Even if you already carpool to work, buy second-hand clothes, or pay your bills online, there are still plenty of small but impactful changes you can make to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.
It starts at home — with your habits, routines, and organizational systems. Yep, you read that right. These 13 extremely easy eco-friendly organizing tips for your home will help you save money, control clutter, and reduce waste (the ego boost is just a bonus):
If your jar of coconut oil, marinara sauce, or pickles is running low, save it instead of recycling it. After you clean it out, use it to organize any number of random household items: cooking ingredients and grains, kitchen utensils, pens, craft supplies, or makeup brushes.
You can even use glass jars as vases and planters.
Immediately recycling your junk mail prevents clutter from building up in your home. But if you always throw away catalogs and promotional flyers without unsubscribing from them first, you’re setting yourself up to receive more paper products down the line. It’s a vicious cycle.
To get rid of junk mail, stash it in a bin where you’ll see it every day. Every two weeks or so, go through the pile one paper at a time, call the customer service numbers, and ask to be removed from all of their mailing lists.
5. Store a pile of rags and dish cloths in an easily accessible kitchen cabinet.
Using cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels and paper napkins can easily cut your waste in half. Keep them in a nearby kitchen cabinet or drawer so you always have something within reach to wipe up spills.
Go a step further and slide a bin below your sink to collect dirty cloth napkins and rags that need to be washed.
6. Display a basket near the front door to hold reusable grocery bags.
Make space for a pretty basket in your entryway and fill it with fabric totes. That way, you can quickly grab a tote on your way out the door so you don’t have to resort to using plastic or paper grocery bags.
If you have limited entryway space, hang your bags on a coat rack or wall hook instead.
7. Set up a wrapping station to store used boxes, gift bags, and tissue paper.
You can make your gift station as basic or as Pinterest-worthy as you want. All that matters is that you designate a place — even if it’s a single desk drawer — to store all the used gift bags, tags, tissue paper, bows, and boxes you receive.
Reusing these items saves tons of waste and money.
8. Store a “Reuse” bin in the hall closet.
Create a drop-off zone in your home for items you want to reuse, whether by donating, repurposing, or upcycling them. You can toss in clothes, shoes, books, stationary containers, candle jars, mint tins, jewelry boxes, or anything else you think could be given a second life.
Just remember: The Reuse Bin is supposed to help you stay organized. At least once a month, make a standing date with yourself to sort through the bin and decide what to do with each item.
You probably have a recycling station in your kitchen, but what about the other areas of your home?
If you only have small trash bins scattered throughout your house — all of which inevitably get filled with a variety of recyclable and non-recyclable materials — it’s time to make recycling more convenient.
Give each room (yes, even the bathroom) its own proper recycling station. Simply add another bin for recyclable items like paper, plastic, and glass. Or use a dual trash and recycling bin like the one pictured above.
Used wooden wine and fruit crates are excellent storage containers because they’re sturdy, versatile, and easy to stack. Use them to store blankets, books, or kids toys (or dog toys, for that matter) in your living room. Or tuck the crates in your entryway and use them to store your shoes and umbrellas.
They also make cool shelving systems in lieu of store-bought bookcases or plastic drawers.
Grab a wooden caddy and fill it with your favorite green cleaning tools: towels and rags, old socks for dusting, wooden scrub brushes, baking soda, vinegar, and jars of homemade disinfectants and stain removers. Just like this lemon and clove nightly sink scrub made by Clean Mama:
Stash the caddy in the cabinet below your kitchen sink for easy access.
All you have to do is schedule a MakeSpace pickup and pack your stuff. We’ll pick up everything from your home, transport it to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility, and create an online photo catalog of your stuff.
When you need something back from storage, simply browse your online photo catalog, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver the item back to you.
This article was written by Paige Smith, a freelance writer from Orange County, California who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics.
While 95% of homeowners have homeowners insurance, only 41% of renters have renters insurance. It’s an often overlooked type of insurance, but it’s just about the most affordable protection you can buy.
If you’ve gotten by without it for this long, though, do you really need renters insurance?
Before we answer that question, know that renters insurance covers your possessions from damage and loss. Someone break into your apartment and steal your boombox? It’s covered.
Upstairs neighbor’s pipe bursts, ruining your shag rug? It’s covered.
Fire take out the entire building, burning all of your possessions? Pull out your policy and be ready to make a claim. But only after you digest this CliffsNotes-worthy summary of what renters insurance covers, the types of renters insurance policies, and how to buy renters insurance:
Renters Insurance Covers Your Stuff On The Go
If you’re on the fence about renters insurance, keep in mind that it’s a relatively cheap form of protection. The average annual premium in 2014 was only $190. That’s under $20 a month to protect your possessions. Plus, you can get discounts if you bundle it with the other insurance types you have anyway, like car insurance.
And speaking of your possessions, renters insurance won’t just cover your things while they’re in your apartment. If you keep items in a storage unit, they’re protected there (double check with your insurance provider) on the off chance that they’re stolen or damaged.
The peace of mind that comes with protecting your stuff — no matter where it is — is one of the most overlooked benefits of renters insurance. If your laptop gets stolen out of a car, or gets a little too cozy with the sidewalk after falling out of your backpack, renters insurance will cover it.
Besides physical items, renters insurance also provides protection in other ways. Basic liability and medical payment coverage is standard in most renters insurance policies, which means you’re not on the hook for legal or medical bills if someone hurts themselves in your apartment.
Everything You Need To Know About Renters Insurance
An actual cash value policy means that your insurer will cover just that — the actual cash value of your items. A replacement cost value policy means that your insurer will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your item at its current price. That’s the difference between your insurer paying out the depreciated cost of your five-year-old laptop, or the full cost of getting a new one.
Because replacement cost value policies tend to pay out more (since they aren’t based on depreciated value), they also tend to cost more than actual cash value policies.
If you’ve had other insurance policies, you know what a deductible is. That’s how much you have to pay before your insurance will kick in. If your policy has a $1,000 deductible, you’ll need to cover $1,000 of repair or replacement costs before your insurance will cover any of it.
Perils are the types of incidents that your renters insurance will cover. On the flip side, exclusions won’t be covered. “All risk” policies cover any peril that isn’t specifically excluded, and “named peril” policies only cover what is explicitly listed in the policy.
As wide-reaching as renters insurance coverage is, it doesn’t cover everything. Flood damage isn’t covered, and neither are earthquakes. Unless you have a personal property endorsement on an item, it won’t be covered if you simply lose it. Some pet damage isn’t covered, and certain dog breeds won’t be covered at all.
Limits on renters insurance policies come in two different forms. Your policy will have an overall limit — say $30,000 worth of total coverage — and individual limits for expensive property. For example, there might be a limit on jewelry, so you can only claim $1,000 for a stolen wedding ring even if it cost $2,500.
Because of these limits, you might consider personal property endorsements. This provides extra protection for specific items or categories (at an additional cost to your premiums). So you’d be able to add a personal property endorsement to that wedding ring to make sure you could cover the entire cost.
Finally, your policy might have additional living expenses coverage. If something happens and you need to spend a few nights in a hotel, your renters insurance would cover this.
Either way, the first step is creating a home inventory to decide how much coverage you need. There are a few apps that make it easy. Make a note of any valuables that might need extra coverage so you can add endorsements for them. Compare quotes for the coverage you need, buy the most affordable policy, and voià — you’re covered.
This article was written by PolicyGenius, a digital insurance agency that helps people get the insurance they need and feel good about it. Comparison shop and get the best rates on life, health, disability, renters insurance, and more.
When you don’t know where to put something in your house, where do you usually store it?
In your garage, until you figure out a better home for the item?
While that solves your storage problem, it’s only temporary. Things pile up. Next thing you know, you forgot where you stored your luggage for your upcoming Caribbean cruise.
That won’t happen anymore, though. Because we created this step-by-step guide (plus an infographic!) on how to easily clean and organize your garage.
First, we’ll take you through the best ways to clean your garage floor, door, and walls. Then, we’ll explain how to organize and store your stuff in cabinets, on pegboards, and in other brilliant garage storage solutions.
The advice all comes from home improvement experts, so you can trust their word.
Want to embed our garage cleaning and organizing infographic on your site?
Awesome! Copy the code below. 🙂
<p><a href="https://makespace.com/blog/posts/how-to-clean-organize-garage/" target="_blank"><img src="https://cdn.makespace.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20123840/how-to-clean-organize-garage-makespace-storage.jpg" title="How To Clean And Organize Your Garage" alt="How to clean and organize your garage infographic by MakeSpace"></a></p>
<p><a href="https://makespace.com/" target="_blank">via MakeSpace</a></p>
How To Clean Your Garage Floor
1. Soak up any oil slicks.
Garage floors are especially susceptible to grease and oil stains, but you can remove them with some basic cleaners and cat litter.
The pros at DIY Network and Lowes both recommend applying a layer of kitty litter to the stain first. This helps absorb the excess liquid. If you don’t have a cat, sawdust or cornmeal will do.
Once you’ve let the cat litter work its magic, vacuum or sweep it up. Then attack the stain with a detergent or cleaning agent. Out of the several cleaning options that Jeff Patterson tested for Home Repair Tutor, his favorites were Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) and Drylok Etch.
2. Scrub out other stains.
For all the splotches on your floor that did not come from your gas tank, try a mild detergent first. This should take care of light stains, but if you need something more heavy-duty, muriatic acid can help.
Just as it does with oil spots, TSP works wonders on rust stains. Mix it with water and then scrub it into the problem area with a push broom. After it’s soaked for 10-15 minutes, rinse it all off.
3. Fill in any cracks with epoxy paste.
Does your garage floor have cracks from construction projects or heavy items that fell off a shelf?
Fix the cracks with a little epoxy paste. Simply fill in the gaps with the paste, wait for it to dry, and then sand the area until you’ve buffed out any extra or uneven paste.
4. Seal cracks with sealant.
A sealant will help maintain and protect your garage floor. And if you’re planning to paint your garage floor, you absolutely need to apply sealant to it first. As Angie’s List explains, there are several different types of garage floor sealers.
First, there’s a topical sealer. Acrylic is the cheapest topical option but also requires the most upkeep. Epoxy is more expensive but thicker and more durable. Polyurethane offers the most protection at the highest price, and you’ll need a primer to pair with this one.
Then, there are penetrating sealers. These are often siliconate-based and require just one coat. For this reason, they’re the most common sealants used for garage floors.
Once you’ve landed on the right option for your garage and cleaned the floor, apply the sealant like you would paint on a wall. Start in the corners and apply a healthy, even coat.
Give it plenty of time to dry, so it bonds with the concrete. And if you need more guidance, pick up some extra tips from the experts at PPG Paints in the video above.
How To Clean Your Garage Door
1. Brush off the dirt.
Before you bring buckets of water and soap into the equation, shake down any loose debris clinging to your garage door. A stiff brush or broom should do the trick.
2. Hose it down.
Knock out any lingering dirt with a garden hose. Give the entire door a good spray before you move onto the next step.
3. Wipe it with warm water and mild household detergent.
Now comes the actual cleaning. You’ll want to have a bucket of warm water mixed with a mild household detergent on deck for this part.
Dip a sponge or old rag into the soapy water and wipe down the door, inch by inch. Look out for splotches or stains as you go, so you can buff them out by hand.
It’s just like cleaning the car sitting in your garage, minus all those pesky tire spokes.
Check for any bent or malfunctioning pieces and use a household oil to grease every moving part. Also, tighten the screws before you close the door.
How To Clean Your Garage Walls
1. Vacuum cobwebs and debris.
Even if you use your garage frequently, it’s a natural home for cobwebs and spiderwebs.
Before you wash your garage walls, use the bristle attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any webs or grime lurking in the corners.
2. Sponge the walls with warm water and detergent.
You’ll be doing exactly what you did to your garage door just moments ago. Take your bucket filled with warm water and detergent, grab a sponge, and systematically scrub the walls with careful strokes.
You should be going bottom to top, to avoid long muddy streaks. Keep a step-stool close by so you can hit those hard-to-reach areas by the ceiling.
3. Attack tough stains with ammonia.
For the spots that detergent can’t dissolve, try some basic ammonia. Mix one or two cups into a gallon of cold water to minimize the stench.
Then dip your sponge in the liquid and treat each stain individually. If the ammonia can’t do the trick, Housekeeping Channel recommends trying that trusty TSP.
How To Organize Your Garage Space
1. Separate everything into four piles.
You can’t really get organized until you’ve taken stock of your stuff. So gather everything in your garage and sort it into four groups:
You should only hang onto items that make you happy. All the rest? Donate it to a charity or hawk it at a yard sale.
Well, except for anything broken or useless (i.e. old newspapers). Those items belong in the garbage can or recycling bin.
2. Find a new home for paint, paper goods, and propane tanks.
Once you have a “keep” pile, separate out the things that don’t belong in your garage. According to This Old House, these items include propane tanks (a fire hazard best kept outdoors) and paint cans (which are ruined by extreme temperatures).
Paper goods like napkins are also likely to attract bugs, and pet food might bring all the possums to your garage. Relocate this stuff to a more suitable space, such as in your cabinet or pantry.
3. Create a basic floor plan.
Now that you’ve made all those cuts, it’s time to get down to the real work of organizing. This will be a lot easier to do if you sketch out or at least map in your head a floor plan for your garage.
While you can design it however you want, we recommend following these four basic guidelines:
Group similar items together.
Put the bulkiest gear in the corner, where it’s safely out of your car’s way.
Place seasonal items in the harder-to-reach areas, so the stuff you use all the time is more accessible.
Don’t just throw junk onto your cabinet shelves. Storage bins and tubs can help you manage the chaos. This works best if you dedicate categories of items to specific bins and tubs.
Holiday decorations can have one bin, winter clothes can have another one. Once they’re all filled up, slide them into your cabinet. Just make sure you label everything as you’re sorting.
2. Store small stuff in old coffee cans and gum containers.
For the little things that would get lost in a tub, upcycle containers from your own kitchen. Lil Blue Boo cleaned out some old coffee cans to serve as battery recycling receptacles. You could easily use yours for small items in your garage.
Or take a cue from The Ugly Duckling House and save old Orbit gum containers. They’re great homes for your screws, nuts, and bolts.
3. Convert a metal office cabinet into a pantry.
Martha Stewart suggests getting a metal office cabinet to serve solely as a pantry. That way, you can use a magnet to attach a clipboard — with an inventory of your LaCroix, spring water, and other sundries — to the cabinet’s front door.
4. Consider a locker for each family member.
Giving each member of your family their own garage cabinet might seem excessive, but what about assigning everyone a locker?
Shelly at 100 Things 2 Do salvaged a set of old school lockers, repainted them, and then gave herself, her two daughters, and her husband one unit apiece.
Each person could then sort their helmets or sidewalk chalk to his/her liking. Shelly found the lockers in the Canadian classifieds, so keep an eye on Craigslist or The Container Store for your own set.
He bolted his toolboxes to his garage walls and mounted a few metal tool cabinets high up near his ceilings. This garage organization system keeps his floor empty so he has more room for tune-ups.
Even if you’re not a motorhead like Bernie, this approach can also help you save space in your garage.
2. Store garden tools in a converted filing cabinet.
Turn an upcycled filing cabinet on its side and you’ve got a great home for your rakes, shovels, and mops. As The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel illustrates, all you have to do is remove the cabinet’s drawers and slot your tools into the empty space.
You can even install a little pegboard storage with hooks on the side of the cabinet so you can hang wrenches, scissors, garden shears, and more:
This DIY garage storage project requires wood, pegboards, a saw, screws, glue, and casters. Once you’re done building it, you have a movable one-stop-shop for all your tools.
4. Outline your tools on the wall.
It’s easier to keep track of your screwdriver when it’s literally drawn on the wall. When hanging up your tools, carefully trace an outline around each one with a pencil.
Then, take down the items and make the sketches more visible by going over each sketch with a marker or paint pens. When you’re done, put your tools back in their (now very clearly) assigned spaces.
How To Organize A Garage Pegboard
1. Install a pegboard.
Garages sadly don’t come with built-in pegboards, so before you can organize one, you need to set it up. For this project, you’ll need a tape measure, screws, a drill, an actual pegboard, and a few other items to mount it.
Once your pegboard is all set up, you’ll need to install some hooks so you can actually hang things.
Hooks can easily slip off their slots after you attach them. Which is why The Family Handyman recommends locking them in place with zip ties, pegboard clips, or some hot glue for extra security.
3. Use baskets and bins.
Small wire baskets and pegboard bins can help you store items that don’t easily fit on a hook — think stud finders and loose screws. Check your local Home Depot, Staples, or Sears for these accessories.
4. Or skip the pegboard and let MakeSpace store your stuff.
Still have stuff that won’t fit in your garage cabinet, on your shelves, or on your new pegboard?
We’ll pick up everything (including your bulky snowboard, skis, sports equipment, and appliances) and store it in our secure temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll also create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always remember what you have in storage.
The best part:
When you want something back from storage, simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you. It’s that simple.
We live our lives in stages: childhood, teenager-hood, adulthood. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. See where I’m going with this? It’s all a cycle. Guess what else is a cycle:
Yes, similar to grief, spring cleaning has five stages everyone goes through. The first is enthusiasm, before the reality of the day sets in.
Next, we have doubt and fear, two emotions you’ll feel when you’re on the downswing of cleaning day, after realizing this might be a harder task than you anticipated.
Then there’s reassurance, which pulls you out of the previous two stages. Lastly, comes satisfaction, which you’ll get once you finally conquer cleaning your place that probably hasn’t been deep cleaned for several months.
If you’re getting pumped up to clean your space soon, this might give you some insight into what to expect. And if you’re a seasoned spring cleaning professional, you’ll probably get a kick out of this.
Ready to go through this journey with us?
Keep reading below:
Today’s the day. You marked it in your calendar. You stocked up on all the supplies. And you mentally prepared yourself for the task of spring cleaning your whole home.
You also have plenty of snacks to sustain you, and a plan for rewarding yourself after the deed is done. This may or may not include wine and a bath in your sparkly clean tub. Or eating food off your floor because it’s so clean …
Okay, we don’t actually recommend the last one.
Like the well-prepared person you are, you’ve made a list of everything that needs to get done:
Windex almost every surface
You may have even written a physical list, which you’ll feel oh-so satisfied checking off as you go through each task.
The day is young. And you’re feeling confident that soon, your house will look just like the ones you read about in Dwell.
You might be going it alone. Or you may have enlisted the help of your significant other and/or friends in exchange for pizza and Netflix later. Trading pizza for cleaning help is always a smart deal.
Okay … now that you’re looking around, did your home somehow get way dirtier overnight?
I mean, you knew it was due for a deep cleaning, but you didn’t think it was this bad. How many rooms do you have anyway? Did you always have this space under your sink? And since when was there mold in your shower?
You start going through boxes you haven’t touched in far too long. And you’re quickly realizing there’s a lot of stuff lying around that you’ve forgotten about.
What are you supposed to do with all of these old band t-shirts? Why are there so many single, lonely socks lost behind your headboard?
You might ask yourself these questions and many more while assessing the damage around your home.
This is when the doubt starts to creep in. Maaaybe it’s not going to be as easy as you thought. Perhaps you actually need several days to get through all this cleaning. Maybe a little autumn and winter cleaning in between last year’s and this year’s spring cleaning session would have been helpful.
This is when the fear sets in. It’s not uncommon to also feel dread and/or panic at this stage.
You might begin thinking things like:
There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to take on this mess.
I decided I hate cleaning.
I’m embarrassed of how dirty my oven, toilet, and shower have gotten.
I’m afraid to open my trash can.
My house is never getting clean.
My house *has never been clean*.
How do people even clean their entire homes in one day?
What even “is” cleaning?
Why don’t we have robots that do this for us?
I’m going to keep on avoiding my responsibilities forever.
I guess this is just my life now.
Maybe I should just move into a place that’s already clean.
Go through each room one-by-one and only do one task, like dust all the surfaces first. Once that’s done, clean up bigger messes, rearrange things if need be, vacuum, sweep, mop, and all that other jazz.
Of course, do cleaning jobs that are specific to certain rooms. Take the trash out (don’t forget to clean the trash can), scrub down your sink, sweep your porch, and clean off your stove. Basically, an all-purpose cleaner and a bunch of rags are going to be your new best friends.
And if, at this point, you’re feeling a little curious, try out some of these insane cleaning hacks with stuff you can probably find lying around your house.
That wasn’t so bad after all, right?
Sure, it took several hours, lots of inner turmoil, and maybe an existential crisis or two, but you made it.
The best part:
You won’t have to do a deep clean like that for a very long time – but hopefully sometime before next spring.
If you invited friends over to help, make sure to reward them for their hard work. If you did this all by yourself, make sure to pat yourself on the back.
And maybe don’t invite anyone over to your home for several days so you can really take in how awesome and clean it is.
The sun is out and winter coats are snuggled away. Spring has finally sprung!
The change of season, of course, has us thinking about spring cleaning. Namely, how to get out of it so we can ride our bikes instead.
Now, what if you could go cruising and have a sparkling home?
Welcome to 2017, where anything is possible … at least with some help.
These 15 apps and services do your dirty work for you, whether it’s hacking IKEA furniture or nixing junk mail for good.
For those of you who like doing the cleaning yourself, don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. As in, there’s a service on this list that will send someone to your favorite brunch spot to wait in line for you. Please save us a waffle?
1. Outsource your chores to TaskRabbit.
Like your own personal Oddjob minus the evilness, TaskRabbit is your reliable, one-stop shop for outsourcing any errand. Such as assembling your furniture. Which is still sleeping soundly in an unopened box. In the middle of your living room. On wine-stained carpet.
Taskers, who are fully vetted by TaskRabbit and reviewed by other customers, obliterate your spring cleaning to-do list by taking care of pretty much anything you can imagine.
Things like cleaning your carpet, helping you move into a new place, mounting floating shelves and TVs, getting groceries, cooking those groceries, delivering potted plants to liven up your abode, performing puppet shows, packing your MakeSpace bins, and organizing your closet on a Saturday morning.
You know, so you can wait in line at your favorite brunch spot for 90 minutes. No wait, a Tasker can also wait in line for you, so you can sweep in last minute like a G.
2. Get your apartment masterfully cleaned by Merry Maids.
Your apartment’s been through quite a bit this past winter. Give it a deep clean with zero labor on your part by enlisting the help of Merry Maids. Certified, background-checked pros will come to your home and clean every room better than the imaginary grime-fighting quartet of Rosie the Robot, Mr. Clean, Scrubby, and Brawny Man.
Merry Maids uses the brand’s own eco-friendly products, and will wash your dishes, do your laundry, fold your clothes, make your bed, and take out your trash and recyclables. Merry Maids … will you marry us?
3. Get butler-esque service from Alfred.
For the 1%, there’s a live-in butler. For the 99%, and Batman, there’s Alfred. Up to twice a week, a carefully-vetted Alfred will swing by your Batcave and complete your chores and errands while you save Gotham.
Alfred will sort your mail, tidy up your apartment, do your grocery shopping, stock your fridge, and pick up and drop off your dry cleaning, laundry, and pharmacy items.
Have a top secret request, such as “Bring me a green smoothie. Go heavy on the power pellets”?
Alfred can take care of that too, so you return to your Batcave unharmed and with an awkward smile, Master Wayne.
4. Sell almost anything using OfferUp.
The only thing that untouched set of dumbbells hiding in plain sight gives you is dust. Make it give you dough instead. Use OfferUp to easily sell just about anything (except for these forbidden items) to people in your neighborhood.
All you need is the app, your phone’s camera, and 30 seconds to list any item for sale. Just be sure to double check the buyer’s reviews so you can get your cash with confidence.
5. Sell your stacks of books and tech using Decluttr.
Textbooks taking up precious shelf space? Unwanted video games, Blu-rays, CDs, or DVDs collecting dust ever since you discovered, well, the internet?
You could use them as coasters and collect nothing. Or you could send them to Decluttr and collect dollars.
The app turns your camera phone into a barcode scanner so you can get an instant value for your discs. You then ship your discs to Decluttr, using a box and their free shipping label.
The best part:
You’ll get paid immediately after Decluttr finishes processing your collection of Alanis Morissette albums and Adam Sandler movies.
But don’t stop there. Recycle one more thing – karma – by donating the proceeds to charity directly through the app.
6. Ship your stuff anywhere in the world using Shyp.
While purging your closet, a Tasker found a camera you no longer use. You’re thinking about giving it to your newbie photographer cousin who lives across the country. Or maybe you have to return a pile of online purchases that you trip over every time you pass through your entryway.
In either of these cases, how would you ship the items without, you know, actually doing it yourself?
Use Shyp. All you have to do is take a photo of the item and enter its destination. Shyp picks up the item, securely packs it, and sends it anywhere in the world using the most efficient option. Long lines at the post office and shipping stores during your lunch hour, begone.
7. Go paperless with Scanbot.
Take that pile of paper on your desk, yep the one that resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and recycle it at long last. But only after you download and use Scanbot to hi-res scan and upload any paper that’s invaded your fortress.
Got some important info lurking in that stash of reincarnated trees?
Scanbot will convert all writing to searchable text in the uploaded images, so you can easily reference the papers later.
8. Stop receiving junk mail with Catalog Choice.
If you have five seconds and Catalog Choice, you can stop junk mail from ever touching your mailbox’s lips again.
Just search their database for any company that’s sending unwanted mail, enter your name and address, and Catalog Choice will contact the sender to remove you from their distribution list. The trees will thank you.
9. Teleport your kids’ artwork from the floor to your pocket with Keepy.
So you managed to get your own paper chaos under control, but now you’re faced with the glitter-gun abyss that is your kids’ homemade art collection. Clear out Picasso Jr.’s masterpieces — without any guilt — using Keepy.
Simply snap a photo, save it, and then share it with adoring “fans”… also known as grandparents. You can even enrich each photo with voice or video recordings.
10. Mass unsubscribe from junk email with Unroll.Me.
Your apartment isn’t the only thing that packed on some extra pounds this past winter. Your inbox needs a detox, too. Sign up for Unroll.Me, see all your subscription emails in one place, and unsubscribe from the junk you don’t want in just one click.
For the subscriptions you do want, Unroll.Me lets you combine them into one email called the “Rollup.” Sup Inbox Zero?
11. Declutter like the most organized person on the planet with the KonMari app.
Konverts, rejoice! You can now spark joy from your pocket with the KonMari app.
As you tidy up, keep tabs with a checklist that adheres to the five categories outlined by the demigod of decluttering, Marie Kondo:
You can also upload photos and share your progress with other users. Of course, if you’d rather hire someone to thank your socks for you, you’ll soon be able to hire KonMari consultants directly via the app.
12. Convert your closet clutter into cash with Poshmark.
Bid adieu to your Jimmy Choos, while making a pretty penny to boot. Better yet, do it from the comfort of your own couch. PoshMark connects you to thousands of shoppers based on your brand, style, and size preferences.
Once you’ve snapped a pic of your gently-worn jeans or too-small blouse, upload the item to the fashion cloud to make it rain. Then share your listing on Facebook and Pinterest because why not. And if you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe, browse the boutique-worthy pieces uploaded by your fellow hustlers.
13. Pawn or sell valuable items on PawnGuru.
Gone are the days of frustrating encounters with uninterested brokers at the pawn shop. Thanks to PawnGuru, you can upload a photo of whatever goods you’d like to pawn or sell, then negotiate directly with a number of interested shops to get the best deal.
If you’re cleaning out your jewelry collection, take note: Bids can vary massively according to each pawn shop’s specialty, margins, and capital, so this is a great platform to use if you’re listing valuable items.
14. List, don’t lift, your furniture with AptDeco.
So you’ve decided your couch really doesn’t spark joy. But then again, neither would hauling it down three flights of stairs for a sketchy Craigslist buyer. Enter AptDeco.
For a minor percentage of the final selling price (which they’ll even help calculate!), they’ll pick up that extra coffee table for you, unassemble it if necessary, and then deliver it to the buyer. The only finger you’ll lift is when you give the movers a big thumbs up.
15. Effortlessly store the stuff you love, but don’t need right now, in MakeSpace.
Now that your apartment is almost in tip-top shape, what should you do with the stragglers that are overstaying their welcome and eating your space, rent-free? As in all your sweaters, snow boots, gloves, knitted hats, scarves, snowboard, skis, bulky coats, and other winter gear that you love but don’t need at the moment.
For those items, schedule a MakeSpace pickup, pack your stuff (a Tasker can do this for you too), and do your thing.
We’ll pick up everything, except for the Tasker, store it in our secure storage facility, and create an online photo inventory of your stuff, so when you need something delivered, it’s just a few clicks away.
You know how it goes. You’re at home enjoying a very lazy Sunday afternoon when the phone rings. It’s your college roommate, and she’s in town. No, she’s not just in town. She’s in your neighborhood, and will be over in about 35 minutes.
You can’t possibly turn your apartment into a sparkling centerspread from Better Homes and Gardens in that time, but you can still get it in shape for an unexpected guest.
All you have to do is relax, breathe, and follow these 17 cleaning tips. They won’t take care of everything — and they cut a few notable corners — but they will get your home ready for company, however unannounced.
1. Take a picture of your place.
Before you rush into panic cleaning mode, snap a few quick photos of your space on your phone. Now look at them. Does anything strike you as glaringly out of place?
It can be easy to get used to the gym bag you dropped in the corner two weeks ago, but a photo can help you notice things that don’t belong. (This tip comes courtesy of A Beautiful Mess blogger Emma Chapman, who clearly knows all about messes.)
2. Focus on rooms your guest will actually use.
You don’t have time to make every inch of your apartment spotless, so narrow your scope. Millennial Moms host Jordan Page makes an excellent point in her quick clean tutorial (embedded above):Your guest is only going to hang out in a few spots in your home.
Your guest is only going to hang out in a few spots in your home.
That means there’s no need to clean your home office, since you won’t be showing Aunt Diane how to use your new printer. Simply shut the door on that space and worry about it later.
Speed walk through all those rooms we just mentioned, with your eyes trained on the floor. Do you spy crumpled T-shirts next to your bed? Damp used towels by the shower? A rogue sock peeking out from under the couch?
Grab them all up and toss them into your hamper. You don’t need to wash them today, but you definitely need to get them off the ground.
4. Deposit empty glasses or dirty dishes into the sink.
Time for speed walk, round two. This time, you’re looking at your tables and counters.
Do you see a coffee mug stained with this morning’s latte? The plate you used last night for your Bachelor snacks? Anything else that clearly belongs in a kitchen cabinet?
Collect all those dirty dishes and drop them in the sink. You’ll get to them in a bit. But until then, onto the next task.
You can use a bucket, caddy, bag, or any other portable item that can hold all your sprays and rags. This way, you can clean more quickly from room to room.
And when you’re all done? Everything goes back in the same place.
6. Give the toilet, sink, and bathroom mirror a quick clean.
Your guest is going to ask to use the bathroom at some point. So wipe down the main fixtures like your toilet, sink, and mirror with your preferred cleaning agent. (But first, put away any hair dryers or shaving cream you have sitting on the ledge.)
GQ cleaning expert Jolie Kerr recommends spraying the toilet and sink with Scrubbing Bubbles. Since the bubbles need a few minutes to work their magic, you can run off and do other tasks while you wait.
When you return to wipe everything off, make sure to Windex your mirror, too, for any streaks or spots. And straighten out your hand towels while you’re at it.
7. But just keep the shower curtain closed.
Yes, your tub should be clean, but it’s also way more work to scrub it than a toilet bowl. Plus, your friend dropping by isn’t going to hop in the bath for an hour-long soak.
Save yourself the time and effort by simply snapping the shower curtain shut. No one’s going to look inside, unless they’re the kind of person who also snoops through medicine cabinets. In which case, why do you even invite them over?
8. Tidy up your surfaces.
As you move out of the bathroom and into your three remaining rooms (kitchen, living room, and bedroom), start looking for out-of-place items on your surfaces. We’re talking about your coffee tables, nightstands, and countertops.
If you spy something that you can easily put away in a second, do it. For everything else? Stack and clump together what you can into semi-neat piles.
Is your counter in need of more than a light dusting?
Wipe up any obvious spills or stains for now, and make a mental note to give your surfaces a more thorough clean tomorrow.
9. Toss stuff in baskets.
So what about the junk on your counter that isn’t so easily sorted or stacked?
Here’s a cleaning secret:
You don’t have to put it away right this second.
Grab a laundry basket and load it up with all the stuff you’re not quite sure what to do with. Then set it aside, so you can move on to the next step.
If you happen to have extra time at the end of all this, feel free to put away all the items in your laundry basket. But if you don’t, just slide it under your bed before company arrives.
It’s okay, we won’t tell anyone.
10. Make your bed.
Maybe your throw pillows spend more time on the floor than they do delicately perched on your comforter. But no one needs to know that.
Making your bed is the easiest way to make your apartment look more put-together than it actually is. And besides, there’s a very good chance your guest will end up storing a coat in this room.
11. Take out the trash.
If you just took the garbage out last night, you can skip this step. But if your trash can is packed to the brim with banana peels, eggshells, and coffee grounds, it’s time for a purge.
Bag up all the trash — not just from the kitchen, but the bathroom and bedroom, too — and get it out of your apartment. Don’t forget to add fresh new bags immediately, in case your friend needs to throw something out.
12. Do the dishes.
Remember how you put this off eight steps earlier?
Well, you can’t do that any longer. No one likes the sight of a sink stacked with smudged, stinky plates, so you have to do something about this mess.
If you have a dishwasher, just throw everything in there and move on. If you don’t, wash the biggest pieces and place them on the rack to dry. A sink with a few forks isn’t so bad. But a sink with a skillet full of last night’s stir fry? That’s not great.
Simply stack all your dirty dishes together and hide them in your freezer or oven. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
13. Take care of pet hair.
You probably don’t mind the fur your pup seems to shed every five seconds. But other people might, especially if they have allergies. Run a dust buster over the couch for stray animal hairs and give the floor a quick sweep.
While you’re at it, clean out your cat’s litter box and/or pick up the chew toy your dog left right by the front door. Then remind Winnie to be on her best behavior because you have company coming.
14. And vacuum if you can.
Vacuuming is a big time suck (pun intended), and realistically, you might not get around to this task. But if you can give your floors a cursory clean, it will make a big difference.
To ensure maximum vacuuming efficiency, cleaning pro Laura Dellutri suggests tackling the entire length of the room in one straight row. Then adjust and start again at the front of the room.
Loop the cord over your shoulder while you’re making these long rows, so you don’t trip in your mad dash to cleanliness.
15. Fluff your couch pillows.
It’s a silly, simple step, but it will not go unappreciated. As a final touch before your friend or family member arrives, fluff the pillows and cushions on your couch.
If you happen to notice a stain on the cushion as you’re fluffing, flip it over to the cleaner side. Also, fold up any throw blankets hanging off your sectional.
16. Spray a scent or light a candle.
Between the garbage can you just emptied and the dog fur you vacuumed up, there are a lot of weird smells floating through the air right now. Make your home less musty with a fresh scent.
Spray some Febreze, plug in the Glade, break out the essential oil diffuser, or light your favorite candle. The welcoming aroma will trick your guest into thinking your place smells (and looks) this good all the time.
While you were cleaning your home in a hurry, you may have found some things you love but don’t need in your home right now. Instead of putting them back after your guest leaves, only for the items to take up unnecessary space in your home, schedule a MakeSpace pickup.
We’ll pick up your stuff and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll also create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you never forget what you have in storage.
That’s not all.
When you want something back, you won’t have to spend hours rifling through a bunch of boxes in a storage unit. Just log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.
Last-minute visits from your family will always be stressful. But with MakeSpace, storage never is.
We know, we know. You’ve been in hibernation all winter. And the fact that it’s still chilly outside, coupled with the fact that there’s only so much daylight, means you may have been unmotivated to clean your space.
Sometimes clutter can feel cozy … until it starts to drive you crazy.
So, we made this handy astrological cleaning guide to bring some fun to spring cleaning. Read below to find out what your zodiac sign says about your spring cleaning habits.
You’re a bit of a wild card, Aquarius. Sometimes you might even fall into bad habits and patterns (maybe like leaving your dishes dirty for far too long, or keeping a messy desk). And with winter blues in the mix, that can spell trouble.
But here’s the good news:
You’re also inventive and you’ve got big ideas. So this spring, get crafty with DIY projects.
Take inventory of all the stuff you have but don’t use, and all the stuff you need but don’t have, and see if there’s an overlap somewhere. Your logic, practicality, and intelligence will lead you into spring feeling resourceful and crafty.
Plus, you can be eccentric, so make these projects (and your home) something unique and special to you. And then invite all your friends over for a huge party in your newly cleaned and organized space, because we know how much you love a good party.
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Commanding and magnetic, Aries know how to get stuff done. You’re also down to dip into uncharted waters. Take that passion and put it to good use: Try new cleaning techniques you’ve never used before and clean parts of your home you never knew were there.
When’s the last time you looked under your sink?
Find a place that’s gathering dust and start there.Additionally, because you’re great at making things happen, gather all your friends and have a stuff swap! It’s basically like a party where you bring things, like appliances, small furniture, and clothing you no longer use, and swap it for things you do have use for.
Additionally, because you’re great at making things happen, gather all your friends and have a stuff swap! It’s basically like a party where you bring things, like appliances, small furniture, and clothing you no longer use, and swap it for things you do have use for. And if you still have leftovers, you can always have a yard sale.
And if you still have leftovers, you can always have a yard sale.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
This is your time, Taurus! Long gone are the days of laying in bed, eating snacks, and watching The Bachelor (unfortunately).
Perhaps it’s time to wash those sheets, make the bed, and rearrange your furniture. Spring is a perfect time to shake up the layout of your space. After all, you were just in hibernation, and if there’s one thing you love, it’s comfort.
Make your space even more comfortable by following these 9 easy feng shui tips and clearing out all that stagnant energy that’s been hanging around since November.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Geminis are ruled by Mercury, meaning they’re ultra creative and quick-thinking. When you start brainstorming on a project, the ideas flow like nobody’s business. But because your mind is going so fast, sometimes there’s no follow-through.
Spring cleaning is a great time to get honest with your belongings, especially if you’re feeling cramped.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
I’m just going to skip right to it: If you’re a Leo, you should probably get real with the size of your wardrobe.
Leos are ambitious, fiery, and love to be in the spotlight. So it’s not uncommon for them to acquire a sizeable amount of clothes (and makeup) to make sure they’re presenting as their most polished, ideal selves.
Let’s be real: You’re kind of a perfectionist. You like things to be a certain way, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s super helpful when you have an apartment that hasn’t seen a bottle of Windex in a while.
You know, because you’ve been busy working on creative endeavors or making a perfect schedule for your life. And that’s okay! But don’t let your perfectionism get in the way of diving into that much-needed spring cleaning.
Sure, you might feel the urge to gather all the right cleaning products. Or you might wait until you can schedule “clean entire house” into your calendar. However, waiting until everything is perfect can stop you from just doing it. Sometimes it’s better to simply let go and jump in.
Justice and order-loving, Libras have a great moral compass, and a great eye for design and beauty. Because spring = nature unleashing its beauty on the world, why not bring some of that inside your home?
Adding some plants to your space is a surefire way to bring life back into it after a long winter.
If you’re feeling stagnant and bored with your place, it might be because you haven’t changed it up in a while. Aesthetics change. It happens. So along with giving everything a nice deep clean, make sure your furniture is up to par with your keen eye.
Change it up. Either sell the things you no longer like, or put them in storage for a rainy day. Or, giving them a new paint job might just do the trick.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
You’re a charmer, for sure, and you’ve just got a certain way of doing things that screams “power.” You know how to get something done, and you’re determined enough to do it. And the fact that you can be a little secretive means having your space how you want it is important to you.
Your spring cleaning plan of action?
Challenge yourself to shake up your place by using the KonMari Method of organizing. It might be a little different than the way you’re used to organizing your stuff. But it’ll challenge you to view your space and belongings in a different way, shake up some attachments you have with your stuff, and find even more comfort in your home.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Sagittarians are nothing if not fiery and curious. Philosophical yet free-spirited, you’re not really one to be tied down. Make the most out of these traits by organizing a yard sale.
Get real with yourself about what’s necessary to hang on to and what you can let go of. Once you’ve done inventory and figured out the day, have fun with it.
After all, Sagittarians can be real talkers, so take advantage of the strangers picking through your stuff and turn it into somewhat of a party. A party that leads to taking yourself out to dinner or dancing with all that cash you’ll earn.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
Much like Sagittarians, Capricorns are philosophical and intellectual. They’re ambitious, practical, and expert organizers. Get ready Capricorn, you’ll enjoy this spring cleaning task: Go crazy with organizing.
Knowing you, you probably already have a setup. Is it still working for you? Are there things you could add to help with your organization? Are all your organizing containers clean and functioning properly?
Take stock, craft a new game plan for how to best organize your space, and then roll up to The Container Store like a kid in a candy store.
And because we know how hard you work, treat yourself after putting in some time deep cleaning your space. Rewarding yourself for your hard work makes it all the more sweet.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
As a Pisces, you’ve got a big heart, but like to keep a low profile. Aaand sometimes your big heart gets attached to objects too, not just people. You’ve been known to acquire perhaps one too many vintage lamps or band t-shirts because they were just too good to pass up.
At the same time, you’re also compassionate, charitable, and you look out for those you love. Put all of those qualities to good use by rounding up all the furniture, gadgets, and clothing you no longer wear and donating them to charities.
Want to make an even bigger impact?
Offer to gather your friends’ gently-used items too.
Pro Tip: Need to make a donation and store some things?
Next time you’re packing up your MakeSpace bins, toss whatever you’d like to donate into our blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag and hand it to us. We’ll then take your donation to a local Goodwill — for free!
Here’s another way MakeSpace makes your life easier:
When you store your belongings with us, we eliminate the need to rent a car, drive that car to a storage unit way across town, lug your stuff up the stairs, and then do it all again when you need to grab any of it.
We also provide our durable storage bins and wardrobe boxes, and we do the heavy lifting. That means more time for you to plan that yard sale, or go shopping for the organizer of your dreams.
So schedule a MakeSpace pickup today. And cross off “visit storage unit” from your spring cleaning checklist — forever.
This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.
The start of spring means it’s time to crack open a bottle of rosé, don the jean shorts you haven’t seen since September, and — oh, yeah — break out your cleaning products.
After three months of lounging around your house watching Netflix and cuddling your cat, some spring cleaning is in order. And we’re not just talking about decluttering. We’re talking about finally washing and scrubbing all the nitty-gritty, easy-to-overlook areas of your home.
So grab a pair of gloves, start your favorite podcast, and read on for 26 dazzling deep cleaning tips, tricks, and hacksthat’ll make your home look brand-spanking new.
Remove the dust from your window blinds using an old tube sock dipped in a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water. Twist the blinds the other direction and repeat.
2. Wash your bedding and mattress.
Assuming you already wash your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets regularly, now’s the time to go a bit further and wash your duvet, bedskirt, and even your mattress. (Here’s the full scoop on how to clean and store your bedding).
To wash your mattress, use the nozzle from your vacuum to suck up dust, dirt, and hair particles. Then use an upholstery cleaner to remove stains and odors.
You can also use baking soda sprinkled with a few drops of essential oil. Let it sit for an hour then vacuum it off.
Give your kitchen cabinets new life with a quick clean. Just use a fresh dish brush and soap (or go natural with one part vegetable oil and two parts baking soda) to get rid of food stains and fingerprints.
Spray your stain with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water. Place a wet rag over the stain, set your iron to “steam,” and iron on top of the rag for about 30 seconds to thoroughly remove it.
13. Wash your shower curtain and liner.
To get rid of stains, soap scum, and mildew, toss your shower curtain and liner (yep, even if it’s plastic) in the washing machine alongside a few bath towels to prevent wrinkling.
Pour in your regular detergent and one cup of baking soda, then wash on warm. Hang ‘em up to dry.
14. Wipe down your shower walls with vinegar and dish soap.
Mix one part dish soap with one part vinegar to scrub your shower walls and get that grimy grout sparkling white. Clean it right before you shower so you can rinse everything off easily.
15. Brush your faucet with a toothbrush, baking soda, and water.
If your sink and shower faucets are stained with hard mineral deposits and grime, sprinkle a little baking soda on an old toothbrush, add water, and scrub away until they look brand new.
Now’s a good time to thoroughly vacuum your closet floor. Especially if it’s accumulated a lot of dust, dirt, and strands of hair from your clothes, not to mention all the bacteria your shoes bring in.
Don’t have carpet?
Take things further by mopping your closet floor with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. When you’re done, rub the floor in a circular motion with a soft cloth.
17. Clean your shelves with all-purpose cleaner and a damp rag.
Take out all your clothes and wipe down your shelves with all-purpose cleaner and a damp rag.
Tedious? Yes. Worth it not to have a thick layer of dust coating all your jeans and T-shirts? Also yes.
“Going green” isn’t reserved solely for your free-spirited aunt who lives off-the-grid in an Ecocapsule in Portland. It’s now everyone’s responsibility to help keep our environment in as good of condition as it can possibly be.
Being a friend to Mother Nature is easy, and one of the best ways to do so is by employing more eco-friendly cleaning habits. Green cleaning can lessen water and air pollution, reducing health problems like allergies, headaches, nausea, skin irritation, and respiratory issues.
You can also live out your dream of being one of Captain Planet’s Planeteers as you slow down the progression of climate change and ozone depletion. The power is yours!
Turns out, it’s easy being green. And to make your whole home sustainable, the best place to start is with your cleaning products.
Whether you buy a commercial cleaner or make your own, you’ll have the added peace of mind of knowing exactly what ingredients are working for you as well as for the environment. These 20 green cleaning tips and tricks for every room in your home will give you a head start.
A one-product-cleans-all solution makes tidying up one of the most-used rooms in your home easy.
When it’s all-natural? That’s just a no-brainer.
1. Use a mild but effective cleanser.
Bon Ami Powder Cleanser uses feldspar and limestone as gentle abrasives and combines them with cleaning agents from renewable sources like corn and coconut oils.
Every stage of meal prep can be safely washed away as Bon Ami is great for countertops, oven doors, stovetops, and even stainless steel appliances.
2. Wash dishes with Biobased ingredients.
Because the least appetizing thing found in a kitchen is dried-on food, dish soap that gets your plates and pots thoroughly clean is a must. However, dyes and synthetic fragrances can take away from the appeal.
Find a plant-based formula like Seventh Generation Dish Soap ASAP. It’s a USDA Certified Biobased product that makes your glasses sparkle without the fake stuff.
Plus, the bottle is made of 100% recycled plastic, which is 100% awesome.
3. Lose the paper products.
Did you know that to make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted?
You may not be the Lorax, but you can still speak for the trees!
Store clean towels under the sink, or display them in a basket on your counter, so they’re just as easy to grab as their paper friends.
Hang soiled towels to dry, and then throw them in with your regular laundry.
Compile a collection of fabric scraps, tattered socks, old cloth napkins, etc., for the messes you’d rather not have hanging around even after they’re cleaned up. Allocate these rags for the truly gross jobs that you want to wipe away and promptly throw out.
4. Replace chemicals with all-natural ingredients.
Butoxydiglycol. Say that fives times fast. That’s about as far as we’ll go with anything butoxydiglycol related because it can cause some serious health issues. And yet, it’s present in many bathroom cleaners to help dissolve residue such as grease or soap scum.
Instead, turn to lactic acid and decyl glucoside (from corn starch). They’re naturally derived, do the exact same thing, and are considerably easier to pronounce. Eco-friendly products like Method Bathroom Cleaner utilize these ingredients to eliminate and prevent soap scum and lime deposits.
5. Use a homemade cleaner for the toilet.
Everyone’s favorite part of cleaning the bathroom is the toilet, right? No?
Bring the water and vinegar to a boil. Add the Borax and dissolve it completely. Let it cool, then add the lemon essential oil. Pour the entire mixture right into your toilet bowl. Scrub the sides of the bowl with a toilet brush.
Let everything sit for a few hours or overnight, scrub the bowl with the toilet brush one more time, then flush.
It’s possible to get clothes clean (like, really clean) with oxygen bleach and enzymatic stain lifters. We know this because products like Biokleen Laundry Powder have proven it.
All of the irritants in traditional laundry detergent are absent, so towels and T-shirts are as cuddly and comfortable as they’re supposed to be.
7. Make your own eco-friendly laundry detergent.
If you’re particularly sensitive — and not just “Yes, I’m still inconsolable from the season finale of This Is Us! What happened with Jack?!” sensitive — mixing up your own laundry detergent is incredibly easy and can save you nearly $70 a year.
Castile soap and baking soda work together to achieve a true clean. And salt fights stains naturally while keeping colors from fading.
Your bedroom is a refuge. But it’s hardly a haven for relaxation when it may be overrun by dust mites, allergens, and the remnants of whatever you and your pet unknowingly brought into your home that day.
While you vacuum regularly-ish and dust your furniture every now and then, the less obvious problems are the microscopic irritants that could disrupt your sleep.
8. Breathe easier with an air purifier.
To help clean the air overall, consider using an air purifier with filters made with polypropylene, a synthetic plastic that ultimately breaks down into carbon dioxide and water.
The Blueair Classic 205 air purifier features a filter made with this antibacterial material, so bacteria and mold from the air are captured but never produced by the filter itself.
9. Wash your pillows with hot water and a mild detergent.
Dust mites and dead skin cells are just plain rude for taking up considerable bed space and not even offering to pay rent. Get rid of these freeloaders by regularly washing their favorite hangout: your pillows.
Fill a sink or washing machine with hot water. The hotter the water the better, as this will kill dust mites without the need for harsh chemicals like bleach.
Now add a mild detergent followed by the pillows (minus any pillow protectors). Then manually agitate for a few minutes or let your washing machine do its thing.
Rinse thoroughly, and press excess water out of the pillow. Just be sure not to wring or twist the pillow (especially if it’s feather-filled) as doing so will ruin its comfy shape.
Hang to dry, or tumble dry on a low setting. Finally, fluff to reshape, and rest easy.
Annie B. from The True Find also recommends considering a pillow made of natural materials such as wool, down, kapok, and buckwheat. These “active” fibers are antibacterial, fighting off contamination from the get-go. Many are also hypoallergenic, which allows for more restful sleep.
The living room is the room that does it all, so you need things that clean it all. You know how to organize your home, but what else can you do to make the space spotless?
10. Give dryer sheets another chance.
Start with a good, old-fashioned recycling life hack: Reuse dryer sheets.
If you’ve yet to make the jump to using homemade dryer sheets, you’ll still feel good about giving the store-bought ones a second life. Their soft texture is perfect for wiping dust away from delicate surfaces like TVs and computer monitors — without scratching them.
11. Naturally clean and shine floors.
Hardwood floors can get beat up and grimey in high-traffic areas like the living room, but, thanks to Natural Living Ideas, restoring their gleam is easy with a few ingredients you likely already have on hand:
Combine equal parts hot water and vinegar, adding olive or lemon oil for a little shine. Mop as usual, and enjoy the brief period of clean before someone tracks dirty boots across the room.
12. Freshen the air with real scents.
Many commercial air fresheners will simply put “fragrance” on their ingredients list to let you know what’s making up the scent you’re enjoying. That’s it. Just “fragrance.”
Wouldn’t you rather be able to identify what scent is making the room so fragrant? Same.
Cons: You also have pests, must, and dust that can kind of spoil the convenience.
Luckily, all it takes to overcome these obstacles and recapture the advantages of these spaces are a few essential oils, some vinegar, and water.
13. Scare spiders out of the attic with citronella oil.
Add a couple of drops of citronella essential oil to your air filters. Spiders can’t stand the smell of citronella and will avoid areas with this scent.
14. Eliminate mice from your garage with peppermint.
Unlike your grandparents, mice find the scent of peppermint overwhelming and offensive. So add 20-30 drops of peppermint essential oil to a few cotton balls and lay them strategically around your home’s rodent-prone areas, especially around your garage.
Refresh every week or so, or whenever your grandparents visit.
Pour 1 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and 10-15 drops lemon essential oil into a spray bottle. Spray on dusty old furniture or floors and wipe away with a dry rag or mop.
16. Remove mustiness, mildew, and mold from the basement with essential oils.
Essential oils are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial, so diffusing them will help purify the air in a musty basement. Just make sure you’re ventilating the basement well or running a dehumidifier to remove any additional moisture.
Already got a mold problem?
Follow this green tip from Pure Home and Body and clean it up on contact with a mixture of ½ gallon of water, ⅓ cup of vinegar, and 10-15 drops of your favorite, yep, essential oil. (Cedarwood, cypress, and frankincense essential oils are particularly effective.)
Wipe on surfaces with a clean cloth, and allow it to sit for a minute before wiping off.
Garden and Patio
Grow a garden to be one with nature. Grow a garden to be completely sure of where your produce comes from. Grow a garden for the health benefits. Grow a garden, but …
17. Eliminate bugs only, not the whole garden.
Don’t waste all of this growth with bug repellents and fertilizers that could be doing more harm than good to both the environment and your health. In fact, you don’t even need a drop of chemical pesticide to eradicate and prevent insects.
All you need is Dr. Earth Vegetable Garden Insect Killer. The spray is a combination of natural ingredients like rosemary oil, sesame oil, peppermint oil, thyme oil, cinnamon oil, and garlic oil that does exactly what its name says.
Neem oil, a gum extracted from the evergreen tree, is another great all-purpose pesticide to keep in your all-natural arsenal. Found at most health food stores, simply combine 2 teaspoons of neem oil with 2 cups water in a spray bottle and spray the problem away.
18. Pour one out for healthy plants.
Pro Tip: Beer + your garden might be the only time something becomes a better version of itself after consuming alcohol.
Beer activates enzymes in soil that help release nutrients to make plants grow stronger, healthier, and better equipped to nip insect problems in the bud.
Freshly opened, day-old, craft, or domestic, any brew works.
19. Spray away aphids.
Next up we have aphids — small, soft-bodied insects with long slender mouthparts that they use to puncture the surface of leaves and stems and suck out sap and other fluids.
This causes leaves to dry, curl, and eventually drop, stunting growth while leaving behind a dark fungus. Aphids can also transmit viruses in susceptible vegetables like squash, pumpkin, melon, cucumber, lettuce, and beets.
Not cool, aphids.
To control these little nuisances, start by pruning any stems or branches where you’ve noticed them. Then, try a homemade garlic oil spray like My Little Garden in Japan’s version, which includes water, garlic, liquid dish soap, onion, and mineral oil.
Spray around your garden every few days until you notice them start to disappear. Aphids dislike plants with strong scents, so when surrounded by such a powerful odor, they’ll vacate the area stat.
The Ultimate Green Cleaning Trick for Every Room in Your Home
You’ve out-washed and out-disinfected both Mr. Clean and the Brawny Man combined (safely, too). In your efforts to be environmentally friendly and eliminate unnecessary chemicals from your cleaning products, you might have decided to also eliminate things you don’t need in your home right now.
If you need medical advice, you ring your doc. Digging a new ’do? Swing by the salon. But if your closet feels cramped, your fridge smells funky, and your tiles look terrifying … Who you gonna call? Grout busters?
Turns out, just like fixing back pain and botched bangs, effective deep cleaning is a lesson best gleaned from the pros. That’s why we’ve reached out to the best in the biz for the ultimate spring cleaning tips, tricks, and straight up hacks for every room in your home. So you can literally clean like it’s your job.
If there’s a funky smell permeating your plates, run a normal cycle with detergent plus two cups of vinegar added to the base.
8. Freshen up your fridge with a natural mix.
Martha Stewart recommends combining two tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of hot water. Dip a sponge in the mix, and wipe your fridge’s interior. Wipe the surfaces again with a separate damp cloth, and dry with a towel.
Warning: Steer clear of soap and detergents, which leave odors that food might absorb.
Place them in your tub and cover them with hot water. Add a half-cup of vinegar and ¾ cup of dish wash, let the racks soak for two hours, and then rinse them off. Scrub any remaining bits with a brush.
11. Sprinkle this one ingredient to clean your stove top.
Unplug cooled coils and wipe them down with a wet cloth or sponge, says Maids by Trade. To get rid of grease buildup, coat with baking soda and wipe with a wet cloth.
Wish there was an easy way to keep drip pans clean for future use?
Cover them snugly with aluminum foil.
12. Rejuvinate your cabinets with simple ingredients you already own.
To remove grease, Frugally Blonde mixes a paste of 1 tablespoon baking soda, ½ tablespoon dish soap, and ½ tablespoon water.
To clean smudges from glass-front enclosures, wipe them with a microfiber cloth and Windex.
13. The secret to getting gunk out of your coffeemaker is…
According to Saudia Davis, founder and CEO of Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning, here’s the secret combo for clearing out any oily residue or hard-water deposits your coffeemaker has accumulated over the years:
A 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Yep, that’s it.
“Halfway through the cycle, turn it off for at least 30 minutes — allowing the mixture to steam-clean your machine — before turning it back on to finish,” she says. Finish with two or three cycles of only water.
14. Use this everyday product to revive your rugs.
Spill booze on your berber?
Resist the urge to scrub, warns Joseph from Maid Sailors. “The best way to get out a stain in any rug, especially when it’s fresh, is to simply dab it,” he says. This pulls up any excess material that hasn’t yet settled.
Then apply your secret weapon: Shaving cream.
Apply the cream directly to the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, then do another dab. Spray the stain with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Finally, wipe it dry, like this:
15. Clear windows with this Windex alternative.
Wash your windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaking. And forget traditional glass cleaner – NYC and Chicago cleaning service MyClean recommends mixing 8 parts water to 1 part vinegar for a DIY solution. Then wipe the panes down with a coffee filter or newspaper.
Sounds insane, but it works.
16. Quickly wipe your blinds dry.
Since most of what you’ll find on blinds is dust, Merry Maids advises keeping the cleaning process dry.
Use your handy microfiber cloth to wipe the convex side of your blinds from top to bottom. Then turn the rod and repeat on the other side.
Or, cut your cleaning time in half by attaching a clean rag to tongs, á la A Cultivated Nest. Clamp the tongs on a blind to clean both sides of it at the same time.
Last but not least, vacuum any spilled dust.
17. Take proper care of your hardwood floors.
First you’ll need to vacuum or dust, says TIDY. Next, fill a bucket with warm water and add ¼ cup of either white vinegar or all-purpose cleaner. Dip your microfiber towel in the solution, wring it out, and attach it to a mop handle.
Important: Take special care not to get your floor too wet while cleaning. And be sure to wipe away any excess water when you’re done.
18. Freshen up your carpet’s look – and smell.
No carpet powder? No problem. According to King of Maids, you can simply sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum after at least 30 minutes. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for an extra fresh touch.
For particularly stubborn stains, blot the area with club soda on a cloth, then spray it with a 1:1 mix of water and white vinegar. Rinse with just water, and use your hands to readjust the carpet hairs in their natural direction. Dry with a paper towel.
19. Use this awesome guide to declutter your closet.
Put down- and fiber pillows in the wash on a warm, gentle cycle. Follow with an extra rinse to get all the detergent out, and tumble dry low with clean tennis balls to restore your pillows’ fluffiness.
Heads up: Foam pillows require gentle hand washing with mild detergent.
On the other hand, an older shower curtain requires more TLC. Hand wash it under warm water with a microfiber cloth and baking soda. You can also put it in the wash with either vinegar, baking soda, or a gentle detergent.
Emphasis on the “or,” unless you want your washing machine to erupt like a volcano.
24. Try this crazy simple hack to unclog your shower head.
Your shower head works hard to keep you so fresh and so clean. Return the favor.
Kim from A Real-Life Housewife pours distilled white vinegar in a plastic bag and fastens it to the shower head with a rubber band. She advises letting it soak for an hour before wiping clean with a wet cloth.
25. Citrify your bathtub.
For the ultimate green clean, Davis of Greenhouse Eco Cleaning suggests pairing grapefruit with salt.
“After wetting down your tub,” she instructs, “slice the grapefruit in half, sprinkle with salt [Davis recommends coarse kosher salt], and scrub the grapefruit around your tub.” Margaritas optional.
26. Bon Ami + Dish Soap = Immaculate Toilet
If you scrub your toilet regularly, just some all-purpose cleaner will suffice, according to King of Maids.
Got a bit of buildup?
Morenberg of Ms. Green-Clean recommends a “little dish cleaning liquid,” alongside a dash of non-abrasive, eco-friendly cleaner like Bon Ami.
27. Safely clean grout with these two kitchen staples.
Joseph from Maid Sailors shares his trusty, five-step process for cleaning grout like a boss:
Sprinkle some baking soda on the grout, taking care to cover all affected areas.
Wipe away excess powder.
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and spritz the powdered part of the grout.
Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes, but not for too long, or else the grime will settle back in.
Scrub with an old toothbrush.
“It’ll get messy,” warns Joseph, so have some water on hand. But not too much water, since you want the solution to stay gritty for easy scrubbing.
Wipe up, vacuum any leftover powder, and clean the area as usual.
28. Clean mold the same way you clean cuts.
“Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water,” says Davis of Greenhouse Eco Cleaning. (Bonus: Add a few drops of castile soap to make it a multipurpose cleaner as well.)
“Wipe the mixture on mold, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, scrub the area to remove all mold and stains, and wipe down the surface.”
Now that the mold is gone, how do you prevent it from growing in the future?
Easy: Spray the surface with a mixture of 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 cups of water.
29. Eliminate musty mildew funk with your favorite natural face wash
Joseph from Maid Sailors shared a natural anti-odor solution:
Simply mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water, pour it in a spray bottle, spray the affected area, and let it dry.
After a few days, the smell will vanish.
30. Revamp your washing machine with a little TLC.
Tend to the door of the machine first, instructs Martha Stewart. Put some rubber gloves on and make a solution that’s one cup chlorine bleach to two cups of warm water. Wipe down the door’s seal, especially the lower portion, using your mix and a soft cloth.
Then move on to cleaning the inside. All you have to do is fill the bleach dispenser with bleach and run the machine on the hot-water cycle.
Can’t stand the smell of bleach and/or prefer a natural alternative?
Use, you guessed it, vinegar. But only vinegar! Because mixing vinegar and bleach creates toxic fumes.
31. De-lint the dryer in a flash with this cheap tool.
According to Ms. Stewart, you can easily eliminate residual dust and lint in your dryer with just one cheap tool: a vacuum crevice tool or dryer vent brush, like this one from Home Depot.
32. Clean your iron like Salt Bae.
Unplug and make sure the iron is totally cooled, warns Maids by Trade. Then, place wax paper or a paper towel on a flat surface and sprinkle a tablespoon of coarse salt on top. Just like this:
Turn the iron on and crank it to the highest setting, but turn off the steam. Lightly press the iron down on the salted paper, moving it back and forth a few times until the sole plate is clean. Unplug and let cool.
33. Spot check your desk for rings.
Keep an eye out for coffee and beverage rings, advises David Salsone, director of operations for the office-cleaning experts at Managed by Q. Wipe those spots down with an all-purpose cleaning solution and a rag.
34. Use a DIY solution to clean your computer screen.
Remember the magic mix you used on your coffee cleaner? The one that was just water and white vinegar?
Turns out, it works for cleaning your computer, too. Spray and wipe down with your microfiber BFF for a streak-free shine.
All done? Congrats! There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a deeply-cleaned home.
Except, of course, a deeply-cleaned, spacious home. So, MakeSpace for spring!
Schedule a MakeSpace pickup and pack your space-eating skis, snowboard, and bulky winter gear. We’ll transport everything to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility and create an online photo catalog of each item, so you never forget what you packed.
When you need something back from storage, simply log into your MakeSpace account, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it straight to you.
There comes a time in everyone’s life where they just can’t stand to have those boxes of stuff taking up any more space in their closets, garages, and maybe even the space beneath their beds. You’re probably familiar with that feeling too.
We can’t count the number of times we’ve opened up a dusty box of memories determined to free up some space, just to find those special, long-forgotten objects.
But at some point, you either need to face the memories and determine a new life for them, or get right with the fact that they’re going to keep taking up space, rent-free in your home.
If you’re ready to do the former, read along. We’ve got nine tips on how to store your not-so-easy-to-store sentimental items.
1. Learn to let go of sentimental items you don’t need.
A good rule in general and the first step in storing sentimental items is: letting go.
We’re not saying it’s easy, but it’s necessary.
Once you’ve decided to take a look through special belongings, take a deep breath before you dive in. Make sure you’re in the right mindset and ready to let go. Some things might bring up difficult memories, and that’s okay.
Remember: You are not your stuff!
When sorting through sentimental items, some things you’ll immediately see and think, “Why did I hang onto this for so long?” Other things you’ll come across might take you a moment to figure out if you’re ready to let go.
For each item, ask yourself:
Why am I holding onto this? Does it, as Marie Kondo would say, spark joy?
If it conjures up memories, could I still remember it without the object?
Does this object still have life? Could someone else get something out of it?
Does someone else I know need it more?
If I had an image of it, would that be enough?
Can I repurpose it into something useful?
We find it’s easiest to separate things into three piles:
Keep (use sparingly)
Unsure, for things you need another moment to think about
Once you’ve sorted your sentimental items into categories, it’s time to figure out the best way to either give them new life, or send them on their way.
2. Give sentimental objects to friends.
This is a win-win situation: You get more space in your home, and your friends save money on stuff they were going to buy anyway. Baby toys, baby clothes, band t-shirts from exes, artwork, and furniture are just a few examples of sentimental objects that can easily be given new life.
Even though you might have sentimental attachment to an armchair doesn’t mean your friend does. And if your friend is moving into a new place, giving him/her your sentimental items (as long as they still have some life left) is good for both of you.
This is especially true for baby stuff. Although you might want to hang on to some things, like one specific toy or a special outfit, a friend with a new baby could benefit from hardly-used, second-hand clothing.
Also, strollers. Basically anything baby related that babies grow out of fast and hardly use, you might want to consider letting go of.
If you’re ready to give, but your friends don’t really need anything, donating is another great option.
3. Donate used items to charities.
You can donate clothing, furniture, dinnerware, and a whole lot more to charities and other organizations that help people in need.
If you have stuff that’s too hard to keep emotionally, someone who doesn’t have that attachment will be able to use it in a practical way.
And it might make the process of letting go easier if you know someone will be benefiting from getting your lightly-used stuff inexpensively or for free.
Pro Tip:We partner with Goodwill. So the next time you’re handing over MakeSpace bins and other items for us to store, fill up the shiny blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag with anything you’d like to donate. We’ll then drop off your donation to a local Goodwill — at no extra cost to you.
4. Ceremoniously trash unwanted stuff.
Sometimes we hang onto sentimental things that are sentimental in a bad way.
Maybe you’re hanging onto love letters from your 9th grade boyfriend, like I am. Maybe you can’t let go of the paintings your partner made for you, or the sheet music of the song he/she wrote you, or perhaps a burger wrapper from your very first date.
Printed photos that are too hard to keep? Journal entries from a tough breakup? Cards from past Valentine’s Days?
Ceremoniously trash them. But do it safely. We definitely don’t condone lighting anything on fire … definitely not outside, in a controlled, well-ventilated area …
Make whatever you do into a sort of ritual. Bring all your unwanted love stuff to a dumpster, close your eyes, tell your ex you finally release his/her energy, and then dump it.
You can even bring friends and make a party out of it. You’ll feel a lot better, and that stuff won’t be taking up any more space.
5. Prioritize the items you do keep, and decide where to put them.
Okay, as mentioned before, no one said this would be easy. Sometimes you just can’t make up your mind on whether or not you want to hang on to an item .
Instead of just shoving everything back into its box and letting it lie dormant for another five years, prioritize.
If you need to keep everything, figure out what you want displayed, what can go in hiding, and what can go in more long-term storage.
Ask yourself the hard questions like: Do I need all these Mickey Mouse sculptures my grandma gave me displayed on the coffee table?
Reducing clutter on surfaces, in cabinets, and on walls can be a big step.
6. Take photos of sentimental objects to preserve their memories.
If you feel like you need the object to remember the moment, but you just don’t have the space anymore, take photos! (You can even take photos of photos.)
Just make sure you store the photos somewhere secure, and back them up too. It’s best to keep them on two different hard drives and somewhere in the cloud, to make sure all your bases are covered.
Now you can take a trip down memory lane whenever you want without sacrificing space in your home to do it.
7. Reach out to the person who gave the item to you.
Another option, if you feel more attached to a memory rather than an object, is to reach out to that person. Of course, sometimes you’re unable to. But if you are able to, emailing or calling the person with whom you shared that special memory can be better than just hanging on to the object itself.
We’re not saying this is the easiest option, but it might be the most cathartic. Once you’ve reached out to the person and taken a photo of the object, let go of that object.
8. Breathe new life into old sentimental things.
Aside from the “ceremoniously trash stuff” tip, this might be the most fun option.
If you’re artistically or DIY-inclined, and don’t feel precious about the sentimental object in question, turn it into something new.
Press some flowers from your significant other. Turn that old love letter into a collage. Build a mixed media sculpture out of your old stuffed animals. If you have some plates your ex gave you that you absolutely hate, take a hammer to them and make them into something you do love.
Let your imagination go wild on this one. It might even feel therapeutic.
9. Let MakeSpace store the stuff you love but don’t need in your home right now.
We get it, sometimes you just can’t bear to part with that special item. If you know you want to hang onto it, but you can’t stand it taking up any more space in your home, we might know someone who can help.
Us, we mean us.
We’ve got you covered with those special items you just can’t bear to let go of. We make it easy to store your stuff by supplying the durable bins, the heavy lifting, and the driving.
Next, schedule a MakeSpace pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us. It’s self-storage if self-storage could be self-less, painless, easy, and any other positive adjective you can possibly think of.
And with all the time you save from not buying boxes to pack, not driving to a self-storage unit, and not heading back when you need something, you’ll have more time to call the person all those sentimental items remind you of. While looking at photos of said sentimental items because we can also create an online catalog of everything you have in storage.
This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR
You know spring is on its way when the weather becomes milder and buds are forming on trees and bushes. You’ll also know spring is near because the urge will probably hit you to clean, refresh, and renew your home.
There are a number of ways to approach the annual indoor spring cleaning project that can make it a less onerous event. Concentrate on cleaning a few of the more obvious parts of your home that both you and your guests will notice.
When guests are sitting in your living room, sometimes they can’t help but look down at your carpeting. Yes, you do vacuum your rugs, hopefully on a weekly basis. But they need some extra special care after enduring a winter of dirt and germs.
First, rent a rug shampooer from a local home improvement shop. Then clean a small, out-of-the-way area of the carpet to be sure you know how to work the machine properly.
Instead of moving every piece of furniture out of the room you’re cleaning, move each piece just enough to clean beneath it. Now place a square of wax paper under each leg and position the furniture back where it belongs. The wax paper will protect the carpet and prevent your furniture’s legs from getting wet.
Lastly, air out the room by opening the windows so the rug will dry more quickly.
If you have area rugs, shake them outdoors, then hang each one over a railing and beat it with a stick, such as a broom handle. Air them out for while to get rid of odors. Some area rugs can be tossed in a washing machine or dry-cleaned.
The result: Your carpets will be dirt-free and smelling fresh for the coming months.
2. Wash Your Walls, Cabinets, and Woodwork
You may not notice right away, but your walls, baseboards, and woodwork could all use a fresh cleaning after a year of dust, cooking smoke, and grease filling the areas of your home. With a sponge or a sponge mop and a few drops of dishwashing detergent, wash those surfaces. Dry with a clean cloth when done.
The difference should be obvious, especially when you squeeze out your sponge or mop in a separate bucket of water and see the dirt changing its color to gray.
3. Clean Your Windows
Windows need a thorough cleaning by the time spring rolls around. Getting your windows shiny and brilliant doesn’t have to involve a lot of effort.
Take down any window treatments, if convenient, to get full access to windows. Brush away any loose dirt and spider webs that have collected on each window sill and frame, as well as the tracks that the window moves up and down on.
As a heads up, you can skip removing the window’s screens. Simply vacuum them with your vacuum’s brush attachment, working from the top down and side-to-side.
For modern tilt-in windows, spray liquid glass cleaner on the inside panes. Wipe horizontally with a lint-free cloth until dry. Now tilt the window in to clean the outside panes, this time moving the cloth from the top down, vertically. Wiping in two different directions lets you see which panes you need to go over again when you’ve finished.
For double-hung windows, just slide the bottom part of the window up far enough so you can get your arm through it to clean the outside panes. Spray and wipe down as much as you can. Close the window, then get to the rest of the outside panes by pulling down the top part of the window about 8 inches or so to get your arm through.
If you have windows that don’t open easily or at all, such as skylights or casement windows, simply clean the inside and spray the outside panes with an outdoor hose.
If you have windows that don’t open easily or at all, such as skylights or casement windows, simply clean the inside and spray the outside panes with an outdoor hose.
4. Clean Your Window Treatments
Now that your windows are clear and sparkling, think about cleaning those window treatments before putting them back up.
Pleated honeycomb shades can be easily vacuumed to remove dust and dirt. Use your vacuum’s long bristle attachment to do the job quickly.
Clean blinds while the slats are facing downward. You can run a microfiber cloth along the slats, beginning at the top and dusting left to right. Then reverse the slats so they are facing upwards and repeat the process.
Depending upon the material of your draperies or curtains, you can either wash them by hand or in the washing machine, or you may be able to steam-clean them. Some materials may require a professional dry cleaning.
Enjoy Your Home
Now that you’re done with four of the biggest spring cleaning tasks, it’s time to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Light will now stream into your rooms through clear windows. If there’s too much sunshine heating up your home, draw those newly cleaned draperies to cool things off.
You can now invite company into your home and not have to worry about carpet stains or odors, and your cabinets and walls are free of dust and grime. It just takes a few hours of your time once a year to spruce up your home for the season.
This article was written by King of Maids, a platform that makes it super easy for you to book a professional home cleaning.