Declutter and bring that anxiety level down with our tips and tricks to get your home spick-and-span.
“Spring Cleaning” Don’t these words tie some knots in your stomach? I know they do in mine. You haven’t even started cleaning and you’re already stressed. Don’t let spring get you anxious because you feel the need to clean everything in sight.
Sprucing up your home to get ready for the warmer weather is like going to the gym. Many people use the winter and spring months to get that hot summer bod. Think of this as your time to get your house in shape just before summer. Unlike the workouts and clean eating, this will take less discipline and won’t take you more than two seasons.
Our tips and tricks will help steer you in the right direction. We’ll guide you on how to remove junk from your home with ease, spruce up some areas on a budget, clean items you didn’t even think of, and turn junk into treasure.
How to Get Started Cleaning
To-do lists are my best friend. I use them to keep me accountable and organized. Creating a list will be key to helping you stay calm before we go all Chuck Norris on these rooms.
Lists are especially helpful if you have a project like spring cleaning on your plate. Before you get started, write down each room. Walk through each one individually and write bullet points of what needs to be completed.
Don’t be afraid to open that one room, closet, or drawer you have full of items you’d rather not show the world. We won’t call and report you to Hoarders.
Writing a list helps make sure you have all the cleaning materials you need before you start, potentially saving time later.
Create a Cleaning Playlist
Consider putting together a cleaning playlist that keeps you dancing or steadies your nerves. Listening to music while cleaning will help make things go by faster. You could always play or stream your favorite music from Pandora or Spotify. Play that funky music and go!
Declutter One Room at a Time
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you want to clean your entire home all at once.
DON’T DO IT!
Cleaning your home is a marathon, not a sprint.
Split it up by working on 2 to 3 rooms each weekend. I split my one bedroom apartment into 6 rooms.
- Dining Room
- Living Room
- Master Bathroom
Two rooms were chosen each weekend to get a significant cleaning smackdown. I got a lot more done and still had free time to enjoy myself.
Clean from Top to Bottom
Strategy is key to a clean home. You want to start from the top and work your way down. Clean from the top of the ceiling to the floor.
Knock all the dusty cobwebs from the corners, wash the curtains, clean the windows, dust the furniture, vacuum the furniture, and finally, vacuum the floor.
How to Clean a Ceiling Fan
If the room has a ceiling fan, start there! This way, you won’t have to go back and re-clean areas when you get dust everywhere. You can clean with a duster or use a pillowcase. Push the pillowcase over the blade and sweep the dust right into the case.
Don’t Forget to Clean the Baseboards
Baseboards get a beating daily, but we don’t often think of cleaning them. Scuffs from shoes are usually the biggest culprit, and they can be hard to remove. They key is a Magic Eraser. The scuffs come right off!
Work smarter, not harder!
Throw Away Junk & Clutter Responsibly
Every year, the U.S. produces about 254 million pounds of trash. Only 30% of that trash is recycled.
As you go through each room, put items you no longer use or need into piles. Don’t worry about sorting through them until you have finished cleaning the room.
Recycle Old Junk
Make sure only real garbage ends up in the trash. Recycle old magazines and newspapers. Everyday items like paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic should be recycled.
Other junk items require special disposal methods, as they can wreak havoc on the environment. Here are some eco-friendly disposal guidelines:
- Electronics – These should go to a recycling center. Electronics contain chemical and mineral elements. A circuit board contains copper, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and lead. If recycled properly, this waste is a valuable source of secondary raw materials.
- Exercise Equipment – Usually these are large, bulky items. The materials can be reused but need to be dropped off at the proper recycling facility.
- Batteries – Car batteries, household batteries, and light bulbs should be recycled. These items contain mercury, which can be harmful to humans and the environment if not disposed of properly.
- Used Tires – Tires are designed to be practically indestructible. Good for cars, bad for the environment. Fortunately, the recycling options are becoming better every day.
All of the items above are a pain to haul away on your own. Don’t worry about moving those items right now. You only need to identify what can go. You can get rid of them by using a nationwide junk removal service like LoadUp to do all the heavy lifting for you.
If you need to get rid of your appliances, LoadUp will dispose of them in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Need help throwing out your junk?BOOK A PICKUP ❯
Donate Old Junk
Because you’re in the giving mood doesn’t mean someone wants to take your junk. There’s no steadfast rule on what can and can’t be donated, but it’s good to keep in mind that these items should be in a relatively good condition.
For the bulk of your junk, your best bet is going to be a local thrift store. These places are good about taking different types of household items. They usually keep a large drop-off area open for extended parts of the day.
Itemize your donate pile because you may be able to deduct those donations on your taxes. Once you’ve done your research, keep a record of your donations.
Get rid of your old items in a way that helps other people or helps the planet. The extra effort it takes to make sure less stuff ends up in the landfill is definitely worth it.
Over the course of LoadUp’s lifetime, we have diverted over 3 million pounds of junk from local landfills!
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Turn Your Junk into Treasure
Upcycling household items is a useful and creative way to reuse the resources we already own. I try to do this with my “junk” as well – aside from giving things away to folks that need them, upcycling items in your home is productive and fun!
Believe it or not, you really can transform some of your junk items from ugly old clutter into artful masterpieces in no time! Here a just a few ideas:
Build a Tool Shed from Repurposed Doors
Create Lawn & Patio Decor with Wine Bottles
Use Tin Cans to Light up Your Backyard
Closet Cleaning & Decluttering
Probably the most dreaded area to clean out is your closet. The clothes and shoes you have accumulated over the last few years have a special place in your heart.
It’s a cyclical process to purge your clothes, move things around, take a little out and add more in. Have you noticed this vicious cycle yet?
The guilt, frustration, and fear you feel when you clean out your closet can be an emotional drag. You probably ask yourself the following questions; I know I do!
- Guilt asks,“Why did you spend so much money on things you don’t wear?”
- Frustration asks, “Are we going to have to do this again in 6 months?”
- Fear asks, “If you let go, will you have enough to wear?”
Clean out Your Closet Without the Emotional Drain
Empty your closet (yes, the whole thing), and dump everything onto your bed. Then, one item at a time, move the clothes from your bed into four piles on the floor, sorting them into the following categories:
- Love – Have to have!
- Maybe – Items you never wear but don’t want to put in the donate or trash piles
- Donate – Items in good condition but don’t fit your body or your style anymore
- Trash – Items that are in poor condition
Now keep going until the bed is clear (you can do it! I believe in you!).
::Do a little happy dance::
Then, go through the “maybe” pile one last time and see if your heart will let you part with any of those items. Finally, reward yourself with a nap and enjoy your clean and organized closet.
Space Saving Ideas
There’s no need to have every clothing item you own for every season hanging in your closet. Winter jackets are bulky. Use vacuum storage bags to keep items compartmentalized.
Bonus – they will protect your clothes, or other items, from mold and mildew.
Make it easier on yourself to stay organized by adding shelf dividers to keep folded clothes from toppling over.
Is there a wall in your closet that’s full of white space? Add some wall hooks so you can reclaim that space and use it for jewelry, bags, belts, scarves, etc.
Don’t be afraid to use the closet door as a tool, too! You can add over-the-door hooks to store jackets or add a shoe hanger. It’s easy to keep your closet organized. You can even find inspiration at your local Ikea.
Best Ideas for Sprucing up Your Kitchen
There are some easy ways to spruce up your kitchen and add some character without needing to live paycheck to paycheck.
Organizing Your Kitchen
- Use the dollar store for basic containers. Add a label and store your pantry items.
- For a small pantry, add an over-the-door shoe rack. This will help make the most use of your space.
- Give a lazy susan a spin.
- Store spices on your fridge with magnetic containers. No need to use up all that valuable shelf space with spices.
Add Some Style to Your Kitchen
- Cabinet Facelift: If your cabinets need more than new hardware, paint them. It can be a time-consuming project, but if done right, your kitchen will look brand new and add value to your home. You can also replace the cabinet hardware. Find knobs and pulls that are the same size as the existing ones so you don’t have to re-drill the cabinets.
- Add a Backsplash: No need to add tile. Use wallpaper, stainless steel, or magnetic paint. Always wanted that exposed brick look? You can go to the store and use brick wallpaper for a quarter of the price.
- Lighting: This is one of the simplest ideas, but could make the biggest difference. Replace outdated lighting fixtures with ones of your choosing. Make sure you switch to energy efficient light bulbs too. They last so much longer and save you a ton of money on your electric bill.
- Window Treatment: You can replace that window with something more aligned with your style. Find an old stained glass window at the antique store? Add it to the kitchen to freshen up your look.
Clean Appliances You Don’t Think About
Let’s face it – our appliances do a lot for us and don’t ask for much in return. Most of the time this is a one-sided relationship. Unlike a real relationship, they won’t get mad at you for not giving back the love.
Cleaning the appliances that clean your dishes or clothes may seem unnecessary; however, regular maintenance is actually very important to keep your dishwasher and washing machine running at their max efficiency.
How to Clean a Washing Machine
- Fill the washer using the largest load size, hottest water, and longest wash settings.
- As the washer fills, add a quart of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda.
- Let the washer agitate for a minute. Then, open the lid to allow the mixture to sit in the washer for an hour.
- After your timer goes off, let the cycle complete.
- Run the cycle through one last time.
- Leave the lid open to let the washer air-dry.
- Wipe off any remaining residue inside the washer.
- Clear the drain.
- Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack.
- Run the dishwasher through a hot water cycle.
- Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short hot water cycle.
How to Clean a Dishwasher
Appliances need regular cleaning as well. The only way to avoid throwing away a good appliance is to take care of it! You don’t want us to come haul away your new washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator after you’ve only had it for a few years. We all want our money’s worth!
Need to get rid of your junk?BOOK A PICKUP ❯
OK, so these ideas won’t make all the dirt magically disappear, but the tips above may help make the process a little less overwhelming. Just remember to pace yourself. You don’t have to do everything in one day.
And for the bigger items, don’t break your back, or the bank. We’ll haul it away for you!
Have any suggestions for what you would like advice on how to clean? Comment on our Facebook page and let us know!