Out With the Old, in With the New

03.21.12 Page 10 Image 0001Winter weather typically makes individuals more likely to stay indoors. The house is packed with old Christmas presents, board games and movies and other items obtained throughout the past couple of months. It’s now time for a fresh new start.

Spring cleaning can rid one of that winter rut, and help one move forward with the season of spring. It’s time to get your cleaning supplies together and prepare for a day of energetic spring cleaning.

Evelyn Herrera, a custodian at the University said, “I love spring cleaning at home. I throw everything out.”

Spring cleaning is different from your typical “cleaning-spree” because it’s a preparation of an allnew season.

A couple of places around the home that should be focused on during spring cleaning are closets, kitchen and storage rooms, said Cynthia Ewer, editor of Home Organized, in an online article. Though there are many other household places that could be tackled and cleaned out, these three locations in your house will be the easiest to de-clutter and yield that refresher for the start of spring.

These household locations can also be cleaned out in dorm-rooms, apartments and off-campus housing as well. A quick word to the wise from Closet Factory, a blog focusing on cleaning, says “tackle one room at time.”

Closets are now stuffed with “heavy-duty” clothing, such as fleeces, flannels, snow-jackets, snow pants, boots and clothes meant for rugged, cold weather. With warmer weather coming out, these clothes add unnecessary clutter to your closet. Cleaning and organizing website, Professional-, states, “A major source of closet problems is clutter.” Taking time to sit down and evaluate each article of clothing may seem redundant, but after this one evaluation your closet will appear, and be a lot less cluttered.” Ewer suggests that if bedding appears to be stained, shrunken or un-reusable it is a great idea to donate these clothing articles or just recycle them. There’s no use for holding onto these old winter articles because it is just clogging up closet space for items that actually need to be stored in there.

“I take all day to do my spring cleaning. I get rid of stuff I don’t use. I give it away or I throw it out,” said Herrera.

Some great places to donate old articles of clothing are the U.S. Salvation Army, clothing bins (can be found at Shoprite, Walmart, etc.), local charity drives. The options are endless and many locations for clothing donations can be found online or through non-profit organizations.

Now that the closet area is clean and ready for spring, it’s time to move onto to the next destination in your living situation: the kitchen. Two main areas Ewer suggests focusing on are the food pantries and the refrigerator. Check expiration dates first, and if food items are expired, dispose of them for space and health purposes. Next step, donate any canned foods that haven’t been touched for a while. Instead of collecting dust on the top of your pantry, these food items can be donated to a local food bank or soup kitchen. If food shows symptoms of expiration, or hasn’t been touched in a while, simply toss it. Before you know it, shelves will clear up for new fresh foods.

The last destination of spring cleaning is any storage rooms and bins that have been “storing” for a while now. Whether this is in a garage, basement or closet, this destination can be one of the most difficult to tackle. The reason is because of the sentimental value many of these objects may hold. For example, a prom dress can serve as a reminder of memories, yet storing it is only creating additional clutter. If an item has not been worn in over a year or two, it may be time to let it go and either donate it, give it away or recycle it. This advice goes for accessories, shoes, toys and applies to any item you have stored away that can be given away or tossed.

Start the new season off on a clean slate. With these few key cleaning tips, spring cleaning can be performed and a breath of fresh air along with it. There are many other tips and techniques available through Good House Keeping Magazine, Howtocleananything. com and the HGTV channel. With a little bit of time, effort and cleaning supplies your house will be feeling fresh and “springy” in no time.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jacklyn Kouefati