As the sunlight hours grow longer and the days get warmer, homeowners everywhere take part in the annual ritual of spring cleaning. It’s a perfect time to sweep away the previous seasons’ clutter and dust to make way for the simple pleasures of summer.
A thorough spring cleaning often uncovers unwanted clothing, books, furniture and more. Before you toss these items in the garbage, consider these facts from Environment Canada: landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada’s total methane emissions and methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Valuable farmland is also being lost in many communities to accommodate growing landfills. Fortunately, it’s easy to divert unwanted items from the landfill through entrepreneurship, charity and creativity.
Are you having a tough time deciding what to part with? As a good rule of thumb, throw away or give to charity anything that you have not worn or used in two years. Clothes, dishes, books, blankets… the list is endless.
Spring Cleaning Tips
- Wash your windows by diluting ½ cup ammonia and ½ cup white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. To make windows shine, rub them with a clean blackboard eraser after cleaning. Never wash windows in the bright sunlight. This will make them dry to fast and leave a residue that results in streaking.
- Sink and countertop cleaner: use liquid dish soap, lemon juice and baking soda.
- Toilet bowl cleaner: use soap, baking soda and oxygen bleach (created from septic tank safe sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate).
- Tough tile cleaner: use baking soda, vinegar, oxygen bleach, soap and water to make a paste.
- Dust your walls with a dust cloth, working from top down. Wrap the dust cloth around a Swiffer sweeper to help you reach the top of your walls.
- If you have hardwood floors, dust with a soft broom or mop. For wet cleaning, always check with the manufacturer’s directions.
- If you plan to clean your carpets, consider hiring a professional steam cleaning company. Their machines are designed to extract more liquid from the carpet than rental machines. Liquid that remains in the carpet and the underlay can take days to dry. During that time mold and rot can develop.
- Wipe down your refrigerator with vinegar. Put in a fresh box of baking soda to help absorb any odours.
- Kitchen: wash down your countertops and sinks. Clean appliances, and don’t forget the inside of your microwave.
- Clean out drawers, cabinets, and the inside of your closets. Use a vacuum to get into the little corners to ensure that all the dust gets removed.
- Don’t forget to clean the outside of the house as well. Remove any dead plants, clean up the weeds, gutters and wash the siding and outside windows. If you have a garage full of clutter, leave that till the end to clean.
Start with the big projects first and clean from top to bottom. When you complete bigger projects first, this will give you a sense of accomplishment and give you the motivation to continue. It may take you a few days to clean everything in your home (depending on size), but it is well worth it. Your home will look and feel newer after you are finished. Best of all, you and your family will feel healthier!