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Spring-Cleaning Tips

Spring-Cleaning Tips

Ready to sweep the last of winter right out the door? You’re not alone. According to the American Cleaning Institute’s annual survey, 78 percent of Americans plan to give their home a thorough spring-cleaning, with a focus on bedrooms, closets, kitchens and family rooms.

Though we’ve spent the past year focused on sanitizing spaces and tracking down certain hard-to-find cleaning products, most of us still get the urge to make our spaces spick and span at the change of season.

You’ll find a myriad of spring-cleaning guides online, but whether you decide to get it all done in a day or follow a week- or month-long schedule, here are three things you can do to prep for your cleaning kickoff:

1. Make sure all your cleaning tools are in good working order and all parts are accounted for—change the filters on your vacuum cleaner, swap out the head on your mop, and launder your favorite cleaning cloths.
2. Declutter your spaces. Designate one basket for each room of the house and another for items you wish to give away. Work your way through the house, collecting items. When the baskets are full, take each one to the appropriate room and put everything away, and then transfer the giveaway goods to a box for donation.
3. Create a cleaning kit containing specific items you will need for each space, including cleaners and cleaning tools. Also create a “basics” kit filled with the items that will be needed for cleaning multiple spaces.

You needn’t spend a lot on cleaning products—many cleaning staples that have been around for centuries are very inexpensive and eco-friendly. For example, white vinegar can be used to clean everything from windows to floors and even freshen your washing machine. Try this handy recipe for a vinegar-based all-purpose cleaner:

¼ cup dish soap
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup white vinegar
1¼ cups water

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Do not use on marble or granite surfaces. If you don’t like the vinegar smell, you can add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or thyme.

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