A Shoes-Off Policy Helps Keep the Home Clean

It’s a challenge to keep a home #clean when winter storms hits and people start to track in snow, ice, dirt and salt. To keep your floors pristine, institute a shoes-off policy inside the home an designate a basket to hold them when not in use, Real Simple suggests. Throw rugs, doormats and runners can help keep wetness and dirt confined to specific locations. If all else fails, create a makeshift mudroom by your home’s garage or backdoor entrance and equip it with hooks, bins, shelves and lockers for temporary clothing storage. The idea is to keep the #mess confined to an easily cleaned space.

Target the Fridge During Winter Cleaning

Winter is the perfect time to clean out the refrigerator, especially if you have rarely used specialty foodstuffs that didn’t get used up during the holidays. Before you go shopping for the week, empty the fridge out and wash the drawers, doors and shelves with warm, soapy water, says House Beautiful. Rinse and dry the interior, and sort the many bottles, boxes and jars to #purge the things you don’t use or need — starting with anything that is obviously spoiled or of suspect freshness. Once the interior is clean, put what you’ll be keeping back in an #organized manner.

Clear the Air With a Winter Deep-Clean

Spring cleaning may get most of the publicity, but there is no time like #winter to #deep-clean your house. For one thing, that’s when you spend the most time indoors, and a #clean, #uncluttered home is a happier and #healthier home. Indoor air quality improves when you dust and change furnace filters frequently. Also consider disinfecting garbage cans; cleaning windows, sills and drapes; and vacuuming under the beds. “An organized, clean home promotes an atmosphere of peace and tranquility,” says Bliss Maid. “It lifts the emotional state of most people to simply come home to a clean, #clutter-free space.”

Start Small With a Winter Deep-Clean

With a winter storm blanketing much of the United States with snow, it’s unlikely that legendary groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow tomorrow morning. To cope with another six weeks of winter gloom, try doing a thorough #deep-cleaning of your home. Start small, says My Creative Days. Pick a single drawer, closet or room, and #purge it of accumulated #junk. Keep an empty box nearby for anything you find to #donate to ClothingDonations.org, and call for a #donation #pickup as soon as you fill a few boxes or bags. Then #deep-clean the area and #organize the stuff that goes back in it.

How to Beat Cabin Fever

In the wake of last weekend’s winter storm, temperatures dropped across the country, leaving many people confined to their homes or at least reluctant to go out. Homes today have numerous entertainments, of course, but cabin fever — that restless feeling that comes with being stuck at home — is a real challenge in wintertime.

Children get especially squirrely when daily activities are limited by deep drifts and icy temperatures. Keep them busy by having them help bake cookies, make homemade Play-doh or build an indoor fort, The Budget Diet suggests, or try to help them embrace the weather by going on a nature walk or sledding trip.

Avoid binging on television and food if you want to beat cabin fever, WikiHow says — such overindulgences can actually make you feel more listless and hopeless. Instead, get plenty of vitamin D through sunlight and healthy foods, engage your mind with a good book or puzzle, and clean your home to make it more comfortable.

Host a dinner, cocktail party or game night if you want to socialize without traveling far, LifeHacker suggests. “Make people trudge through the snow to you. Put on a pot of stew, bake some bread, and break out the whiskey. How do you think people in cold climates stay social?”

You can also take advantage of the downtime to plan for the parts of the year you won’t be stuck inside, WiseBread says. Check out destinations for your summer road trip online or plan your summer garden. Better still, volunteer some of your extra time to help people facing worse problems than boredom.

One of the best things to do to keep cabin fever at bay while making that “cabin” a better place to live is #declutter, says MakeSpace.com. A cluttered home is a cramped home, “so spend the next big snow day cleaning and organizing,” the site says. It will make your space more livable and enjoyable, even while you’re stuck there due to the weather.

When you’re done decluttering, pack up any still-useful clothing and household items and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. You won’t have to lift a finger — we’ll come to you, navigating the slushy streets to get your donations before reselling them to local thrift stores and using the proceeds to fund veterans programs.

That act of charity alone should make you feel somewhat better about being stuck indoors. Stay warm!