The spring kiss of warm weather and sunny days means it is time to break out deck furniture, clean out the garage, and reorganize wardrobes. With these spring and summer cleaning tips, you will stop and think “Ah, why didn’t I think of that!” Check out these often-overlooked tips:
Fresh face and clean. Ladies, are you noticing more breakouts? Washing makeup brushes might be the answer to give your face a clean start and a natural summer glow. And what about those nail polishes that are either thick as molasses or even worse, have completely dried up (pitch it!) The same rule applies to old cracking make-up (toss it!) and dried out mascara (in the garbage!). Rid your makeup bag of old excess makeup for a fresh start.
Wardrobe shuffle. Noticing flip-flops, old shoes, shorts or a sundress you haven’t worn in 3 years lingering in your closet? Maybe it’s time for a clothing exchange party. Swap pieces with friends or have some fun with project runway: closet makeover edition – pull out your spring wardrobe and mix and match staple items to create new spring fashion outfits before buying more clothes.
Too much sparkle. Mismatched earrings with missing backs or outdated jewelry find homes in our jewelry box – take to the consignment store or put them in plastic Ziploc snack bags and let the budding jewelry designer in the house use the pieces to create lovely new pieces.
What’s lurking in that sac? When was the last time you cleaned those reusable grocery bags? Good job saving the environment, but you might be harboring some harmful bacteria along the way. Don’t forget those lunch totes while you’re at it! Toss them in the washing machine for a clean start to the new season.
The erupting container drawer. Organize the Tupperware cabinet and spice cabinet. Spices lose their health promoting properties after six months. Check the expiration dates and definitely pitch if you can’t even make out the date! For Tupperware find a large spare bin to place lids according to size and stack the containers – finding matching lids will never be so easy! And if you find you can’t part with the old Tupperware, then give it another life and use old lids for mixing paints or storing your arts and crafts items like beads, string, shells, soap making materials, candle making materials, etc.
It’s a hairy mess. Straighten up the hair drawer – bobby pins and hair ties disappear faster than a melting ice cream cone in July. Collect them around the house to save yourself from another purchase. Find a little basket or bowl that you can keep them in. To keep the bobby pins separate, add a magnet and that will do the trick just fine. This time around, store them in a small Tupperware or clear baggie so they have a place to go once you take them out.
The RING – it’s not the movie but just as scary. It’s the washing machine ring. Ew! Have you checked that black sludge ring that is growing? What about removing the dryer lint trap and take a look-see? Sweep a long narrow feather duster from side to side. You will be nothing short of amazed at how much lint comes out from that little tiny opening. Excess lint build up can cause the dryer to catch fire.
Dated meds. Could your migraine med, kids inhaler or antihistamine be circa’ 2015? Check expiration dates in the medicine cabinets and drawers. When in doubt, throw it out! While you’re at it, try organizing medications and first aid equipment, so it doesn’t become a treasure hunt the next time you need a Band-Aid in a pinch.
Frightening undergarments. Clean out that lingerie drawer and pluck out those undergarments with no elastic. You remember hearing, “you wouldn’t want to be caught wearing that, God forbid you were in an accident.” Toss them! Similar to the faded and holey T-shirts or sweatshirts – we all have them, and we all need to pitch them!
Nasty dish cleaner. When was the last time you replaced the dish sponge? Have you had it long enough that you have given it a name or it talks back to you like Spongebob Squarepants? Just say goodbye and make a habit of regularly replacing them. You can only microwave or run them through the dishwasher so many times to extend their lives. Not only are they likely on their last leg, they probably wouldn’t pass the mother-in-law examination, but they might be something to give your kids for their science class to discover new living organisms under the microscope. Need a reminder? When you replace your toothbrush, grab a new dish brush too! Why you’re at it maybe it’s time to toss out some expired food in the fridge, freezer and pantry.
What lurks in the pantry? Maybe some stale crackers, old granola, chip crumbs or shriveled sprouting potatoes. Revamp the pantry by removing bags and boxes and giving the shelves a thorough wipe down. You don’t want flour bugs or moths spreading to a new food that you have to toss at a big loss. This will also expose expired food items that got pushed to the back of the shelf.
Remember, there’s no such thing as perfection. There are some messes you have to embrace. But it does feel good to get some of this dirt and clutter out of the house. Next step – take a deep breath –doesn’t everything seem cleaner, brighter and more manageable. Give yourself a pat on a back!
We work with registered dietitians and nutrition scientists to provide nutrition education and healthy eating tips to help create future healthier generations through good nutrition. Melissa's Healthy Living does not provide medical advice, medical nutrition therapy, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.
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