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April 11, 2011

5 Easy Steps for Spring Cleaning

A guest post by Lisa Lelas, professional organizer and author of Simple Steps: 10 Weeks to Getting Control of Your Life.

It may not completely ‘feel’ like Spring just yet, but there are plenty of things you can already be doing to get a jump on clearing out and cleaning up your home…so that when nicer weather arrives, you’ll have more time to get out and enjoy it!

Step #1: Place new door mats at all entrances to your home! When was the last time you changed your old, dusty door mat? If it’s been more than a couple of years, chances are, it is filled to capacity with dirt and dust and no longer doing the job it’s supposed to do. Consider this: 80% of all dirt tracked into your home can be blocked instantly with new door mats!

Step #2Sprinkle baking soda on carpets the night before you plan to clean. Baking soda has long been cherished for its odor absorbing property. By the time you are ready to start cleaning and vacuuming the next day, the room will already be free of any lingering odors.

Step #3: Put together a basic spring cleaning plan. Plan your spring cleaning according to the time you have and the space you are cleaning. If you work outside of the home all week, plan a few spring cleaning projects every Saturday over the course of a few weeks. If you can block out a few days in a row to start and finish your spring cleaning, make a list of all the tasks you want to accomplish. When cleaning, always work top to bottom (ceiling fans & wall shelves to appliances/tables and finally to floors) because dust falls downward, and work left to right around the room (so you’ll know where you left off in case of interruptions).

Step #4: Wash windows horizontally on the inside and vertically on the outside. If you notice any streaks you will know which side to re-do! Best recipe for window washing: 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, 2 tablespoons corn starch, mixed into 1 gallon of warm water. When washing, always use a cheap, bargain brand roll of paper towels (they have less lint).

Step #5: Clear the Clutter! Spring cleaning is also about spring clearing! We simply cannot thoroughly clean our homes if we are cleaning around piles of clutter. With each room you clean, find 10 things within that space you can toss out. Start applying the ‘one in/one out’ golden rule of organizing. For every item you purchase and bring into the home, a similar item has to leave the home…such as when you buy a new pair of sneakers, an old pair of sneakers has to get tossed! If you haven’t realized it yet, there is a major connection between clutter and stress. So, de-clutter to start de-stressing your life!

LISA LELAS is a professional organizer from Guilford. Lisa is a well known columnist and bestselling author featured on such shows as Oprah Winfrey and the Today Show. She is the organizing segment reporter for both Channel 8 and Channel 30, as well as the host of “Simply Organized” on community cable TV. Join Lisa for her popular Clutter Cutter Coffee Chat meetings offered Tuesday mornings at Bell Amici Restaurant in Guilford and various evenings at IKEA in New Haven. www.LifeStylingwithLisa.com


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