Spring is here! Which means it’s time to ruffle those feathers and get rid of the dust and cobwebs that have been gathering all winter. That being said, cleaning house is nobody’s idea of fun. Yet it’s one of those things that just needs to be done! Our advice: don’t tackle the whole house at once, break it down to rooms; it’s a less daunting task this way and you can even work out a reward programme for every room you’ve cleaned.
But regardless of your cleaning style, cleaning your home needn’t break your budget. That’s why we’d like to share a few of our home-cleaning-hacks with you.
Look for specials or buy in bulk. The next time you’re at the store go to the detergent aisle to see what’s on special. If you’re normal brands are on sale, take one or two items – it’ll save you in the long run. Start a “detergent-kitty” with friends or neighbours and save on products by buying bulk. Also, go through your cleaning supplies and decide what you really need; lots of products can be either replaced by a “DIY” option or simply by one of the other products in your cupboard.
Instead of throwing out your old, hole-ridden, tie-dye t-shirt, cut it up and use it as cleaning rags. It doesn’t have to be old t-shirts; you can use old jeans (just be careful of the buttons), single socks, collar shirts, shorts – any old clothing. Use these to wash the floor, the windows, the car, or to polish your wooden furniture. This will save you a lot of money by not having to buy new cloths all the time.
You want to buy baking soda in bulk! It can be used from cleaning the oven to cleaning your drain to even brightening your smile. Want to clean grime off your shower floor? Sprinkle baking soda on the floor after showering, spray it with vinegar, gently brush over it and rinse off with hot water. Add ½ a cup of baking soda to your laundry load to get clothes cleaner and brighter. If your carpet gets a little smelly, simply sprinkle baking soda on it, let it sit for a minimum of 15 min and then vacuum like normal.
Vinegar is baking soda’s BFF. If you need to clean your drain and you have metal plumbing, pour 1 cup of baking soda down your drain followed by 1 cup of vinegar, let it bubble for a bit then wash it away with hot water. Dilute vinegar with water to clean your fridge from stains, smells and bacteria. You can also clean your dishwasher or coffee machine by running vinegar through a full cycle.
Keep your kitchen (or at least your cutting boards and sponges) bacteria-free (or at least kill some germs). After you’ve cleaned up your kitchen for the night, rinse off your sponges and your microwave proof cutting boards, squeeze out the excess water and mic it for about three minutes.
Need to clean a decanter, vase, bottle or any glass container with a narrow neck? Rice to the rescue. All you need is 2 tablespoons of dry rice and ½ a cup of warm water. Pour this into your container, shake briskly and rinse – all clean.
So much more than just an enjoyable condiment. Mayonnaise can be used to clean water stains off wooden furniture or to brighten up piano keys, just dab a bit of mayo onto the desired surface, let it sit for a while and wipe it off. If your kids played Picasso on your walls with their favourite crayons, just leave mayo on the drawings for about 15 minutes and rub off. This technique also works rather well to remove stickers or sticky price tags.
Spring cleaning is an opportune time to go through your belongings and to put aside everything you no longer want or use – things that only take up space and gather dust. You can either sell or donate your unwanted goods, such as that leather jacket you just had to have while at varsity and never wore since…
Remember, while you’re going through all your belongings, to take stock and to update your Home Contents Insurance policy. By keeping your Home Contents Insurance updated, you’ll ensure that in the unfortunate event where you need to submit a home insurance claim, you won’t be underinsured.