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10 Spring Cleaning and Organizing Tipsby Maria GraciaAlong with Spring comes thoughts of crisp, fresh air, newly budding flowers, singing birds and a sense of renewal. Getting organized and doing a bit of spring cleaning, helps to bring that wonderful fresh feeling into your home and office. Here are 10 tips to help you start the season off right.1) Assign Yourself a Different Task for Each DayMake yourself a schedule that is comprised of one hour and one task each day. Your schedule may look something like this:Monday: DeclutteringTuesday: DustingWednesday: VacuumingThursday: ScrubbingFriday: Organizing and RearrangingSaturday: LaunderingSunday: DecoratingThen, spend one hour each day doing your assigned task for each room, throughout your house. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make in your home by following this simple system.2) Use the Proper ToolsWhen cleaning and organizing, it's important to use tools that help you get the job done as quickly as possible. For instance, there are now dusting cloths that allow you to dust quickly and easily, without any additional sprays. Just dust and be done with it. Rubber gloves will help you deep clean, without drying out your hands, exposing them to harsh chemicals, or burning them in hot water.Racks can hold mops, brooms and other cleaning supplies in one organized place, rather then storing them loose and having them constantly tip over. An apron with lots of pockets, can help you transport cleaning products from room to room easily, so you don't have to keep running back and forth to get what you need.3) Be Ruthless When it Comes to DeclutteringIf you don't love it, and/or you don't use it, it's clutter. It's the perfect time to embrace the Feng Shui art of uncluttered living. Feng Shui teaches that if energy can easily flow through a room, your life will be more harmonious and happy--and clutter is an obstacle to reaching this relaxed and calm state.Make it a quest of yours to be ruthless when it comes to your decluttering efforts. You'll have less to dust, less clutter to look it, an easier time finding the things you do use and less stress in your life.4) Donate or Sell the Things You Don’t Use.If you have items that you don't use, but are in good condition, they are prime candidates to sell or donate. Gather all of these items together in boxes or plastic bags. Then, decide whether you would prefer to donate them or sell them.If you choose to donate, consider giving them to your local Salvation Army, or perhaps even a shelter or orphanage in town. Many of these organizations will even pick up your donations for you. If you choose to sell, you might set a date for a yard sale. Or, take some photos of these items with your digital camera, and put them up for sale at an online auction Web site.5) Make Your Spring Cleaning and Organizing FunDon't think of it as a chore. Instead, think of it as a 'feel good' exercise--one that will really help you to feel good about yourself and your clean and organized environment. Play some lively, fun, upbeat music. Dance your way through your home or office with your dust rag or vacuum. Get the family involved. Give everyone a task, and then do something relaxing afterwards, like watching a movie together or going to the park for a walk. Set timers and play 'beat the clock.' Give yourself time limits for completing small tasks, and try to complete those tasks before the timer goes off. Ask a friend to help, or do a swap. You clean her living room if she'll clean your kitchen.6) Eliminate DistractionsTurn off the TV while you're cleaning and organizing, and let your answering machine field your calls. If a friend stops by while you're working, simply tell him/her that you've scheduled this time for spring cleaning. He or she is free to stay, as long as you could continue working. Perhaps, you might even get some help. If not, tell your friend you'll stop by his or her house later on when you're done. If you have kids, give them their own jobs to do, or at minimum, be sure they're occupied with something else. The quickest and best jobs are accomplished when there are no distractions.7) Make Yourself a ChecklistMake a checklist of all springtime jobs that you only do once or twice a year. Perhaps you might bring your large comforters to the laundromat, bring your drapes, and winter coats, to the dry cleaners, store your winter clothes and bring your warm-weather clothes out of hiding or check the smoke detectors. If all of these odd jobs are on a list, you won't forget to do them. Then, try to do at least one or two of these odd jobs per week, throughout spring.8) Don’t Forget About the InsidesIt's important to clean and organize things that are in sight all of the time. But, it's also important to remember those items that are out of sight. Spring is a great season to organize your closets, cabinets, drawers, bins, boxes, pantry and other inside storage areas. Give yourself that spring feeling, both inside and out!9) Enjoy the Weather While You’re WorkingDo some outside organizing and yard work, so you can be accomplishing something, but also enjoying the nice weather at the same time. Gather your gardening and planting supplies in one place. Replace old and broken tools. Perhaps you might even get a gardening caddie to store your good gardening tools. Clean the garage. Keep the garage door open while you're doing so, so that you can enjoy the nice weather.10. Open Your WindowsThere's nothing like taking in a breath of fresh air. As you're cleaning, open the windows. You'll be removing musty winter odors, protecting yourself from inhaling harsh fumes from cleaning products and the fresh air will keep you going.While you're at it, let the sun shine in. Open curtains and drapes to give yourself plenty of light, for an energy boost.
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