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Patch Picks: Five Spring Cleaning Tips

Ignore the snow and gear up for warmer weather with this week's list.

Dear readers: as I wrote this week’s list, I was looking out the open window adoringly at a yard of (mostly) green grass as a gentle wind blew through the screen. It was 74 degrees outside and I was, for lack of a better description, happy.

Obviously this is not the case in the days since, but the teaser of what’s to come got many of us thinking of the seasonal change.

A couple of minor snowfalls may have delayed the onset of the season, but spring officially began on Sunday, March 20 (at 7:21 p.m., to be precise). Warmer weather is coming, and for most, the season designates that special time of year known as spring cleaning. Winter is over, there’s no more excuse to be lazy, so it’s time to get proactive again.

This week’s list is five spring-cleaning tips to not only clear the clutter from the closets, but also from your conscious. It’s time to revamp, reorganize, and reevaluate. So get cleaning!

1. Get rid of those old clothes. Start by putting those winter clothes, jackets and gloves away. Tuck ‘em in a box and put them in the attic. When it comes to breaking out the warm weather wear, I like to abide by the one-year rule: if I haven’t worn it in a year, chances are I’m not going to any time soon. Wash those unwanted clothes and donate them. Or, if they’re name-brand and in good condition, bring them to a local consignment shop. Make some room in the closet, because you know you’re going to replace them soon anyway.

2. Rearrange the furniture. Once you’re done vacuuming, sweeping and clearing the cobwebs from under the couch, map out a new design for your living room or bedroom. Spring is all about change, so shake things up a bit. Learn some feng shui; it’s about time that sofa brought you health and good fortune, anyway.

3. Wash the windows. Chances are your windows have been neglected and maybe even covered by the curtains for most of the winter season. At the very least, you want to wash the windows, but assess your treatments as well. Could you use new blinds? Do the curtains need washing? You’ll want those windows well-groomed, since you’ll soon be able to look through them and see something other than snow.

4. Clean the outdoor furniture and grill. Your poor patio hasn’t seen any action in months. Don’t you think it’s about time you get out the hose and give it a good rinse? While you’re out there, get the lawn and patio furniture out (or, if it’s year-round furniture, clean it!). Scrub the grill down and get ready to host some barbecues. Don’t forget to invite me too; I mean, I did give you the idea.

5. Reorganize. Simple as that. Been using the same cardboard storage boxes for ten years? Replace them with plastic totes. Have you cleared out the kids’ toy-chest since Christmas? Donate those scorned playthings. Messy closets, strewn holiday decorations, that dark space under the bed… now is the time to pull out and reorganize the clutter. If you never use it, donate it or get rid of it. Once it’s done, you’ll feel a lot better.

Barbara Saslo March 24, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Good article Tony. When my Mom does her Spring cleaning she usually starts with the windows in each room. She takes down the drapes at least once per year, usually in the spring. But she doesn't wash them unless they're stained and can handle water. Usually she hangs them outside on the cloth-line if it's a nice day. Remember to hang them inside out so the sun doesn't fade them. If it's a ucky day, she puts them in the dryer on the fluff or no heat cycle for about 15 minutes or less. This gets the dust, no heat means the fabrics won't get distorted. While the dryer is running she dusts the rest of the room including ceiling corners, around the window framing and pictures. She says 15 minutes per room is about all the dusting she wants to do. When my brother and I were old enough we helped hold drapes, climb ladders and run the stairs. Enlist your family's help and the next generation will make memories and learn how to take care of the future.

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