Spring is here and it's time for spring cleaning. Nature does it with spring storms that clear dead branches, and her animals clear their winter bedding from their dens as the days get longer. The feeling of starting anew and freshening up can rejuvenate the entire household after a long winter; do it frugally.
Spring is the perfect time to eliminate the extra clutter in your home. Clutter needs to be managed which costs you time and money. Any unused item needs to be evaluated. Sort them and even tag them as you clean to save efforts later. Few people enjoy tagging and sorting the night before a yard sale.
Decide what items can be resold at a yard sale or online and what items should be donated. If anything needs washed or repaired, do so immediately. Likewise, drop off the items at the Good Will immediately; don't let them sit in your basement for weeks.
Clear anything out of your winter closet that was worn once or not at all during the season. Whatever is in the box at the top of your closet, the box that you haven't opened since last spring, doesn't need to stay in your home. Instead, find someone who will enjoy and value it.
When doing the actual cleaning, look for cleaning products that are multi-purpose. The prices of products add up, and it's a hassle to deal with multiple products for cleaning. Disposable products are convenient, but down the road three containers of sanitizing wipes cost more than one washable soapy rag (and it's better for the environment.) Put down the expensive Swiffers and pick up the sock with the hole in it from this week's wash.
Check basic household products like vinegar and baking soda which can be used to clean just about any surface for a fraction of any cleaning product's price. Likewise, consider what you're purchasing. Bleach is bleach whether the bottle says Clorox or All-Purpose Bleach.
After cleaning and organizing, it's always nice to have a pop of freshness in the house. Don't waste money buying new items; instead reuse what you already have. Turn some odd antiques into planters, use old shoes for interesting garden displays outside, or turn an old t-shirt into a quirky pillow.
Sometimes a little reorganizing makes all the difference. Mix and match items from rooms, using the bed shams on the sofa for the spring months. Switch curtains from one room to another. Spring and summer invite bold color combinations, so be creative and try something different in your home. When you tire of it, return it the way it was and oddly enough it will seem fresh again.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
I know all about what I need to do, my problem is getting the ambition, and once I finally get going, keeping at it. I want a clean and organized home. It just seems like the more I do, the worse it looks, (cause I am doing it all myself-have DH and DD, but no help there). I try to start an area, and go gung ho for awhile, then, oops-take a break and the umphh is gone.
First of all, don't worry about it. Worry will sap even more of your energy. You are not alone. Millions have said "My get up and go has got up and gone'.
If you don't have the drive you had twenty years ago (and who does?), let the house go with a little less sparkle. Be content with yourself when you do whatever amount you do. Don't say I could have/should have done more. Your mental health is more important than a clean and tidy home.
At times we all feel like Likekinds mentioned where worry and stress get us down. Dreary days zap my energy, but I can accomplish quite a bit on sunny days. One thing I have found to be helpful is to write a to-do list of a few things to do each week. I may not get all of them done, but at the beginning of next week, I prioritize my list again. Whatever I get done is more than if I do nothing. The old saying "housework is never done" is so true. Following the steps for spring cleaning set out by Kelly in the original article will give a big boost to your self-esteem when you begin getting rid of things or reusing items you already have.
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