The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming—and your cluttered closets are calling. Time to roll up your sleeves and whip your home into shape. And yes, this means you! It’s been a long winter and you’ve let the clutter grow, all over your garage, across your basement and up into your attic crawl space. And your bedroom closets? We’re not even going there.
As always, Catholic Federal is here to help! Use this handy list of creative cleaning hacks to banish those dust bunnies without spending a fortune on organizers and cleaning solutions. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to help keep the planet green by skipping over those toxic cleansers this year.
Let’s get cleaning!
Before you get started, create a master list of every part of your home that you plan on attacking. It’s best to make this an old-fashioned physical list so you can post it somewhere you’ll see often—like the door of your fridge.
Once you have every area listed, divide the chores according to the amount of time you estimate it will take to clean them. Make smaller sub-lists of 3-hour jobs, 1-hour jobs and 15-minute jobs. This way, when you have large chunks of time, you can find a larger job to do at a glance. And when you have smaller pockets of time, like those 10 minutes in the kitchen when you’re waiting for the water to boil, you can quickly tackle a smaller job, like straightening out the catch-all drawer in your kitchen.
Once you’ve got it all written out, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get to work!
Why blow your budget on pricey, toxic cleansers when you can make your own for so much less at home? Try these DIY solutions and hacks for all those hard-to-clean places around your home:
- Use a lemon for cleaning stainless steel sinks and faucets.
Slice a lemon in half, and rub the fruit against hard water stains and rust spots in your kitchen and bathroom. You can also sprinkle on some baking soda for the really stubborn marks. The stains should now lift easily. Plus, instead of chemical fumes that make you gag, you’ll leave behind that springy, lemony scent.
- Steam-clean your microwave.
Is your microwave plastered with hardened food stains? It’s time to make your appliance shine! Grab a microwave-safe bowl, fill it with 1-2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, plus a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Nuke it for five minutes and then wipe those stains right off!
- Wash your windows with 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing soap added to several gallons of water.
Pour your homemade solution into an empty spray bottle and use old newspapers to wipe away the grime. Leave this job for a rainy day—literally. Sunshine can make your windows dry too quickly and leave unsightly streaks behind.
- Use coffee filters for your monitors and screens.
Get rid of those fingerprints and itty-bitty dust mites on your computer monitors and TV screens. Let the gentle fibers in coffee filters leave your screens squeaky-clean!
- Clean your shower heads with white vinegar.
Fill a sandwich bag with white vinegar, and then use a rubber band to secure it around your showerhead. Let it soak overnight. The water stains and calcium buildup should wash right off in the morning.
Tips and tricks
Cleaning is easy with these helpful hacks!
- Use a lint roller to dust.
Instead of sticking brushes and feather dusters into every little corner and cranny in your home, use a lint roller. Run the roller over your light fixtures, mantels and shelves. It’ll pick up all those tiny dust mites and leave you with clean surfaces in just minutes! For corners that are super-dirty, use a strip of duct tape for stronger pickup power.
- Use your dishwasher for more than just dishes.
Stop scrubbing those teeny-tiny pieces of Lego and load up your dishwasher instead. You can also throw in your hair brushes, pet dishes, refrigerator shelves, soap dishes, tweezers and drawer knobs. When the cycle is through, it’s best to clean your dishwasher by placing a cup of white vinegar on the top shelf and running it through its hottest cycle.
- Use a window squeegee to scrape pet hair off your carpet.
The rubber edge of the squeegee is perfect for gripping and removing pet hair from your rugs and carpet.
- Use a hair dryer to get rid of water rings.
Is someone forgetting to use coasters? Let your coffee table look beautiful again by blasting a hair dryer over the water rings until they start to fade and disappear. You can also rub olive oil over the area to return the wood to its original shine.
Let’s get organized!
Banish the clutter for good with these tips.
- Create a space for clutter.
When you’re deep in the throes of spring cleaning, you’re convinced your home will never see clutter again. But all it takes is one art project, a stack of unread mail and one lone toy truck to give your home that cluttered look again. Be proactive and create a place for every bit of clutter that passes through your door. You can pick up perfectly functional organizers and storage bins at the dollar store. Consider investing in a storage ottoman for favorite toys and hanging a shoe organizer in your foyer closet for unsorted mail, keys and gloves.
- Use Velcro to keep drawer organizers in place.
Those adorable organizers are no use if they’re slipping and sliding all over your drawers. Fasten strips of Velcro to the bottom of your organizers to keep them in place.
Happy cleaning from all of us here at CFCU!
Your Turn: What’s your favorite spring cleaning hack? Share it with us in the comments!