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Clean & Organize For Health and Wellness! Spring Cleaning: Advice from the Experts

March 10, 2020 - By Lexi Klinkenberg

As the days grow longer and the weather begins to warm, we start to see the first signs of spring in the air. If you live in New York, Portland, or anywhere in between, the signs of spring are the same – the flowers begin to bloom and the birds are chirping again. After all, spring is the season of new beginnings, so why not refresh your home with spring cleaning? Declutter and deep clean the interior and exterior of your home before spring has sprung with these expert tips.

Subtract more, add less

The key to perfect spring cleaning and organizing starts with purging. If you don’t love it or use it, lose it! Use a simple math equation to reduce excess accumulation so it doesn’t lead to clutter: Subtract more, add less. Be discriminating about what you allow into your spaces and don’t keep things longer than necessary. –Lynn Reding, Organizing with Lynn

Free up space & donate

Holding on to items for “someday”, “when I get to it”, or “just because” aren’t fulfilling their intended purpose, so either make use of them now or let them go where they can be useful to someone else. Letting go of these things frees up your space to set up functional systems for the stuff you really do need on a daily or weekly basis, which will have a much bigger impact on your home and life, saving you time, energy, and frustration. –Erin Mursch, Organized for Good

Eliminate rust stains

One way to make those pesky rust stains near your irrigation nozzles on vinyl, brick, and concrete disappear is simple – all you need is a pump-up sprayer, water, and oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a brightener for wood and concrete, as well as a secondary ingredient in cleaners such as Bar Keeper’s Friend. Use one cup per gallon of water, and spray on and brush lightly, moving on to the next stain. Some stains require 3-5 treatments to disappear. Keep moving and spraying, repeat brushing lightly until the stains disappear. You can find oxalic acid on Amazon. –George Rice, Mr. Sparkle

Renew your home

Spring cleaning is not always about getting rid of clutter, it’s about renewal, protecting your biggest investment, your home, and feeling a sense of control and pride. No matter what project you tackle, it is very effective to work in short bursts using the Pomodoro Method, focusing for 25-minute chunks of time and then taking a break. -John Trosko, Organizing LA

Downsize before cleaning

As a Certified Senior Move Manager and trained member of The National Association of Senior Move Managers, my team of Professional Organizers and Senior Move Managers work with homeowners who have accumulated a lifetime of belongings from everyday household goods to collections of stuff from all over the world – some interesting, some antique. With a household full of stuff it can be difficult to manage the dust that collects on and around these things. My best tip as an expert in the field of downsizing is to first edit your collection of stuff in your home this Spring. After all, if you own less stuff, you will have less stuff to clean, giving you more time to enjoy your clean and clutter-free home! Organized Haven

Do your research

When you decide to have your carpet, upholstery, or rugs cleaned, research the companies and read reviews on websites like Yelp and Google Maps. You can even research their websites and Facebook pages for coupons and promotions. Pick a couple of companies to call for quotes and compare services and pricing, and pick the most suitable company for you and schedule the appointment. –Carpet Cleaning Group

Pace yourself while you declutter

Declutter one area at a time that can be completed in 10-20 minutes. Start by clearing off visible clutter on surfaces like tables and countertops, then work your way into drawers and cabinets. After, you can choose to donate, throw away, or recycle any items that are no longer used in your home! –Jessica, Organized by Jm

Update account passwords

Commit to get organized and stay protected by updating account passwords this spring. This can include anything from accounts like your email, banking, credit card, investments, online stores to accounts on e-commerce sites, social media, digital storage sites for photos, videos, and documents, gaming & entertainment, personal websites, and your ATM pin. Online managers such as Keeper, Dashlane, and LastPass exist to help organize and secure passwords in one place. However, it’s important to remember that information online and in the cloud is vulnerable to hacking no matter how many layers of encryption they claim to have, just as your home is vulnerable to burglary despite dogs and alarm systems. –Bella Organizing

Remember the forgotten surfaces

Deep clean filthy and forgotten surfaces such as remotes, light switches, electronic cords, and trash/recycling cans. Next, simplify your life by labeling everything. Your future guests will appreciate the cleanliness and comfort when they visit your home. –Kate Martin, Organized Joy

Don’t forget the exterior

Spring is a good time to clean patios and porches that didn’t get attention during the winter months so you can enjoy them in the warm weather. We usually also spend more time removing spider webs, wiping appliances and ceiling fans, cleaning woodwork and windows, and clearing out and cleaning smaller spaces in the kitchen drawers and bathroom medicine cabinets. –

Declutter your closet

Spring is the perfect time to declutter your winter clothing before cleaning the closet. Donate shoes and clothes that no longer fit or that you no longer love, need or use. To prolong the life of your winter clothing launder or dry clean as needed, and clean salt and dirt from shoes and boots before storing. Vacuum the floor and dust the shelves. Organize for easier maintenance by hanging clothes by category and within each category by color. – Cathy Borg, In and Out Organizing

The finishing touch

Getting your windows cleaned is an essential part of spring cleaning. It can be surprising how a few simple tools from the hardware store – a squeegee and a cleaning mop – can give you a professional result. Clean windows can really add the finishing touch to make your spring cleaning complete. – Exodus Window Cleaning

Clean your patio furniture

Contrary to popular belief regarding bleach and fabrics, bleach will not stain outdoor furniture fabric and is a great choice for cleaning algae and mold-infested outdoor furniture. Whether you are cleaning fabric or plastic outdoor chairs, simply mix one-part bleach to two-part water in a one-gallon pump sprayer and spray on the cleaning solution. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off with a garden hose. Be sure to wear eye protection, a respirator, and clothes you don’t care about – no matter how careful you are it will bleach your clothes! –Patriots Power Washing

What’s left unseen still needs to be cleaned

There’s no better time than spring to clean the areas of your home that get little attention. That means pulling the couch away from the wall, cleaning those baseboards and vacuuming in between those hidden areas. Also, think about windows that are rarely opened or used and any areas of the house that needs some TLC. Lastly, don’t forget about emptying drawers, recycling plastic bags, and washing your shower curtains; those are always wonderful refreshes to your home. –Maid Easy

Take it room-by-room

Spring cleaning can get overwhelming when looking at the whole house. Try to start in the farthest room, and in that room start in the farthest corner, and work your way out. Remember, it’s best to start from top to bottom, which means start by dusting ceiling fans, lights, windows, etc. and working your way down the walls and light-switches, outlets, and other features. After, begin by wiping down furniture, then vacuuming or getting a professional carpet cleaning. Or if it’s a hard surface, mop or get your tile or stone and grout professional cleaned. –Jordan Waterman, OCD Home Carpet & Tile Cleaning

Clean up your child’s room

Spring has sprung and there’s never been a better time for a fresh start to go through your child’s closet. Toys seem to take over households during the winter months, partly because we are indoors most of the time. Take the time to, donate clothes that no longer fit, toss old toys that your child(ren) no longer play with, and reorganize and label. –LifeStyle Organizing Services

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