Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks
By Beth Alexandroff, Heather Georgoudiou, Lee Ann Marcel, Josh Wilson
April 13, 2009
Spring cleaning now includes not only your physical world, but your digital world as well. Let’s face it, most of us probably have random files buried throughout our computer that are old news, and their time has come. It’s time to get your digital hands dirty, find what you don’t need and do what has to be done: Destroy it. This includes weeding out pointless pictures and deleting the Backstreet Boys from your music files. Face it. It’s time. Organizing your computer can save you a lot of time and frustration when desperately trolling through LOLCats trying to find important documents.
For PC users here’s a couple tips.
For Mac users here’s a couple more.
A lot of us have to share life—and consequently spring cleaning—with a roommate or two. What if your roommates don’t jump on the spring cleaning bandwagon? We’ve all had the roommate who seems to shed trash everywhere they tread. There are a few ways to get them motivated without causing a disagreement. Emphasize that you’re in this together and be willing to understand their situation. Offer a time to work together to get the place clean. Here are a few more ideas.
Now for the one you’ve been dreading. Cleaning the oven is usually associated with the seemingly near-death, toxic experience of spraying powerful cleaner everywhere. Well, there is a way of avoiding that experience and saving yourself from the likely-to-follow cancer. You just need baking soda and a spray bottle of water. The process is fairly simple. Layer the bottom of the oven in the baking soda, get it wet and let it do its magic. Here are the steps to a sparkling clean oven ready for your cooking masterpieces. Also, it’s all cleared out to make way for any Shrinkidinks you might have left over from the ‘80s.
FridgeYou know that funky smell that wafts into your nostrils every time you open the fridge? That means something in there has gained sentience, and may be mere days away from staging a revolt. It’s time for a preemptive strike. First, take out everything inside the fridge, including the drawers and shelves. As you take out the food, read all of the labels checking expiration dates and tossing out the items that have bit the dust. Throw away any food items that you know you will not consume before it spoils. For example, two-week-old Chinese leftovers are probably not going to be eaten. Next, wash all your shelves and drawers with a rag, dish soap and warm water. Now it’s time to wipe the interior of the fridge. Using a clean cloth, hot water and dish soap, work from top to bottom. Focus on the corners and those nasty spills that were left behind. Then, dry the interior with another towel. Don’t forget the interior doors either. Now it’s time to replace the food. Try to organize your products into groups like condiments in one area, cheeses in the smaller drawer, veggies in the crisper, etc. To top it off, go through your freezer as well and throw away anything that is frostbitten or expired. Here are a few more tips.
Sometimes cleaning your closet out can seem like a daunting task, but this is the season to conquer the clutter. First, take out everything. That’s right, EVERYTHING. It’s got to get worse before it gets better. As you take out your clothes, put anything that you know that you haven’t worn in the past year in a separate pile. No exceptions. We know you like that Hypercolor shirt and your Zubaz pants, but it’s time to let them go. If it’s out of style or never worn, put it in a garbage bag to give away to a charity like Salvation Army. It’s not just pragmatic—it’s a stewardship issue. Instead of hoarding clothes you never wear, give them to someone who truly needs them. Now begin to place clothes according to season. Since spring is upon us, box up all of those heavy sweaters and bulky jackets and hide them under your bed. Start placing your clothes, on hangers, into the closet by style (T-shirts, blouses, dress shirts, dresses, pants, jeans etc), occasion (casual, special occasion, business etc.) or color. Color organizing is more appealing to the eye and it's also easier to find clothes when you are in a hurry. If you are limited in space, sometimes using an over-the-door shoe storage can make a world of difference. Target is a great place for more closet organizing items. Here are more ideas for those who want to go do an extreme makeover on their cluttered closet.
It wouldn’t be spring cleaning without cleaning products. These days there are hundreds to choose from; however, though they may do the job quickly, some products might not be the safest for the environment and your health. Companies such as Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation make cleaning products specially designed to be toxic-free and do a good job of getting rid of those unwanted odors and household bacteria. You can also check out a few of these websites to make your own products with items you most likely already have lying around.
We all have grown up with the thoughts of doing well for the environment by recycling. However, after you finish that last sip of your 12 oz Coke, the last thing you usually think of is tossing it into a specially designated aluminum bin and then taking that bin to the local recycling center. But every time you just toss a can in the trash, it’s tantamount to punching a tree. OK, that may be overstating it. However, recycling is the responsible thing to do, and it's a lot easier than you think. Here is a website to help you get started and organize those items that can be used again. Remember, spring cleaning can also inspire you to start forming new cleaning habits as well.