Because you want to enjoy your space now without added fuss.
Spring is the perfect time to open up the windows in your house and clean every surface inch, but there’s no reason to spend more time on this task than necessary.
Use these tips to quickly get your home spic and span.
Have a plan
When it comes to spring cleaning, the best approach is an organized approach. “I recommend having a plan, which includes an outline of the areas you plan to clean, a schedule with time slotted to do that work (for you and any family members), as well as a list of products, tools and even cleaning techniques or tips pertaining to those areas,” says Melissa Maker, blogger and host of the popular YouTube show “Clean My Space.”
Choose the right supplies
When you’re making your spring cleaning plan, take inventory of what supplies you need to gather to begin cleaning. Once you figure out what you need, be sure to choose the most effective and powerful cleaning supplies so that the product is doing most of the work — not you.
Clean room by room
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are going from room to room to complete various tasks. Choose to target one room at a time so you can see the results of your productivity quickly and not get discouraged.
Work smarter, not harder
Don’t scrub any more than necessary. Simple steps like soaking pots and pans before you scrub them, waiting for cleaning products to sit before you wipe down surfaces, and using the self-cleaning setting on your oven can save you tons of time.
Clean your cleaning supplies
Did you know your cleaning supplies, such as sponges or microfiber cloths, are most likely the dirtiest items in your home? It goes without saying that you can’t effectively clean your home with dirty supplies. So be sure to disinfect sponges or other cleaning supplies in a mixture of one part bleach and nine parts water for 30 seconds.
Don’t forget the …
There are several items in our homes that we often forget to clean on a regular basis. Among forgotten items, Maker recommends cleaning behind the oven, bathroom exhaust fans, refrigerator coils and window coverings.
Focus on the MIAs
Spring cleaning can be a huge undertaking (especially depending on the size of your home), so Maker suggests focusing on the MIAs, or the Most Important Areas. When deciding which area to choose, think about the most visible ones, like the living room or home office.
Get rid of the clutter
You can never truly have a clean and tidy home if you are buried in your own stuff. When cleaning out your things, remember the 80/20 rule: Only 20 percent of the items we own are truly important — so 80 percent of our belongings are just getting in the way.
Figure out ways to be more efficient in the future
While you are cleaning and organizing your home, take note of all the clutter that you most often find. For example, if you are finding that most of your clutter is paper, figure out the best ways to go paperless throughout the year.
Originally published March 24, 2016.… Read More
When your pantry is tidy, every trip to grab a bag of chips or stash the week’s groceries will be a treat.
Food pantries can take just about any form. These versatile storage areas for canned goods, paper products and less frequently used small appliances may be housed in a walk-in room, a simple drawer, a wall cabinet or a closet. Hutches, armoires and even open shelving also work well.
Regardless of the setup, the key to a successful pantry is keeping it organized. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
Similar to a refrigerator, the first step to seeing what you have to work with is emptying it out and giving it a good overall cleaning. Start with the ceiling — look out for spider webs! — and work your way down to the floor.
Next, give shelves a thorough wipe-down with soap and water, capturing any dust and crumbs. If you’re feeling ambitious, repaint your shelves or even wallpaper the pantry. If not, simply line the shelves with contact paper and mop the floors.
While boxes and food items are strewn throughout your kitchen, grab a donation box and think about what you really need and use.
Were certain items out of reach that would be better relocated closer to the stove, like herbs and olive oil? Place those items where they may make more sense, and make a list of the items you need from the store to fill the culinary gaps.
Throw away expired products, and set aside any items you don’t think you’ll use — like the navy beans for that special recipe you never got around to making — for your local food bank
If the clean-out process revealed hard-to-reach items in the back of your pantry, relocate them. Put things you rarely need — like extra mixing bowls and seldom-used appliances — in the back, and label the front of the shelf to remind you of their new location.
If your pantry is deep enough, opt for installing roll-out shelving or wire bins for those hard-to-reach essentials.
Get a better view
If you have open shelving or glass-front cabinets, handling a mix of boxes, bags and random containers can be a challenge.
Invest in a large set of clear glass or plastic jars for storage. Their attractive uniformity will cut the visual chaos, and they’re perfect for storing baking supplies like flour and sugar.
Decide on storage solutions
Once you have a handle on what you want to store, it’s time to round up the items you need to put your pantry back together. Your list may include spice jars, Mason jars, contact paper, racks for aluminum foil and plastic wrap, and bins and baskets to wrangle small items.
Put it all back together
You’ve taken everything out and purged what you don’t need. Now it’s time to reload the pantry with everything you plan to store.
Group like items together — coffee and creamer with sweeteners; flour and sugar with baking soda; pastas and grains with oats; soups and olives with other canned items. Play around with your arrangement until it looks so organized that you feel proud enough to show it off.
Originally published January 2015… Read More