By Julia Furukawa
That time of year is rolling around when you need to (literally) shake off the dust from winter. We have some tips and tricks for the best ways to spring clean that will leave your house decluttered and sparkling like new.
Clean Your Cupboards
Sure, your cupboards are where you put all your clean dishes, but they need a little TLC too. It’ll take some time, but removing all of your dishes from each shelf and wiping down the inside with a light cleaner like Simple Green or vinegar and water will give your dishes a cleaner home. Soap residue from dishwashers or small scraps of food can accumulate on your shelves, so wiping the inside of each cabinet will ensure you’re putting clean dishes back in a clean space. Plus, pulling your dishes out will allow you to go through them and see what you’re actually using. Bonus: If you find any dishes or kitchenware you don’t use anymore, box them up for a local thrift store.
Go Through Your Junk Drawer
Don’t be embarrassed, we all have one — or two or three. The junk drawer is the easiest place to stash stuff that doesn’t have a specific home, but it can start to get full pretty quick. So clear off your kitchen table and take a moment to go through all of it, and we mean all of it. Combine duplicates, like those two half-empty packages of batteries, and test all of the pens. Bonus: Wipe down the inside of the drawer and let it dry, then use a silverware organizer to create intentional places for all of your valuable “junk.”
Organize Your Fridge and Freezer
Let’s face it, food gets messy, which means so do your fridge and freezer. Spring is the perfect time to get your food storage in check — and save yourself some money down the line. Start by taking everything out of your fridge. If you’re worried about something going bad, pop it in a cooler while you work. Then start with sauces and dressings. Are there duplicates? Can you combine half-empty bottles? Is anything expired? Once you’ve pared down your supply, wipe down the shelves with a light cleaner and replace everything you want to keep. Bonus: Start a system of dating your food. When you open a jar of salsa or a tub of hummus, write the date on the top in permanent marker.
Marie Kondo Your Closet
Do all of your clothes spark joy? If not, it’s time to say goodbye. Take an hour or two and go through all of the clothes in your closet, dresser, and anywhere else you might stash a coat or pair of shoes (think: hall closet, mud room, or even your car). Pull out each piece and ask yourself: “When was the last time I wore this?” With the exception of formal wear or seasonal items, if it’s been more than a few months, it’s time for that dress or blouse to go. When you put each piece back in, organize it by color or style, or whichever system works for you, so you know exactly where to reach when you’re looking for an item. Bonus: Declutter your closet by only keeping in-season items accessible. Take your winter sweaters and put them in a box or tub until the cold weather rolls around. When it does, you can swap them out for sundresses.
Wash Your Washer
Our washers clean our clothes, so they must be clean too, right? You might be wrong. Grass stains, spilled food, dirt — all of those remnants go into your washer every time you do a load. So it’s time you gave your cleaning machine a good freshening up. All you need is chlorine bleach, gloves, a bucket, and a scrub brush. First, make sure your washer is completely empty. Then, add one cup of bleach where you would usually put laundry detergent, and run the washer on the hottest setting. Once that cycle is done, run the washer without adding any bleach or detergent to rinse it out. For an extra deep clean, grab your gloves and scrub brush, dip the brush in a mixture of bleach and water and gently scrub the inside of the washer. And there you have it — a cleaner washer means cleaner clothes. Bonus: Scrub the inside of your dryer with the bleach solution too. And check that pesky lint filter!