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Spring Cleaning the Easy Way

Springtime signifies new beginnings, a theme that carries over into our living spaces as the days warm up. Science tells us the very act of spring cleaning and getting rid of clutter benefits the mind and body.

Spring cleaning tactics differ for each person, especially if you’re into high-tech living. In fact, a large part of spring cleaning includes upgrading and updating technology, particularly for those living in smart, tech-connected homes, says Dorothy Breininger, founder of dorothytheorganizer.com.

For example, robot cleaners such as the iRobot Roomba have replaced traditional vacuum cleaners in modern homes, says Breininger. “So spring cleaning involves checking the rollers and dirt bin, and making sure you’re setting up the right time,” she says.

If you live in a smart home, change the battery on any smart faucets, which operate by touch, and do a walk-through to ensure all sensors work properly.

For selfies and photos taken at home it’s aesthetically appealing to showcase clean lines and highly organized spaces, says Breininger. “You may also want to do a ‘before and after’ shot to post on social networks.”

For this reason, it’s a good idea to start by decluttering countertops:

  • Designate an area for food prep and do not allow clutter to accumulate in this area.
  • Set aside another area as a “drop-off zone,” where it’s fine to throw things such as bills, keys, change and the like, as long as you regularly clear out the area.
  • Avoid keeping items you use infrequently in the “prime real estate” sections of countertops. Instead, store them in high cabinets and other places that may be harder to reach.
  • Neaten up your coffee station by keeping your K-cups in a cabinet right above the coffee maker for easy access.
  • Clean your microwave by putting a bowl with one cup of water and two or three tablespoons of vinegar inside. Turn on high until the window gets steamy, let it cool for 15 minutes with the door closed, then wipe down.
  • Clean cutting boards by sprinkling with salt, then rubbing down with the cut side of a lemon.
  • To clean marks off of stainless steel, drop a teaspoon of dish detergent into a quart of hot water, and rub with a microfiber cloth.

Before you pick up a broom to clean the rest of the house, declutter each room. “Think ‘delete, delete, delete’ before you clean, clean, clean,” says Breininger:

  • Start each room by going from left to right, top to bottom.
  • Dump out all junk drawers onto a towel or sheet in the middle of a room; get rid of all mismatched earbuds, power cords and other technology you no longer use or need.
  • Use a mesh lingerie laundry bag to clean kids’ small stuffed toys, which can go right into the washing machine. Plastic toys can go into the dishwasher set on quick cycle; skip the heated dry.

When it comes to the actual “cleaning” part of “spring cleaning,” here are ways to do it right:

  • To freshen shower drains, mix a quarter-cup salt and a half-cup baking soda, and pour down the drain followed by a cup of heated vinegar. Let stand for 15 minutes, then run hot tap water for at least 30 seconds.
  • Wash windows with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. A duster works on blinds and vinyl shades, a vacuum on fabric shades and drapes.
  • Clean ceiling fans (the tops can get really dusty) and recessed lighting.
  • Vacuum behind and under furniture, cleaning air vents or baseboard heaters as you go. Then use the small brush attachment to go over the furniture itself, using the crevice cleaner to get between cushions and into stitching.
  • You can also use the brush and crevice tools to vacuum your mattress; finish by rinsing with a damp cloth. (After all that vacuuming, clean the vacuum itself.)
  • Don’t forget to wash the pillows and comforters; check the care instructions.
  • Plastic or vinyl shower curtains can be machine-washed using the gentle cycle; add a couple of bath towels for extra cleaning power.

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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