub down small appliances like coffee makers, toasters, etc. Disinfect your trashcan inside and out.
Go through your medicine cabinet and dispose of old medicines that are expired. Does your shower have multiple kinds of shampoo and body wash bottles? Time to get rid of the ones that aren’t used and get better organized. There are all kinds of shower caddys and shampoo containers to choose from. Replace shower curtain liners. Replace with shower curtain liners that are mildew resistant. They will last much longer.
LIVING ROOM AND FAMILY ROOMS
Cobwebs and dust can get into hard to reach and hard to see places. Take a duster or broom and dust along walls, ceilings, and corners. You would be amazed at what you can find under the cushions of your sofa! Grab a hand vacuum and clean out your couch. Use the brush tool from your vacuum to clean the outside of upholstered couches and chairs. Don’t forget underneath the couch, too! This would be a good time to launder throw pillows and blankets that get used often. Have your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned. Clean out your fireplace.
Regular dusting with an old feather duster just doesn’t cut it anymore. We don’t like to think about dust mites residing in our home, but they’re everywhere. These microscopic creatures make their homes in clothing, beds, pillows, furniture and even your child’s favorite stuffed animal. It’s important to get rid of dust mites because they can irritate allergies, especially in people with asthma. Many of us don’t like to use the hot water rinse in the washing machine, but you should wash all of your bedding in hot water. Just using warm water will not kill dust mites.
People with allergies or asthma problems should consider using a dust mite bedding that protects your mattress from dust mites. Wash your children’s stuffed animals. Not only do dust mites love stuffed animals, but kids tend to carry these beloved toys everywhere, picking up all kinds of diseases and bacteria. Tannic acid, which can be found at health food stores, neutralizes the allergens found in dust mites and animal dander. Don’t forget about the throw pillows on beds, couches and chairs. Launder those in hot water along with your bedding. Make sure to change out your air filter frequently and use filters on heating ducts.
CLEANING PRODUCTS AND GADGETS
There are various kinds of floor and carpet vacuums and sweepers on the market. Try the new Amazing Sticky Cleaner from iTouchless. This product works on multiple surfaces including laminate floors, carpet, sofas, fabrics and curtains. This cleaning tool comes with sticky sheets made to pick up everything from dirt to pet hair. It also comes with a five year warranty. Check out www.itouchless.com
Cucina dish detergent is a new cleaning product available via the Web site www.fruit-passion.com. This product contains natural cleaning agents like coconut oil and cornstarch, and is chlorine and phosphate free. It promises to be gentle on your hands and can cut through grease better than regular detergents. It comes in several different scents such as lime zest and cypress, and ginger and Sicilian lemon filling your kitchen with new fresh aromas.
ORGANIC CLEANING – HOMEMADE CLEANING PRODUCTS
Before you buy all new cleaning products, check your fridge and pantry for items you may already have that can be used for cleaning.
Vinegar works like an all purpose cleaning solution and deodorizer. Make sure you dilute it with water and dispense it in a spray bottle. Don’t worry about the smell because it goes away after use. You can use it in almost any area of the home including the bathroom, kitchen and laundry rooms.
Vinegar is great for bathrooms because it can get rid of soap scum, toilet bowl rings and hard water stains. It can also be used as a glass cleaner. It may not be suitable for tile grout so test before using. Always test new products on surfaces that are inconspicuous. Do you have sensitive skin? Vinegar can also be used as a fabric softener. Add ½ cup to the rinse cycle. This can work well for children who tend to have more sensitive skin than adults.
Many household cleaning products contain a lemon scent, so using lemons to clean seems natural. Lemons can be used to clean many areas of the home from the sink drain to the laundry room. Lemons are acidic and can bleach many surfaces, so be sure to use it wisely. It can be used to clean brass and copper. Use lemon juice to clean water stains on copper bottoms pots and pans. It can get rid of hard water stains and soap scum. Love using vinegar but hate the smell? Add a little lemon juice to your spray bottle. Lemons can also be used in the laundry room. Add some lemon juice to white linens and clothing for hard to get rid of stains. The lemon juice will work as a bleaching agent. Lay the articles in the sun and the stains will disappear. With all of the food that gets thrown down the kitchen drain, it can be difficult to get rid of the smell. You can drop lemon rinds down the garbage disposal to freshen up the drain.
Baking soda is known for its deodorizing capabilities. Many homeowners’ refrigerators contain baking soda to get rid of funky smells. Baking soda can also be used as an alternative abrasive cleaner for surfaces. Food containers can sometimes have hard to get rid of smells. Fill the container with water and a little baking soda and let it sit overnight. Baking soda can be used to clean silver and scuffs on laminate flooring. Sprinkle baking soda on carpet, let sit for about 15 minutes and then vacuum. In no time, your carpet and home will smell fresh! Baking soda is great for getting rid of smells from a cat litter box or ashtrays.
PESKY PESTS-INSIDE AND OUT
The warm weather of spring not only brings flowers, but also brings out different kinds of pests. While there are many pest control products on the market, natural herbs can help to keep them away. Gardening in the yard can be difficult to enjoy when you’re getting attacked by bugs. Planting an herb garden in your yard or placing potted herbs on the kitchen window sill may help to repel these pesky pests. Mosquitoes are an annoyance to many homeowners who spend time in their yard, but basil and rosemary can help to keep them at bay. Rosemary is also said to deter the carrot fly and the bean beetle. Lavender is thought to repel ticks, while basil can keep flies away. Sage can repel the carrot fly and cabbage moth while tansy can keep ants away. These herbs can repel bugs and make for a pleasant scent and can also be used for cooking.
Are ants invading your kitchen? Those tiny ants seem to come from nowhere and can be difficult to get rid of. Try a few natural home remedies to keep them away. First of all, be sure that counters and cabinets are kept clean and free of food. Cucumbers are said to keep away ants, so cut a few slices and place them in areas that you suspect the ants are coming in from. Mint tea, cloves, lemon juice, or even coffee grounds placed in these areas could keep them outdoors. For more ideas on how to repel pets the natural way check out www.eartheasy.com
Rev-a-shelf provides organization for almost every area of the home. They have everything to keep you organized from a chrome pull-down shelving system for cabinets to a door mount spice rack. www.rev-a-shelf.com During the spring you’ll find more and more garage sales popping up in your neighborhood. Maybe it’s time to clean out the garage and get organized. Once you have gotten rid of items you no longer use, you should think about shelving or storage for your garage. Rubbermaid offers a new full double door cabinet with locking doors and plenty of storage. It’s a great storage solution for cleaning products, tools and other items you may want to keep away from pets and children.
Get your home cleaned and organized so you can enjoy the wonderful outdoors that spring has to offer!