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Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
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Spring into cleaning

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Spring has sprung and now that it's May, the cold weather will soon be behind us. With the warm weather on the horizon, we all look forward to heading outdoors and enjoying nature. But before we can go out and play, the warmer temps will likely throw many of us into cleaning mode.

I don't want to clean. I don't like to clean. However, the last thing I want to see when the weather warms up and the windows open to sunshine is those little dust particles flying around in the sunlight. I know I can't get rid of them all, but it doesn't hurt to try and have a nice clean home to start off the summer.

Now I could write a book on cleaning and organizing, but I only have a 30-minute attention span. Instead, I'm going to condense my thoughts into a short list of tips to help you get started:

One task at a time

I find myself getting overwhelmed with the size of home and the amount of cleaning and organizing that needs to take place. My advice is to start small and work toward the next pile or room. It's easy to migrate from one room to another and start on something in the next room over, but don't. If you stay on task, your job will be easier and you'll actually get done faster.

Organize important documents

This is new for me, since I often find myself piling papers all over the house when I really need them, I can't find them. This year I'm going to organized documents in a central location.

There are many options available to organize documents, including portable file folders, file cabinets and even fire- and water-proof file safes to prevent damage caused by natural disasters.

Plan a yard sale

This is a great time to clean out the dressers, closets, attic, basement and garage and make some extra cash on unused items.

Make a list of cleaning supplies

Try some of the eco-friendly products. The natural scents and toxic-free cleaners can be used to scrub everything from the counters and showers to vehicles.

Get everyone involved

Spring cleaning is not a do-it-yourself task it's a family affair and a teachable moment for your kids. Whether it's washing windows, wiping baseboards, vacuuming or picking out clothes from their closet to donate to charity, there's no better way to teach about organizing and responsibility than to have everyone help out.

Divide chores so that no one will have to carry the entire load. More participants involved will get chores finished in a timely manner.

Discard/replace expired products

Once you start cleaning, you're going to find more expired products than you could imagine. Certain products have expiration and 'use by' dates. If it's expired, it should be discarded depending on the item. Oftentimes expired products can actually cause harm. It's also a good time to check common household products that could be out-of-date, including:

  • Medications and supplements (don't throw them in the trash can or flush you can drop them off at your local police department in a drop box)
  • Air filters
  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Beauty products
  • Batteries in your fire alarm

Make cleaning a fun experience with music

Create a music playlist with everyone's favorite tunes to enjoy while doing chores. Music can help keep the body moving and free the mind from tiresome boredom.

Spring cleaning is usually a couple of full days, so create a schedule with what has to be done and who is going to be responsible for what.

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