Blissful Abode: 5 Spring-Cleaning Strategies
Mar 01, 2019 03:11PM
As we get ready for warmer weather and longer, brighter days, the time is right to develop a spring-cleaning strategy. Whether you’re overloaded with unwanted gifts from the holidays or simply need to organize papers and prepare for tax season, we have five easy ideas to help you create an oasis so you’re able to enjoy the season with a clean, clutter-free home.
Out With the Old
Decluttering isn’t always an easy task. With collected items over the years, it can be challenging to decide what to keep and what to donate or toss. Author, Netflix star, and organizing expert, Marie Kondo, has truly made a science of how to assist you. She suggests starting with an easier level of difficulty and then moving on to the most difficult. First, declutter your clothes; next, move on to books, papers, and miscellaneous items, saving your mementos for last. Find items in each of those categories throughout your home so you know what you truly own. The key is to keep only the things that "spark joy" and donate, mend, or throw away those that don’t.
Everything in its Place
Once you’ve decided what you want to keep, organizers—in the form of racks, trays, and boxes—can be a huge help in keeping the space uncluttered. For the kitchen area, spice racks can assist in maintaining a tidy cupboard. See-through glass storage containers allow you to have Instagram-worthy pantries and refrigerators, too.
When it comes to closets, matching hangers keep clothes the same height and make it easier to see all your garments. Shoe organizers are terrific, too, and help keep your newly clutter-free area organized. Don’t hesitate to use your favorite fashion boxes for organizing scarves, jewelry, and other special items.
We’re typically in the habit of cleaning out our refrigerator periodically or wiping down the cooktop on occasion, but how many of us clean our dishwasher or washing machine? They need a little attention, too. To clean out the mildew and soap scum that can develop in the interior of the washing machine, run an empty cycle with hot water and a couple cups of white vinegar. Your dishwasher can be freshened up and sanitized by placing a bowl of vinegar on the lower shelf and running a normal cycle without dishes. Running equal parts water and vinegar through your coffee machine (and following up with a cycle of just water) ensures your next cup of joe will be delicious and fresh.
Be sure to look up at your ceiling and down at your baseboards. We don't always see the dust accumulating on ceiling fans, but it happens over time. An easy way to clean the blades is to drape an old pillowcase over each one, press down with your hands on each side, and then slide it off. Keep your ceiling vents sanitary by replacing filters and cleaning air vents periodically; clear away cobwebs in each room’s corners; and dust light bulbs and ceiling fixtures to brighten up a space (dust can make lighting appear dingy). Baseboards are another area that accumulates dust over time. Wipe them down with a soft, microfiber cloth.
Since we spend a third of our life in bed, freshening up your mattress and pillows is definitely worth the effort. Sprinkle some baking soda over the mattress top and let it sit for several hours before removing it with a vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment. Pillows should also be washed to remove bacteria and dust—most are machine washable. Now you’re ready for a good night's sleep after all of your cleaning and organizing efforts!
BY KERRIE L. KELLY
Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID, is an award-winning interior designer, author, product developer, and multimedia consultant helping brands reach the interior design community. To contact her, visit kerriekelly.com or call 916-919-3023.