Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Cleaning-Fresh and Fun!!

The sun is finally shining and while I am thrilled to be able to go outside, I need to get the inside of the house organized. It's time to clean out the closets, get rid of unnecessary items, and put away those winter coats until next season. Today I will take you through my plan of action to get the house ready for summer and visitors.

Sometimes I have a hard time parting with clothing and especially shoes, but it's such a waste of space to hoard items that you haven't worn in years. My rule of thumb is if it wasn't worn during the previous season and it's still in the closet then it should go. So when I enter my summer section and find pieces that were never worn last summer, they will go to Goodwill. They deserve to find a home where they will be worn and loved, not stuck in a closet year after year.
For my larger items, like boots, sweaters and winter coats, I prefer to pack these away in plastic bins for safe keeping. If you have a basement or storage space tuck these items away until next winter. To keep them fresh add a cedar block or hang on cedar hangers. My parents are lucky enough to have a cedar closet in the basement and I hope to add this to my home one day. But until then, I will use a pack similar to the photo below. You can get these at Target, Container Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond for $10. Stick them in your storage bins or add them to your drawers. They will absorb moisture and repel insects.

Dust Removal
Before you turn on those ceiling fans, make sure you remove the dust from the top of the fan. An easy way to do this without buying a bunch of fancy dusters is by using old socks. My dryer is always eating socks and I am left with a handful of mismatched styles. Make a pile as you clean out the closet and use them to quickly wipe down the fan blades and blinds. Put one on each hand with some dusting spray and quickly wipe everything down.

Homemade Cleaners
In an attempt to get rid of clutter in my bathroom and under the kitchen sink, I am making my own multi-purpose cleaning spray this year. I am also trying to clear all the toxic mess out of our house so making your own allows you to know exactly what you are spraying in your home. Distilled vinegar has a high acidity so it is perfect for killing mold, bacteria and germs in every part of your home. There are many different recipes so choose what scent you prefer, but all are basic and easy to make.  My favorites are lemon, orange, grapefruit or lavender.

For an everyday spray, boil white distilled vinegar and pour over citrus peels in a canning jar. Allow to sit for a couple of weeks or speed up the process by soaking in a water bath as you would when canning vegetables. Leave it sealed overnight. Pour the vinegar through a strainer into a spray bottle and add water. Depending on the size of your bottle, I recommend 1 cup water to 2 cups vinegar. This is all natural and non toxic so safe for kids and animals to drink. Probably won't taste very good, but it won't hurt them. For harsher cleaning, use baking soda. This is great for clogged drains, disposals, refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines. Mixtures of baking soda and white vinegar can clear the cloudiness from your glassware, clean buildups from tea and coffee makers and polish brass.

Use just straight white vinegar for cleaning showers and toilets. You can also spray vinegar around door openings to repel ants or leave a bowl on the countertop to get rid of fruit flies. This stuff is amazing and we should all just be cleaning with white vinegar solutions instead of toxic cleaners that cost way more than a bottle of vinegar and box of baking soda. For more information and uses, go to  They have 1001 uses listed so I'm sure we can all benefit from the ideas there!!

Now I'm off to tackle the closet while my cleaning solution is marinating. Hope this will help to make your spring cleaning a bit more fun!!

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