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Five Steps to Fabulously Frugal Spring Cleaning!
What a great week! In the last seven days, I’m thrilled to report that my daffodils sprung into bloom, I’ve firmly retired my snow shovel back to the shed and my winter coat is back where it belongs – way in the back of the closet. Way back – as in “not seeing the light of day until at least October” way back. We made it folks, it’s Springtime! What better way to celebrate than with a wonderfully freshened up house – it’s (trumpet blare) Spring Cleaning time! Yeah, yeah, okay – I’d prefer a round trip ticket to Hawaii too, but hey, let’s get our kicks where we can, shall we? Trust me, a sparkling clean house goes a long way towards ushering in the warmer weather perfectly, and with a few – incredibly inexpensive – tricks, you’ll love how fast your house gets into spic and span mode!
Step One – Forget about the expensive household cleaners. Not only are they filled with chemicals I can’t even pronounce (once you get to 14+ syllables, you know you’re in trouble), but they’re ridiculously priced to boot! Make your cleaners effortlessly at home from ingredients that are highly effective and safe for kids and pets to be around as well. Best bet – mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm tap water into a spray bottle and use everywhere. Sinks, windows, vinyl floors, mirrors, fixtures – you’ll love the shine and you’ll adore the price.
Step Two – Declutter. There’s nothing like the feeling of a de-cluttered closet. Start a donation pile with the shoes that you haven’t worn in three years, add to it the suits that haven’t fit in ten years, and top it off with the sweaters that went out of style long before you even bought your suits. Get the picture? Don’t forget to write it all off on your tax return!
Step Three – Throw open the windows! Even the cleanest, dust-free homes could use a massive blast of fresh air after a long (emphasis on long) winter of closed windows. On the next balmy (say, higher than 60-degree) day, throw open the windows for at least 30 minutes, and get a box fan or two running for good measure, to speed things up.
Step Four – Change your Filters! Start with the filters bringing air into the house. While you’re at it, change (and/or clean) the filters in your vacuum cleaner. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your vacuum filters, brace yourself. If your vacuum filter is off-the-charts gross (I’m not speaking from experience or anything), placate yourself with the knowledge that all of that dust and gunk are far better in your vacuum filter than embedded in your carpets.
Step Five – Don’t forget the cars! If you think it’s a fabulous feeling coming home to a sparkling clean house, imagine the feeling of driving back to Home-Sweet-Home in a car that looks like it’s right off the showroom floor! Get rid of every speck of trash and ancient grocery receipts, haul your (newly-filtered) vacuum out there with the extension cord and get rid of the pulverized Cheerio and cracker crumbs embedded under the seats, then take your vinegar cleaner spray bottle and go to town getting everything to sparkle.
Above all else, pat yourself on the back for getting through another winter intact. Happy Springtime, everybody!