Is anybody asking themselves, “Where did January go?” Well I’m glad I’m not the only one!
Since we’re full speed ahead into the new year and almost into a new season, we wanted to share with you our tips on how to get out of that winter slump and get into the tidying spirit!
If you haven’t watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, you definitely should!
I don’t think I could go a week with the meticulous t-shirt fold, but hey, if it works for you then that’s all that matters!
First and foremost – DO NOT try and tackle all the cleaning in one day. It is easier physically, emotionally and mentally to categorize different sections of the house/apartment/condo whatever you live in, into separate days.
Besides we all get distracted by that participation ribbon we received during fourth grade track.
Now, let’s get to the dirt!
Have you ever given a second thought about what you actually clean your house with? Fortunately we have access to eco-friendly, biodegradable products that are free from chemicals such as parabens and BPA.
These household cleaning products are conscious of family/pet well-being and their environment impact. For more information about what brand suits your needs, click here
The kitchen is such an important space for food-lovers, generous hosts and definitely families with small children.
Since we’re tackling a spring clean, we don’t just want the counters wiped. Oh no – we want to get to the places that are used frequently, but not cleaned often. Let’s start with the fridge.
- Take out all the food/condiment items in the fridge and the freezer
– Check if these items are expired/have a bad odour. If so, toss them! If not, keep them!
- Pull out the shelving in both the fridge and freezer
– Use a sanitary cloth, paper towel + cleaning solution, or a wet sponge with soap and scrub the shelving to get rid of spills and leftover food residue.
- Wipe the inside of the fridge with a non-scented solution
— To keep unwanted smells out of the fridge, store an opened box of baking soda in the back corner of the fridge. Replace every couple of months.
You can repeat all of these steps with the freezer as well.
Say hello to more space and goodbye to weird smells!
Tackling all your “pantry foods” can be a pain but it is worth the time to go through your non-perishable items to see which ones are expired, dried out or capable of donating to local food drives.
- Wipe the inside cupboards with a non-scented solution
- Have uneven/scratchy bottoms in your cupboards? Place non-adhesive lining on each shelf. This lining creates a sturdy platform for all your food products and prevents any punctures/tears
- After re-organizing, wipe the outside of the cupboards/pantry door with a sanitizing solution
– Handles/doorknobs are very susceptible of bacteria (I know this is obvious but hey, it’s a friendly reminder)
Ah yes, the oven. You probably use this appliance the most but yet, clean it is the least (guilty!) Cleaning the oven really isn’t as hard as you may think and the result is quite satisfying!
- Take out the oven racks and set them aside. They can soak in sudsy water in the sink until you get to them
- Tiny bits of burnt food at the bottom? Pick those out [wearing protective gloves] and throw them away
- If you have store-bought cleaner, apply to all the surfaces of the oven (excluding any heat/gas elements), close the oven and leave the solution for about 20 minutes
– Other DIY solutions such as baking soda and vinegar require an overnight “soak.”
- While you’re waiting, you can tackle the oven racks in the sink by cleaning them with the same solution using an abrasive sponge to get rid of baked-on residue
- After waiting for the right amount, wipe away the solution with a damp cloth. For those problem areas, I suggest using the abrasive sponge and some elbow grease!
Have a layer of aluminium foil on the bottom of your oven? Throw that away!
– We recommend a silicone oven liner. They are heat resistant, non-sticking and also non-reflective so they do not interfere with your cooking time.
– Do not use silicone liners with a gas oven, it doesn’t work! Instead, use a baking/cookie sheet to catch unwanted grease.
Trust me when I say your oven will operate better than it did before.
You can apply all of the cleaning steps to your microwave as well. Another appliance that is used a lot, but neglected often.
Since you’ve been tossing expired cream cheese from the fridge and scrubbing off last Thanksgiving’s turkey grease in the oven. I would call that a successful deep-clean of the kitchen.
Of course you can..
- scrub the floors
- wipe off the counters
- wash the dishes
- wipe down the walls
- clean the stovetop
But to be quite honest, I would consider those at least weekly cleaning tasks.
Keep your kitchen clean Calgary!
CLOTHES, CLOTHES, CLOTHES
Yes, we own clothes. BUT, we also own those clothes. You know the ones.
- “I’ll probably wear this soon.”
- “I wore this for my cousin’s wedding – it’s sentimental.”
- “There’s only tiny holes in them, it’s not even noticeable.”
These are clothes that are taking up valuable space in our closets/dressers. These are clothes that no longer spark joy (shoutout to Marie Kondo!) and ultimately, these are clothes that we do not wear anymore.
So, in Kondo fashion, she recommends to take ALL your clothes into one big pile. After that, start going through each piece contemplating whether that polka dotted blouse from 2012 is really going to make you happy in the future.
While your going through your clothes, create a KEEP or TOSS pile. Something I learned from Stacy and Clinton from TLC’s What Not To Wear!
This is a cleaning task that can definitely bring up some emotions. If that is the case, take it slow and remember it is always your choice if you want to throw something away or donate it.
Donations centres such as Value Village or Goodwill will take gently-used clothing items.
When the final selection of clothes have been chosen..
Keep. Them. Off. The. Floor.
We all do it. It’s either that one spot on the floor or THE chair.
Your storage room could be your upstairs closet, the crawl space, the back corner of the garage or literally anywhere with enough space for a cardboard box. At this point, I can guarantee you don’t know half the stuff that’s in those boxes – until now!
- Get right into it! Take out and examine your stuff
– There could be items that have broke, chipped, spilled over, gotten glitter everywhere – whatever the case is, have a look at these things you are currently creating space for.
- Create specific piles of where your items belong to
(ie. Christmas decorations, family photo albums, shoes, textbooks, card collection, etc)
- Go through these items and figure out if they still have a place in your home
– This is quite challenging since a lot of what ends up in boxes are items that have been passed down or gifted from loved ones. In this scenario, Marie Konodo suggests bringing these sentimental items into the home for display.
- With the items you want to keep – tidy them by wiping off dirt or dust that might have accumulated. With the items you do not want to keep – consider donating them to centre or even to a friend or co-worker who would be interested in the item
Now that you have an idea of what your inventory looks like there are literally so many ways to organize your storage space that I am just going to list a few options.
- Ditch cardboard boxes for container/utility boxes
– Over the years, cardboard tends to break down and not be as sturdy as it once was. A container box has durability and will not allow your items to fall from the bottom.
- Label boxes
– Using a label maker, a piece of duct tape or a taped-on Post-it Note to identify the contents of the box (ie. Jenna’s baby photos, art supplies, etc.)
- Use clear container boxes
– Really doesn’t need an explanation, you can see your items through the box – magic!
- Colour coordinate boxes
– Arrange certain boxes according to different coloured bins to separate items by season, products, holiday, etc.)
- Create an inventory
– While putting your items back into their boxes/compartments, take note of..
- What is in the box (a little Brad Pitt moment)
- Where it will be located (left corner of the garage)
- What is it labelled with (number, letter, symbol)
Box A / Location: Top shelf of front closet
- extension cords
- tool kit
Isn’t cleaning fun?!
Now that we’ve given you some tips on how to tackle certain problem areas in your home – we didn’t include the bathroom since we HOPE that everyone is cleaning their bathroom AT LEAST once a week – it is time to start that spring cleaning process!
How do you do your spring cleaning? Feel free to let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below.