Dusting the winter cobwebs away doesn’t have to be a dirty game. In addition to sprucing up your space, spring cleaning can add lightness to your life by clearing your mind and helping you establish fresh habits all year round. After all, once you’ve gone through the effort to whip your rooms and closets into shape, don’t you want them to stay that way?
It’s all about simplification. Here are eco-friendly steps to help you mindfully de-clutter and keep your home life fresh through every season:
1. Green Your Clean. Spring is synonymous with fresh, so keep your cleaning as environmentally friendly as possible. Look for products that are labeled biodegradable, eco-friendly or non-toxic. Avoiding products with chemicals, benefits your health and the environment. What’s more, you can make most of your household cleaning products with natural ingredients that will cost you a fraction of the cost. Click here for 67 recipes that are easy on your health and budget.
You can also conserve water by using alternative water sources when doing yard work, such as rainwater from a rain barrel.
2. Toss the Towels! While cutting landfill waste, you can save trees and cash by using cleaning cloths or giving new life to an old piece of cloth.
3. Air Dry. While establishing a more sustainable lifestyle during your spring cleaning, you can ditch the dryer by line-drying your laundry.
4. Reuse. While you’re at it, consider giving all your potential trash a new purpose. It’s important to ask yourself if your trash could be someone else’s treasure. Just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean that it can’t be used by someone else. Clothing is nearly 100% recyclable, which means there’s no good reason to send it to the landfill.
Textile recycling, such as USAgain (Use-Again), makes giving a second life to your unwanted threads easy. Throughout your neighborhood on curbsides and in retail areas, you will see large deposit bins. You simply open the bin at the front and send your clothing items down the hatch to be cycled into the global market place. (Not only did you just divert waste from landfills, you supported green job growth to boot!)
Recently KARE NBC highlighted just how easy it is:
Click here to find a convenient drop off bin in your area!
5. Be Honest.
The less stuff you have, the less you’ll have to clean. While it sounds great in theory, it can be hard. Who hasn’t found themselves with a closet full of sentimental value? The hardest part of Spring Cleaning can be the decision to let go of something we’ve been holding onto.
As you evaluate the items in your storage space ask yourself:
- Is this something I use regularly?
- Is this something I love?
- Am I keeping this out of obligation?
- Am I saving it just in case or holding onto it to fix one day?
- Is this item worth the time I spend cleaning and storing it?
- Could I do something else with this space?
6. Paint It Green! If you are going to paint this spring, consider using paint with low Volatile Organic Compounds – which are the chemicals that form vapors at room temperature.
7. More Green. Adding greenery can create a living air filter inside your home! According to the EPA, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. An average 1,800 square foot house requires 15 – 18 medium-sized plants. So if that’s too much for you, just start by adding a few plants to the rooms you enjoy the most.
8. Avoid Air Fresheners. You can prevent the watery eyes, nausea and headaches that are caused by artificial air fresheners by creating your own natural fragrances. Indoor potpourri can be made with herbs, spices and flowers. You can also try simmering fresh spices like nutmeg, cinnamon sticks or vanilla.
Don’t forget to treat yourself for a job well done! A cleaner space and emptier closet means that you have room for more but that doesn’t mean you have to immediately go on a shopping spree. Try giving yourself a fun, positive experience instead. Go for a beautiful walk, smell the roses, take a new class - or simply stay in and enjoy your new beautiful space!