Thursday, March 15, 2012

5 Great Extra Benefits to Spring Cleaning

Winter’s hibernation will soon be nothing more than a cold memory, as the grass turns green again and the birds start singing. That can only mean one thing…spring is near!
There are so many things to look forward to such as flowers blooming, playing outside without having to bundle up, and the sounds of spring and summer. One of those sounds that I remember from years ago is the ‘ting’ of the ball hitting the aluminum baseball bats in the park across the street.
Perhaps the greatest part is that everything feels clean and fresh again when you get done with your spring cleaning and open up the windows. Let the air and sounds come in. I am ready…almost.
I look forward to a good spring cleaning, because I have found many extra benefits as a result of the chore. So, read on if you need a little incentive for one of our biggest jobs we all tackle.
Cut Down on the Allergens
A thorough spring cleaning can get rid of many of the allergens that have been trapped in the home through the colder months of winter, such as dust mites and ragweed. One way to do this is with a Hepa-filter vacuum that is rated high in allergen removal. Of course, you can use this all through the cold months as well. But, it’s a start to the rest of the cleaning.
I also like to use cleaners that are more natural, rather than the harsh chemicals that some cleaners can contain. Products you have in the pantry can help clean such as vinegar and baking soda, which are good for removing mold and mildew.
Using a vegetable-based dish soap, water, and a damp cloth is all you need to wipe the majority of things down. Even dusting should be done with a damp cloth, so the particles don’t simply go air born, just to settle again.
Shampooing the carpets, washing the window treatments, and the comforters on the bed will not only get rid of old allergens, but also give a wonderful feeling and sense of freshness. I love to go to bed the night I put all clean comforters and window treatments back in the bedrooms.
I came across the following quote, which is fitting…
If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.  ~Elbert Hubbard
It’s also a great time to change all filters in the furnace, air conditioner, and air purifiers.
Remove the Clutter
Wow, I can see the back of my closet again!  OK, not yet…but, I’m going to after spring cleaning. What a great opportunity we have while going through everything, to be able to toss the things we don’t want any longer, or has expired in our pantry and cupboards.
If the items are still good, such as toys, magazines, or anything that could be used by someone else, look for a place to donate them. Retirement villages might enjoy the magazines, while day cares might be able to use the toys.
Cash In
If you have a lot of items that you are no longer interested in, try having a garage sale. See if your neighbors are interested in having one as well, to turn it into a block sale. The more people involved, the more people will come.
You can also advertise with signs, Craigslist, or in your local paper. I believe the average length of a garage sale is about 3 days, often towards the end of the week.
Items that typically sell quickly are:
  • Kids clothing
  • Toys
  • Books
  • CD’s and DVD’s
  • Bikes
  • Furniture
  • Dishes
If you are priced reasonably, and are willing to negotiate, you might find you can earn enough to put towards a family vacation later in the summer. The average garage sale generates on average $600, not bad for what was just clutter a couple days ago.
Get the kids involved in downsizing their toy chest, and watch their excitement as the coins start filling a jar, especially if they know there is a reward for it in the end.
Now, Where Did I Put That?
If you are like me, then you have at times searched for something that you thought you had put in a safe place to keep…right? I have often given up looking for something, even though I knew it was in the house some place.
Or, perhaps the children took it and couldn’t remember where they left it. We have all been there, scratching our heads, wondering where it could possibly be. However, I have also found a few of these items during a good and deep cleanings, such as spring cleaning. You might be surprised what you find as well.
Get Moving
And finally, it’s a great source of exercise and a way to use muscles that probably haven’t been used in a while. Sure, you might be sore the next day. However, it’s always a ‘good’ sore when you know it was for a good cause.
Turn the music on and go at it. If you feel like dancing between scrubbing, do it. It’s not only a good form of exercise, but it will turn a heavy chore into a little fun. Just make sure to take a couple breaks throughout the day, or the pain might be more than just the normal ‘next day’ pains.
In Closing
Whatever your reasons for spring cleaning are, whether it’s to get rid of the ragweed and dust mites, or to get rid of the clutter, it has extra benefits that automatically come along with it.
Jason Munroe is a freelance writer who writes on topics that he is able to research online to help his readers. He lives in Nevada with his wife of 22 years.