Spring is almost here! And besides enjoying everything there is to love about the season, now’s also the perfect time to clean out your drawers and get the grime off your tiles and tubs. Need some simple organizing tips and spring cleaning hacks to help you get there and—even better—keep you there for months afterward? Keep reading!
Clean Out Your Dryer Vent
Does it take more than one cycle to get your clothes dried? If so, your dryer vent may need a good cleaning. This vent is not the same as the lint trap, and is the path your dryer lint and fuzz usually takes to get outside. If it's clogged, it can result in long dry times and even pose a fire hazard! Head to Frugally Blonde for easy tips on purging your dryer vent.
Wipe Out Window Tracks
Long winters mean dust and grime can build up in your window tracks, preventing them from properly closing and looking downright disgusting! Spend 10 minutes using the tips from The Intentional Mom and you're on your way to sparkling windows!
Dust Heating & Air Vents
After a hot summer and long, cold winter, your heating and air vents have probably taken a beating. Use a duster, toothbrush, or a butter knife wrapped in an old towel to get in between all the vents for a thoroughly cleaning. The next time you turn on the heating or AC, you won't be sending excess dust flying around!
Make Your Bed, Every Day
This simple act can become a habit and can help a whole room look better in just a few minutes. If you want to go one beyond, try this awesome bedding from Beddy's: your bed and your kids' beds can be made in seconds. The bedding essentially is like a comforter + sheet set that fits any size mattress (there's even a toddler size). You simply zip it up along the sides to make a seamless look. Unzip to give yourself breathing room in the night, or keep it zipped up for coziness. Added bonus? Your partner can't kick the sheet down in the bed. Find out more at beddys.com.
Disinfect Your Dishwasher
If your dishwasher isn't doing it's job, smells funny or is leaving white residue on your dishes then it's probably time for a clean. It's a good idea to run a cup of white vinegar through your dishwasher to remove build up and odors. Simply pour it in the bottom of your dishwasher (with or without dishes––it won't harm them or leave a smell) and run a regular cycle.
Melt Away Microwave Grime
Cleaning out your microwave doesn't have to be a hassle. All you need to do is fill a bowl with one cup of vinegar and one cup of water, then microwave for roughly five minutes. When the time's up, carefully remove the bowl (it will be HOT!) then easily wipe down the mess inside that has been loosened from the vinegar and steam. No scrubbing required!
Clean Your Humidifier
Now that flu season is waning (mostly), it's time to deep clean that humidifier that has been saving your kids' noses all winter long. Anna Mosely from Ask Anna suggests half-filling your humidifier with vinegar and running it outside (so your house doesn't smell like vinegar) for at least 45 minutes. Then, wipe it out with a sponge, fill it up with water and run it for 45 more minutes. Then, let that baby dry out, and put it away until next season.
Tackle Your Tank Tops
Are tank tops taking over your closet? Organize them with this genius DIY tank top hack from According to Noelle. Or, roll up your tops and slip them into a shoe organizer. Bam! Your available closet space just quadrupled!
Give Your Fridge a Makeover
Ah, the fridge—the place we spend so much time in front of, all year long. It's time to get it back to the clean, cool space your food and drinks once knew. To do this, you'll need to remove everything (and unplug the fridge if you don't want to waste tons of electricity), and then take out the shelves and drawers and wash them thoroughly with mild dishwashing soap. Dry everything thoroughly before sliding back into place.
Use Box Lids or Inserts to Organize Inside Drawers
Do all of your drawers look like a free-for-all of junk? Put box lids or plastic drawer inserts into your drawers and decluttering accordingly. For more tips on organizing your drawers, head to this article from Real Simple.
Use Binder Clips to Organize Computer Wires
If you've got wires snaking every which way behind your computer, try this easy hack from Lifehacker that uses binder clips to keep wires attached and organized.
Give Old Bedding and Towels to People or Animals in Need
With spring cleaning in full force, don't just toss old towels and bedding! Give them to an animal rescue organization or a homeless shelter to be re-used by someone in need. To donate to furry friends, call your local animal shelter or go here to find out how to donate to the Humane Society. To donate to people in need, call your local Salvation Army or Goodwill to see if they have any local shelters or shops in need of bedding.
Same Goes for Old Toys
When kids toys start taking over the house, you know it's time for a clean-out. But don't toss all those old treasures in the trash—donate them to children in need! To find worthy places or organizations to take your toys (because some organizations, including hospitals, usually only take new toys), check out this great article from Money Crashers.
Use Plastic Bins to Organize Your Laundry Room
Putting all your stuff into bins is the quickest and easiest way to go from total mess to super neat! So head to Dollar Tree and get as many plastic bins as you can fit in your laundry room and use them to organize all your supplies. Get a step-by-step on how to organize a small laundry room (plus a free stain removal printable) from Hey Tonya.
Use Shoe Organizers for More Than Just Shoes
Got a zillion Barbie dolls strewn around your house? A few too many Hot Wheels? Hook a shoe organizer onto your kid's door and start popping toys in the slots. It's an easy way to organize and keep track of your little collector's stash. The organizer shown here is even customized to fit the height of each doll! Get the simple instructions at Girl and a Glue Gun.
Clean the Fan Blades with a Pillowcase
Old pillowcases work wonders at scooping up fan blade dust and keeping it contained. Get more details at Homemaker Chic.
Use Vinegar and Dish Soap On Tub Stains
Is your tub looking more Bates Motel than Beverly Wilshire? Use a spray bottle filled half-and-half with cleaning vinegar and Dawn dishwashing liquid to scrub stains away (Hint: Some people say you should warm the vinegar in the microwave if you've got really tough stains). Your tub will be ready for a proper bath in no time.
Psst: This cleaning solution works on toilet bowls and sinks, too!
Use Microfiber Towels and Tongs to Clean Blinds
It's tough to get at the dust that inevitably collects on the length of your window blinds. To reach these hard to get slats, just wrap two microfiber towels around a set of tongs and use rubber bands to tie them in place (you can cut the towels in half if they're too big). Then, wipe away! If the dust has really settled in, spray the cloth with cleaning spray before wiping. Get pictures and details at One Crazy House.
Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Microfiber Sofas
According to this article on Herbs and Oils Remedies, rubbing alcohol is the magic potion that will tackle tough stains on your microfiber furniture. Just put it in a spray bottle and spritz the stains until they're saturated. Then scrub with a sponge until the stain disappears. When the area is dry, scrub it with a bristle brush to fluff up the fibers.
Use Your Washing Machine to Clean Plastic Toys
Let your washing machine do double-duty: Toss all your grimy plastic toys into a mesh bag and throw it all into the wash with some towels or blankets (to prevent the toys from banging into the washer wall). Your toy supply will be squeaky clean!
Unclog Your Showerhead
Don't go buy a new shower head when your water pressure starts to wane, or you notice a few clogged holes. Instead, head over to The Melrose Family to get the simple step-by-step instructions for how to use vinegar and lemon essential oil to get the gunk out.
Deep Clean Your Oven
You don't really see the mess that's being made inside the oven when your casseroles are bubbling, or your baked yams are dripping, but the walls and floor of your oven certainly know what's happening. If you're like most sheet pan dinner-loving mamas, we can bet your cooker needs a good deep clean. Try this cleaning hack from Thekitchn.com, which involves coating the whole inside of the oven with a baking soda/water paste then letting it sit overnight before spraying it all down with vinegar.
Pssst: Your kids will love the way the vinegar and baking soda mixture fizz, so be sure your kids help out with this cleaning project.
Dust, Clean & Organize Your Bookshelves
Books are notorious dust-hoarders, so now's a good time to give your bookshelves more than a simple wipe-down. You'll need to remove all of the books and wipe the tops and spines with a magnetic cloth (or a Swiffer sheet!); then wipe the shelves down with a damp microfiber cloth. While you're at it, organize your collection: Get rid of any books you don't think are worthy. Secondhand stores or local and literacy charities (like Books for Soldiers and Books for Africa) are usually happy to take your hand-me-downs.
Clean the Front of Kitchen Cabinets
The knobs and doors of your kitchen cabinets are touched so frequently that they're probably covered in grime by the end of a week, let alone a year. Time to scrub the deep-rooted dirt away! Better Homes & Gardens has a great how-to video on getting the ins and outs of your cabinets squeaky clean, including using a paste of baking soda and water to scrub stains away.
— Melissa Heckscher