It’s Finally Spring (Cleaning) Time

Spring begins — officially, at least — tomorrow, March 20. And the news couldn’t be more welcome for people in many parts of the country after enduring what turned out to be an unexpectedly severe and snowy winter.

As the temperatures warm and the days lengthen, however, you might discover that a few things on your late-winter to-do list have gone undone. After another cold, snowy day, you may have decided the couch was too comfy to leave and binged Netflix instead of starting a new project.

Now’s the time to shake off those winter doldrums and snap into action. There is no time like right now — the very start of spring — to begin a spring-cleaning plan. Wait, and you might miss a perfect summer day.

The weather is just getting good enough for you to begin a thorough, whole-house deep-cleaning. Start with the windows; recipes for a cleaning solution vary (dish soap or vinegar and water are two good options), but authorities including Clean Mama agree that using a squeegee and lots of rags is the best plan of attack.

Once the windows are clean, the spring sunlight will reveal just what else might need a deep-cleaning. Pick a mild day and fling open those windows, then go room by room and dust from the top down, clearing cobwebs, moving to flat surfaces such as shelves and tables, and finally, vacuuming.

Once you’ve dusted and vacuumed, wash all of the linens that have been busy catching winter dirt, including throw rugs, bed linens and blankets. Vacuum and/or shampoo any upholstered furniture that has gotten dingy and dirty during the darkest nights.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that has piled up in the last six months, set aside some time to #declutter as you clean, the Sylvane blog says. “Clutter has psychological influences. It signals to your brain that work isn’t done.”

Put that decluttered extra stuff in boxes and bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup. It only takes a few minutes to arrange, and takes most of the hassles out of decluttering. Plus, the donation is tax-deductible.

Finally, wash and wipe all of the hard surfaces inside your home: backsplashes, counters, cabinets and appliances in the kitchen and bathrooms, wood and tile floors, and utility shelves. Feeling ambitious? Powerwash the garage floor and deck.

Starting is the hard part, but the beginning of spring provides a fantastic reminder that a deep-clean may be in order. Once you begin, you’ll be able to shake off the winter doldrums and enjoy a fresh, decluttered space all season long.

Prepare Your Soil for Spring Planting

The second step in getting your garden ready for the growing season is to prepare the soil. Wait until your soil is dry, then till the garden areas 8 to 12 inches deep, removing rocks and other debris; mix in organic matter such as compost or manure to nourish it. Many kitchen by-products can help nourish your garden, too, says Beekman 1802. Coffee grounds, for example, are full of nitrogen, which in aids plant growth, and eggshells can prevent root rot. Leftover cooking water (at room temperature, of course) adds nutrients, and a spritz of chamomile tea will ward off funguses produced by moist spring weather.

Declutter the Garden to Get It Ready for Spring

Spring is almost here (at least on the calendar), and most areas of the country will soon warm beyond the overnight frost. That means that it’s time to start preparing your garden for a fruitful growing season. Like any area of your home, the garden will only flourish with a little forethought to tidying up. The first thing to do is to remove debris and clutter such as decaying leaves, weeds and invasive plants, Huffpost says. It’s “also a good time to sharpen your garden tools, if needed, because you’re going to require them for plant maintenance and soil care.”

The First Day of Spring Means Cleaning

Ah, spring! It’s the season of new beginnings, when the gloomy grays of winter surrender to sunnier weather, warm temperatures and new growth. The flowers are starting to bloom, the birds are chirping and the grass is turning green again. What’s not to like?

As you emerge from your wintry cocoon, you might notice that your home has also suffered from the winter doldrums. Things might look a little bit dingier and a little bit more cluttered than they were just a few months ago. That’s not your imagination.

Your home was shut against the cold, and as a result, it kept the dirt and clutter in. But as the season of renewal begins, you can also refresh your home in preparation for the warm months that lie just ahead. And to do a thorough job, you need a plan, Vogue says.

Start by decluttering. The holidays likely helped you bring a lot of new junk into the home; you don’t need it all, and after you weed through what you want to keep, trash or donate to ClothingDonations.org, you’ll be able to see what needs a good scrubdown.

Next, gather your supplies. You’ll need your favorite all-purpose cleaner, rubber gloves, glass cleaner, a sponge, a duster, and rags or paper towels. Put these in a carry-all so that you can transport them easily from room to room.

One by one, start at the top of each room. Dust the ceilings, picture frames, wall hangings, books and shelves. Get into spaces that rarely get cleaned — behind the toilet, under the bed and under the sink.

Finally, do the floors. Pick up and wash throw rugs and send the finer area rugs out for a professional cleaning. Sweep and mop hardwood and tile floors, and vacuum all drapes, carpeting and upholstered furniture.

Don’t forget the refrigerator. Toss expired foods, unused condiments and leaky containers. Wipe the appliance’s interior clean and any jars you plan to keep, wash the shelves and drawers, and finally, replace what you’re keeping.

When you’re done, celebrate your accomplishment by bringing the spring indoors. Display a bouquet of fresh flowers or bring a new plant into your space. There’s no better way to start the season.

Make Sure to Thank a Veteran This Week!

Memorial Day is symbolic for many reasons. For many people, it signifies the start of summer. It represents the beginning of camping season and time spent around the pool and the grill. Memorial Day makes us excited for the warm, sunny days of a brand new summer, waiting with vacations and adventures.

But, the most important reason for Memorial Day 一 actually, the only reason we even have Memorial Day 一 is to honor those in the United States Armed Forces who have lost their lives serving our country. It’s an important reminder to all of us to take the time to truly be thankful for the freedoms and safety we have due to the brave men and women who fight for our country.

Wondering what you can do to give back to veterans in your community? We’re glad you asked!

Any and all of the donations you make to us go toward funding and supporting the programs we provide to veterans. We accept:

  • Clothing items (sweaters, coats, shoes and more)
  • Kitchenware (storage containers, cooking utensils, pots and pans)
  • Accessories (jewelry and scarves)
  • Entertainment/media items (DVDs, CDs and board games)

Making a donation to us is easy and stress-free! Simply put your gently used items in a bag or box marked clearly with the words “for donation.” Then, visit our website to schedule a donation pickup time. Set your bag or box outside by your mailbox, and we’ll come by to pick it up for you. It’s that easy!

Another way to honor our veterans is to simply say, “Thank you.” It doesn’t seem like much, but acknowledging how much you appreciate their service will mean more than you know. Also, while some veterans don’t want to talk about their time serving, some do. Ask them about being in the armed forces, and if they offer up information, be sure to listen.

We hope you had a great Memorial Day this year and enjoyed your time with family and friends. But we also hope you took the time to give thanks to the people who allow you to celebrate.