TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAAMoney Matters Blog | ‎03-28-2014 07:29 AM

Spring Cleaning Tips

shutterstock_54513739.jpgOh Spring, how we have yearned for you! Hopefully by the time you read this you aren’t sitting under a pile of snow anymore. I’ve decided Mother Nature is really a bit confused these days. It’s time to dust off those old winter cobwebs, throw open the doors and windows, and soak up the Spring sunshine! Can’t you just almost feel it on your face? I can. Ahhhhh, Spring!

 

I’m confessing to all of you right now that I am a serious Spring cleaner. Every year I can hardly wait, once Christmas is over of course, for it to be Spring. All of the extra toys, clothes, outgrown shoes, etc. that we have had piled in our home since Fall (and after the holidays) really need to make a mass exit. I always have a plan of attack, room by room, for my cleaning. It usually corresponds on the calendar with our Spring garage/yard sale for our community.

 

That’s the easy part for me. Some things I don’t always consider though, are things that can save me additional money. Things I can’t actually sell in the garage sale but that if given a little TLC can really make a difference in my pocketbook.

 

Free the Fridge
…from dirt and dust, that is! Pull your fridge away from the wall, unplug it, and locate the coils (mine are accessible from the front behind the vent cover). Grab a vacuum and voila! Saving money by energy efficiency. You were amazed what was under there, weren’t you?

 

Lighten your Light bulbs
No, I haven’t lost my mind. Dusting or wiping down your light bulbs actually provides more light for the money. Try it. Oh my gosh, can you see better now?

 

Orderly Ovens
Ever baked up something in your oven or toaster oven and wondered why it was heating unevenly? Maybe it wasn’t very efficient and took a bit too long to heat? A quick cleaning can help with this. This blog has a great tutorial of how to clean your oven effectively just with baking soda.


Dirty Dishwasher
What? My dishwasher needs cleaning? Yes, you’ll use less water and energy in the pre-soak of your dishwasher if you give it a clean. Be sure to unplug it before you get started. Check your manufacturer’s instructions and follow for your particular dishwasher. In general, though, you can use vinegar to clean the racks and the door. Check the bottom (arms and vents) and clean out any debris (mine even has a filter). Don’t forget to check the seals for dirt and for wear.

 

Wash the Washer
…and check the dryer, too! Soaps and detergents do not keep your washer clean. Actually, they can build up. Give your washer a good clean. You can use bleach, vinegar, or some brands even offer washer cleaner product. Be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions and follow for your particular washer. You should be cleaning the lint filter on your dryer every time you use the dryer, but it’s never a bad idea to do a really good deep clean while you’re at it.

 

Hoover Hygiene
Ok, maybe it’s a Dyson – the point is your vacuum needs to be cleaned too. I will never forget the FRIENDS episode where Monica is vacuuming the vacuum. That is so me! A quick Google search for your vacuum’s make and model will yield you step-by-step cleaning instructions.

 

Clear Cluttered Cupboard
After hibernating on comfort foods all winter long your pantry may look a bit like mine – cluttered! Food waste can be very costly so it’s important to know exactly what you have and by when it needs to be consumed. Clean out your pantry, freezer, and fridge and consider keeping a list of everything you have that you cannot easily see/access so that you don’t end up buying things you don’t need.


Happy Spring cleaning!