Spring clean your home efficiently

GINA BELL ✉ eastcoastmommy@gmail.com @SaltWireNetwork Gina Bell is a mother of three and can be found online at www.eastcoastmommy.com.



SaltWire Network



The arrival of this season always inspires me to spring clean and tackle some small home organization and renovation projects. After a busy hockey season with my boys, it feels good to spend some time getting my house in order. Today, I'm sharing some simple and budget friendly ways to spring clean your home. The first step is absolutely free and has a huge impact. I'm talking about de-cluttering. We all have stuff cluttering up our homes and lives and spring is the perfect time to purge. Empty cupboards and closets, get rid of things you no longer use and put items back in an organized way. You'll also want to take some time to pack away offseason items. I love filling bins with winter coats, boots, hats, mitts and snow pants and stacking them at the back of my garage. It's a nice feeling to know they won't be needed for several months. Once your home is organized, it's time to start cleaning. In addition to the normal cleaning routine, make a list of deep cleaning jobs that need to be done. Wipe down walls and cupboards, pull out appliances and furniture, change shelf liners in drawers, use a lint roller to get the dust-off lamp shades and clean windows inside and out. Another inexpensive way to make a house feel clean and refreshed is by applying a fresh coat of paint. A can of paint is cheap but adding a new colour and getting rid of scuff marks (and mini stick dents) is truly transformational. Once the house is de-cluttered and clean, it's time to get organized and put simple systems in place to keep it that way. I like to start by examining the “stuff” in my home, thinking about how my family members use it and organizing it accordingly. For budget-friendly tools that really work, the dollar store is your best friend. I love stocking up on inexpensive bins, baskets, hooks, clipboards, labels, jars, turntables and drawer organizers. The uses for most items are self explanatory but it's also fun to find creative uses for cheap items. One of my favourite dollar store items to use is clip boards as picture frames. I have one for each of my boys hanging in our playroom and it's a great way to manage the mountain of artwork they create. The latest masterpiece is displayed on the clipboard and it can easily be replaced when the next piece of artwork is completed. Don't forget to recycle old items to avoid an avalanche of paper clutter. Other non-conventional uses for dollar store items are using a paper towel holder to store a few rolls of toilet paper in behind the toilet, using a cutting board storage rack to display hand towels in the bathroom, using a desktop organizer to organize makeup on a bathroom counter and filling a bean bag chair cover with stuffed animals. And don't forget to use all the hidden space in your home. Use plastic bins with lids under beds, place hooks on the inside of cupboard doors, utilize ottomans with hidden storage and use shelving to take advantage of vertical space that isn't being used. It's unrealistic for busy parents to think they are going to instantly have a spotless and organized home but these simple and budget-friendly ways to spring clean are easy and effective. Take your time, grab some inexpensive supplies and get to work. You'll be glad you did!