Spring cleaning is a refreshing way to dust off the doldrums of winter and welcome the springtime with open arms. Whether we live in a tiny apartment or a spacious house, our home should be our sanctuary. There’s no better feeling than walking into a bright, clean, and organized space. Spring cleaning is a proactive way to become rejuvenated from the outside in, especially when the process includes clearing out clutter. By creating open spaces, we open up room for new things, both literally and figuratively.
With homes or hearts that are overstuffed with unused items, regrets, or beliefs that no longer serve us, it’s easy to feel stuck. Cleaning provides a sense of instant gratification and peace. Even if things aren’t going right in other areas of life, cleaning up our space lets us reap the rewards of our hard work directly. Other than investing a little elbow grease, cleaning doesn’t need to be an expensive undertaking. Here are a few smart tips for tidying up by making use of everyday household products that you probably already have around.
Dryer sheets have many uses in household cleaning that extend beyond the laundry room. Use dryer sheets to clean your baseboards and effortlessly collect lint. Dryer sheets are also useful for getting the stubborn grime off pots and pans. Toss a dryer sheet in a sink filled with warm water and soap. Let your dirtiest cookware sit in the solution for a couple of hours. When it comes time to wipe off the gunk, you won’t have to put as much muscle behind your scrubbing.
Shaving cream makes cleaning fun, and it’s useful in places that are tough to clean otherwise. For stains on your upholstery, rub on a little shaving cream and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Blot it dry, and your furniture will be good as new. Because fabrics vary, doing a spot test in an unnoticeable area is always a good idea before tackling a more prominent stain. Shaving cream is also an excellent way to get kids in on the cleaning action. Use shaving cream to scrub the outside of your car or plastic lawn chairs. Rinse it off with the hose, and you’re good to go.
It’s no secret that baking soda is an excellent way to get rid of stains and smells. Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda on your mattress and let it sit for a while to absorb odors and bacteria. Vacuum it up, and your bed is instantly fresher. For a dirty stovetop, let the baking soda sit for about 5 minutes before scrubbing with a wet sponge. Add some baking soda to the bottom of trash cans to keep odors under control. Baking soda also makes a great oven, dishwasher, and microwave cleaner.
Believe it or not, grapefruits are an effective way to get your bathroom clean. Slice a grapefruit in half and dip it in salt. You just made the perfect hand-held scrubber for your tub or shower. Similarly, lemons are a natural cleaner’s best friend. Use lemons with salt to scrub down wooden cutting boards. When finished, put lemon pieces down the garbage disposal as a natural deodorizer.
Save yourself the frustrating lint and streaks by using newspaper to clean your mirrors and windows instead of paper towels. Newspaper sheets are also great for cleaning a grill that’s still warm after mostly cooling down from being used.
If you’ve ever forgotten about clean clothes in the washing machine, you’re familiar with the mildew smell that quickly develops. Instead of rewashing the load with detergent, add a cup of white vinegar and run it through to kill the smell. Vinegar is perfect for cleaning toilets, showerheads, windows, mirrors, humidifiers, reusable shopping bags, and yoga mats. Although vinegar is a pretty versatile cleaner, you’ll want to avoid using it on natural stones like granite and marble because it can make them appear dull over time.
Wax paper is a hassle-free way to remove fingerprints and get your fixtures to shine. If your old iron starts to stick, rub it down with wax paper before heating it to get a smoother glide. Use wax paper as a shelf liner for cabinets and drawers. Stick it down with tape and simply replace it whenever it gets dirty.
An old toothbrush comes in handy for cleaning a variety of small, hard-to-reach spaces. Crevices around the sink fixtures, window sills, and even brush crumbs off your computer keyboard in no time. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout in your bathroom or get food bits off of a cheese grater or lemon zester. Never underestimate the handiness of your toothbrush before discarding it.
Ever struggle to remove price tag stickers from the bottom of new dishes, vases, or other ceramic and glass items? Rub on a little peanut butter to loosen the glue under the label. With a bit of persistence, it’ll slide off, and you can wash the area clean with soap and water. Peanut butter also makes a good leather cleaner and gum remover. You can even use it to smooth scratches on wood or get bugs off your windshield.
Lint rollers make dusting a piece of cake. Use them on lampshades, furniture, curtains, car interiors, and decorative pillows. Keep up with the fur on dog and cat beds by keeping a lint roller handy. Use a lint roller to clean out purses and luggage from hair, dust, and crumbs. If you’re into crafting, keep a lint roller nearby. Grab scraps of paper, ribbon, and beads with minimal effort. For a glitter explosion, a lint roller is one of the easiest ways to clean it up.
Whether you turn spring cleaning into a big event, or boil it down to
just a few small tasks, there are benefits to be gained beyond the
physical changes to your space. By discarding, organizing, fixing, and
polishing, we can embrace a sense of renewed energy in all areas of
life. Make spring cleaning fun by putting on some music, inviting a
friend, and starting with small projects that can be completed in a
reasonable amount of time. The feeling of accomplishment we feel after
completing a task inspires positive momentum that overlaps into our
relationships, career paths, financial wellness, or even physical
Use spring cleaning as a springboard to shake things up and get rejuvenated. In the same way that spring cleaning inevitably includes some mending and repairing of broken items, our journey to self-improvement does too. Eventually, we must invest effort into the areas of life that are broken or remain unhealed. Give a little extra attention to the process of recovery. Bring the grief or disappointments of the past from the back-burner to the forefront. Addressing these issues ultimately provides a stronger foundation to build, grow, and realize deeper self-actualization. If you would like guidance on how to take action towards recovery from grief, our resources are always available.