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Spring Cleaning

Well, it seems quarantine has made spring come early this year.  Maybe not outside but certainly inside!  Every where I look people are busily tackling their spring cleaning.  And, let’s face it, it’s a great way to keep busy and take back some control.  Not to mention that when this is over, no one is going to want to be stuck at home!

The biggest problem with spring cleaning though is knowing what to do, where to start and when you’re done!  It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with how big this project could become. Simply choose a few items from this list that suit your household and get started today!

Spring Cleaning Indoors

Since we’re spending so much time indoors it’s the perfect opportunity to get it in tip top shape!  This is especially true because spring weather isn’t always cooperative with outdoor projects!  The days are often still chilly and there’s tons of rain!  So, on the days you can’t get outside tackle an indoor project, here are some ideas to get you started!

Get Some Fresh Air

Any time the weather is nice enough get all those windows open!  I do mean EVERY time and ALL the windows!  Airing out your house in the spring is a great way to decrease germs and indoor air pollution!  Plus, the increased humidity helps heal your respiratory tract and in turn makes you less likely to become sick!  After all, it isn’t the cold that makes you prone to illness in the winter, it’s the dry air!

As an added bonus, opening your windows will help eliminate lingering odors and that stale stagnant air that seems to accumulate through long cold months.  Those cool spring breezes will lift your spirits, lighten your load, fill you with hope and give you more energy!

Fans

Spring is the time of year that I like to go through my house and dust all the odds and ends things that don’t get done every week.  I always spend a little extra time scoping out cobwebs, feather dusting light fixtures, wiping the upper ledge of the window trim and things like that!

The real reason I do this though is because I’m already engaged in a step stool, dusting project… cleaning my fan blades!  I’m pretty short so I have to get out a stool for a lot of my deep cleaning and while I have it out, I just go to town (whether I mean to or not!) 

Maybe you don’t like or use ceiling fans, but I have them all over my house and frequently use them.  In the spring I make sure to dust my fans and fan blades since I love turning them on to circulate all that fresh air from my open windows!

Organize

Now is as good a time as any to organize your closets, drawers and storage areas!  This can be a time-consuming task so it’s best to break it down by area or category (Kondo style)! 

Your ultimate goal here is to find a permanent home for all of your belongings.  You’ll want them to be accessible and easy to find.  Don’t over think it… put things in the place that makes the most sense to you!

For example, when my son was little, he used to make forts out of his Lincoln logs and use them for elaborate backdrops for his superhero battles.  So, he never stored his Lincoln logs with his Legos and other building toys.  Instead they were kept with the action figures!  It may not have made sense to anyone else, but it made set up and clean up a breeze which gave him way more time to enjoy playing.  It also created less headaches and frustration in our home.  After all, do you really care what the organizational system is if it works?

Let me assure you… you don’t need a professional organizer!  Your system is the RIGHT system!  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling to figure it out check out some videos on YouTube or some blogs on the subject.  A simple google search like “how to organize your scrunchies” will yield a surprising number of results, as in over half a million!

Get ready for SUMMMMER!!!

It’s that time of year again!  You know… time to get out all those summer clothes, beach towels and goodies for fun in the sun!  WOOHOO!!!  I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love this part!!!

Get out your storage bins and pack up all that winter gear!  Now, re-organize your closets and drawers to make room for all your summer stuff!  Replace winter boots with swim shoes and flip flops and snow pants with sundresses and bikinis!

Getting all your summer stuff out is a great way to bolster your mood!  Better days are ahead!  Days without quarantine, days with the warm sun on your (sunscreened) skin, lazy beach days and picnics with family and friends!  It’s all coming!  Spring cleaning is a great reminder that summer is just around the corner!

Purge

While you’re re-organizing and swapping out winter gear for summer goodies you’re bound to find a few things you no longer need!  Whether it’s a coat your 5-year-old out grew, boots that have seen better days or those hair products you no longer use, you’ll have stuff to get rid of! 

Give to Family & Friends

Hand me downs are always welcome in my family!  Kids outgrow things so fast that they rarely wear out their clothes.  This is especially true with winter gear!  I mean how likely is it that the same coat is going to fit for more than one season.  I try to get 2 seasons by purchasing a size larger, but still!  And you can often find younger cousins who will adore toys that have been long forgotten about in your household!

If you’re all feeling well go ahead and leave a box of goodies on a friend or family member’s doorstep.  Or better yet have them pop the garage door open toss it in there and let it sit for a couple days!  These new, exciting toys are sure to keep the kids occupied on these long boring days.  So, you’re likely to get a BIG thank you!  Just make sure that you check with the parents before making your delivery.  Unless of course you have that sibling who always bought your kids the loudest most annoying toys.  Then you might want it to be a surprise… hahaha… revenge!

Donate

If you don’t have any relatives, you know would appreciate your donations (and even if you do) consider donating to a local charity!  Most aren’t taking donations right now but there’s no reason you can’t bag or box things up to be hauled off later!

It isn’t only resale shops that will take your items, you can often donate them to local shelters as well.  And you can even offer them to your community on apps like NextDoor.

Sell

If you don’t mind dealing with a little extra hassle and you have some items that are in excellent condition, why not sell them?  You can head to your nearest consignment store and find out their rates or head online.  There are many online retailers who help facilitate these sales at very little cost to you.  They vary greatly in the way they pay and function.  Shops like eBay offer the opportunity to list and sell your items directly while ThredUp sends you a bag with pre-paid postage, pays for your items upon approval and then resells them on their own. 

In the resale market there’s something for everyone!  It’s a pretty simple way to make a little extra money and it helps you clear out some clutter!

Re-Purpose

I often find that I have items in my house that just aren’t in good enough condition to be donated.  Whenever possible I try to find a way to repurpose those items!  Again… google and YouTube are your friends!  You won’t believe the number of ideas there are for everything from repurposing games and puzzles that are missing pieces to upcycling milk cartons and pallets (obviously).

Get creative and get crafty!  Re-purposing projects are tons of fun and since you’re using things you would otherwise toss anyways you have nothing to lose!  This is a great way to take up crafting and DIYs without having to spend a bundle!

But if it’s just not your jam remember to check with family and friends to find out if they want to repurpose your items!  I LOVE crafting and DIYs and so does my mom so we’re always looking for odds and ends!  I recently called her and offered her a bunch of my husband’s old clean socks.  She’s excited to get them as cleaning rags (btw… socks are amazing for cleaning).  And I’m currently starting a project making DIY T-shirt bags that I’m going to dye and stamp and use in place of wrapping paper!  I always appreciate a call when things are getting tossed!  You wouldn’t believe the incredible stuff I’ve made throughout the years!

Toss

This is last for a reason!  We all need to be a bit more mindful about how much waste we create.  Try to keep this toss pile as small as possible!  Hopefully it shrinks every time you do a home purge!

If you can’t donate, sell or re-purpose your items and neither can anyone else, dispose of them.  Of course, recycle whatever you can! 

Track

How many times have you done a purge only to forget what needs to be replaced and end up with 2 pairs of boots and no winter coat!  With 5 kids I did this too many times to count!

Keeping track of what you’ve gotten rid of and need to replace helps save you time and money!  It’ll help you streamline your seasonal shopping, wish list creation and allow you to shop sales ahead of time knowing exactly what you need! 

Easily keep track of what needs to be replaced using your Replacement Tracker printable!

Windows

I know a lot of people like to clean their windows in the fall, but I prefer to do it in spring!  Let’s face it… there’s not a lot to look at outside in the winter.  You’re lucky if you get 3 – 5 days of scenic snow before it turns to dirty slush.  And it’s either grey and gloomy or glaringly bright.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love winter.  It’s just not the prettiest season!

Looking out on your freshly blooming garden, the bright sunshine pouring through your window and the changing leaves of fall.  That’s what I call beautiful.  So, in preparation for all these stunning, breathtaking views clean those windows!

To be honest, it isn’t that difficult and there’s no need for a ladder!

Simply mix up some vinegar and water, grab some old newspaper and get to work.  My sister, who works for Wallside windows, told me that most windows are designed so that you can easily wash both sides of the window from inside the house.  With as overwhelmed as the healthcare system is right now, I’m not recommending you get on a ladder if it can be avoided!  We aren’t trying to create more accidents!

Don’t forget while your screens are exposed to use your upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dust from them and the inside track.  And while you’re hear you might as well wipe the windowsill down as well!

Walls & Baseboards

“To the windows, to the walls…”  Oops… wait a second, I think the next line to that song isn’t appropriate here!  Oh well, you get the gist! 

I like for everything to all be clean at one time.  Nothing will drive me more nuts than looking out my nice clean window and noticing fingerprints on the frame.  Or that bright ray of sunshine spotlighting the piled-up dust on the baseboard. 

Because of the dusty buildup, I highly recommend vacuuming the baseboards before you start washing.  Then grab your supplies and get started!  You can use plain water, soapy water or vinegar water to wipe down walls and baseboards.  And rather than wiping the whole wall you can simply wipe any marks you see throughout your house.  But you might want to spend some extra time on the walls in your kitchen and bathrooms.  You may even want to wash them top to bottom.  Heat and steam cause things to stick to the walls and can trap odors as well!

Grout

Grout is the bane of my existence and I KNOW I’m not alone!!!  It discolors and gets dirty and is just so difficult to clean!  I recently did a renovation project on my house and choose the tile layer based on how small he could make the grout lines and selected a dark grout color to hide stains!  I don’t know why grout is so often white or cream!  Obviously, we all know better or we would see a lot more carpet in these colors!

Cleaning grout is time consuming, but it can be almost meditative, and you can REALLY see your progress!  The easiest trick I’ve found for cleaning floor grout is to sprinkle baking soda onto the grout then spritz with hydrogen peroxide, allow to sit for a few seconds and then brush with a damp toothbrush (I just keep it in a cup of water).  It’s super simple and makes your grout look brand new!

As far as shower wall grout…well, I’m still working on a good method for that.  I’ve tried MANY suggestions from YouTube and still struggle with it, especially since I don’t want to use harsh toxic chemicals!  It’s the toughest job in my house and gets done very regularly!  If you have a tip… leave it for all of us in the comments!

Outdoor Spring Cleaning

If you have a few beautiful days on your hands open those windows and head outside to enjoy the sunshine!  There are incredible benefits to spending time outdoors! It will brighten your mood and improve your health in SO many ways!

Garage / Shed

It’s time to put the snowblower and shovels away and get out the mower and gardening tools!  Bring those bikes out of storage and fill the tires along with any balls you have!

Getting your garage and / or shed summer ready will keep you from wasting precious time doing chores or preparing for an outing!

And if you have a particularly nice day get out there and wash your car the old-fashioned way!  Be sure to spray down your all-weather mats and vacuum and dust out the inside as well!

Garden

Gardening is one of the best things you can do for your health and well being!  So, don’t wait until the summer to get started, there’s plenty you can do now! 

Spring is the perfect time to unwrap your fragile plants, create new garden beds, prepare the existing ones and so much more!

Plus, with that extra time you have at home right now why not start some seedlings!  You can use whatever you have handy, egg cartons are a favorite for this purpose.  Toss in some soil and seeds and get some plants started!  Marigolds seed very easily this way and are an excellent addition to any garden because they keep the deer away!  Can you imagine, a big ole deer afraid of an itty-bitty marigold?  Never mind, I’m sure right now you can!

Spring Cleaning Helps

In uncertain and unprecedented times like these being productive and busy helps.  It alleviates fear, minimizes stress and provides us with a much-needed distraction and feeling of accomplishment!  It might be just the ticket to creating a shift in attitude, mood and perspective!

If you’re ready to take on spring cleaning on your own or as a family project don’t forget to get your

Spring Cleaning Checklist Printable

But, if you’re like me, busily working at home and possibly caring for your family at the same time it might not be an option.  There’s nothing wrong with that!  Perhaps you’re just trying to get everything done week in and week out!  Don’t feel bad or unproductive because you don’t have time to read all the books or do all the cleaning!  We’re not all in the same place or dealing with the same circumstances!  You can always book mark this post for later or better yet, take advantage of the time maximizing bonus tools attached to this post!

If you’re one of the many women out there who feels overwhelmed and like you’re carrying the mental load for your household.  I’ve got you covered!

Get your Household Responsibility Tracker!

NEVER again will you be managing your household tasks on your own, wondering who’s doing what or end up picking up the slack when things don’t get done!

And don’t worry… you never need to pick between the tools that are offered at Upcycled Adulting because they are ALL in the Member’s Library!  Become a member today for exclusive access, VIP treatment and discounts on upcoming merch!

Posted in Adulting Basics, Spring, Your Surroundings, Your World

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