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How To Tackle Spring Cleaning

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It's daunting, frustrating and, at times, maddening. your house (condo, apartment, room) is not only cluttered and disorganized, it is, you have to admit, d-i-r-t-y. May is a perfect month for spring cleaning because it's not too hot to do physical labor, but it is warm enough to throw your windows open and air everything out.

To begin a fantastic spring cleaning you need a plan. This, not unlike an outline for writing a research paper (remember those?) and will help break down the steps and take away some of the rambling, overwhelming sense of dread you feel when your Q-Tips come tumbling out at you from within the darkness of your linen closet. What are they even DOING in there?

The following is a recipe for spring cleaning. As with all recipes, you may throw it away and make your own, take pieces of it that feel right, or mix and match as you see fit.

1. CLOTHES - If you start with your clothes you will be amazed at how much you can quickly eliminate from the clutter of your household. Unnecessary clothing such as things you have never, ever worn, your children's onesies (they really ARE fourteen now, okay?) and old, weathered shoes with stains from the wine you spilled on them at your sister's wedding 15 years ago - depending on their shape, these really can go in the garbage can or to a donation center.

Goodwill, the Salvation Army and other donation centers are in abundance, even in rural areas. Along with other household goods, this is a wonderful, socially conscious way to offload the things you are no longer wearing or using, particularly if they are gently used and not trashed (who wants trashy second-hand things?) You will make piles. There shall be two piles. Pile One will be donated. It shall go into a garbage bag (or several) and then into the trunk of your car, IMMEDIATELY because if you're driving around with stuff in your trunk it will annoy you quickly and you will do what needs to be done. Pile Two is actually going to be thrown out and that pile, too will go into a garbage bag and then into the actual garbage.

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SUSAN I LOVE IT!!!!! Sounds like you are a PRO!!! Go for it, enjoy it and I totally agree, it affects you in EVERY way - mind, heart, body and soul.... we need those cozy, cleaned-up nests of ours.... homey and safe, sanitized and lovely.


May 20, 2011 - 3:46pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Aimee

You're on a cleaning kick and so am I!

I did all the closets and donated everything (and picked up a receipt for tax time, natch) and did all the inside windows and my husband helped - yes! I then got one of the online deals that can be sent to your email box every day and got all our outside windows professionally cleaned for $60 - we have six large windows in our living room alone so we're taking a couple of dollars per window, unbelievable! And everything looks so clear and crisp now!

I run the laundry room like a military operation so it was ok and we cleared out our upstairs linen closet too - that's one area that often needs sorting.

I bit the bullet and cleared out the walk in pantry, the smaller pantry and the kitchen closets. It took one morning because I got down to business really fast!

There's a certain sense of relief and clarity when it's all done - like a weight lifted off our shoulders. I love coming home to clutter-free surroundings, opening closets with nothing falling out or stuffed to the gills, and being able to walk into a closet that's all sorted out. While some couldn't care less about this stuff (and ehhh, why should they!) to me it allows my mind to clear, along with my surroundings.

The carpet cleaners are coming in two weeks and they are also cleaning the furniture. Again, I got a good deal. I highly recommend people sign up for the daily deals that are very popular right now, we're saving a small fortune and in this economy, we need to save everything we can!

Due to our awful weather (it's in the upper 40s today, ugh!) we've done no gardening. That's the one thing all 5 of us do (including the kids) every year and it only takes one weekend. Everyone loves it because we work together and there's such a sense of completion (and pizza!) afterward!

My surroundings truly affect my mind so this kind of stuff is truly necessary for me to feel good. Thanks for all your tips and my tip is that lemons, lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar are great chemical-free cleaners and my proposal is that the person who invented Magic Eraser need to become King or Queen of the World.

May 17, 2011 - 7:57am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.