(ARA) – Most of us have our spring cleaning routines – research shows that more than 60 percent of Americans engage in seasonal cleanup of their homes. While you’re packing away winter clothes, washing the windows and sweeping behind appliances, you may want to consider some “outside-the-box” tasks.
Here are six tips for a more creative spring cleaning agenda:
- Declutter. Spring heralds the start of garage sale season. But don’t limit your decluttering to the usual areas – garage, basement or attic. Tackle the task throughout your house. Clutter in your living space – from mail spilling onto your kitchen counter to unused or nearly-depleted shampoos, cosmetics and body scrubs in your bathroom – has a bigger impact on your life than what’s packed away in the crawl space. Cut clutter in every room of the house. Divide clutter into boxes marked “keep,” “donate” or “throw out.”
- Clean up your home computer hard drive. Shockingly few people perform what should be routine computer maintenance – from defragmenting to spyware detection. Make sure you’ve downloaded and installed all available updates for the software you use most. Check virus software subscriptions and definitions to ensure they are up to date. Archive important data and delete old, unused or unimportant files.
- Gather up spare change throughout the house. Most of us have a family change jar, but we also tend to leave change throughout the house. Collect change from under the sofa cushions, empty the change jar, and pick up that stack of loose coins from the laundry room. Coinstar estimates that the average American household has about $99 in spare change floating around. Why not use that cash to reward yourself for cleaning? Coinstar offers free coin counting at select supermarket locations when you put that change on a gift card such as Amazon.com, Starbucks, Pier1 Imports or Borders. To find a Coinstar location, visit www.coinstar.com.
- Take care of your indoor landscape. The houseplants you regularly water could use a dusting off. To clean leaves, place the entire pot in a bathtub and use a hand sprayer (or your hand) to lightly shower dust off the plant. Give artificial plants or flowers a brisk shake outdoors. Tidy indoor water features – from tabletop or wall fountains to fish tanks – according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clean up your music collection. Anyone with even a modest-size collection has CDs separated from their cases, cases without jackets, scratched discs, damaged audio tapes and cassettes without cases. Gather it all together in one spot. Make stacks of unmatched CDs, cases, tapes and jackets. Toss irreparable discs and tapes. Match CD and cassettes with their cases whenever possible. Separate the music you listen to on the road and use a carrying case to help keep discs and tapes organized in the car. Organize music you listen to at home and store in racks that fit your home’s décor and your storage space.
- Take care of the parts of your home that make summer enjoyable – from the air conditioner to your outdoor grill. Have your central air system serviced before it gets hot. Change filters in window units. Clean and refinish your deck. Whip your gas grill into shape using a wire brush and rust solvent to remove rust spots. Prime worn spots with a heat-resistant paint.
Courtesy of ARA Content
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