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How To Start Spring Cleaning When You Don’t Want To

A clean and organized home just feels better. With many of us spending more time at home than ever, Panoramic Properties has put together a complete guide to spring cleaning that you can use in any season. Here’s how to start spring cleaning when you don’t want to.

Start your spring cleaning in the kitchen

Spring cleaning is not just about pulling out the mop and feather duster, it’s about making your space more welcoming and usable. Put this room first on your spring cleaning routine and you’ll be motivated to get to work on the rest of your apartment once you’re done.

Think Big

Many of our apartments in Niagara Falls, including Katrina Court (6635 Thorold Stone Road) and Pell Street (8083 Pell Street), offer on-site laundry, so we handle the cleaning and maintenance for your laundry facilities. This means that the only large appliances you need to tackle this spring are in the kitchen. Book an evening or weekend afternoon to clean your fridge, stove, oven and microwave. Take a peek at these great tips from Martha Stewart and then stop by Chippawa Foodland for all the cleaning basics you need to get started.

Check Those Dates

Cupboards tend to collect canned and dried goods while condiments and sauces may live in your fridge door for years. Resolve to clear kitchen clutter by checking expiration dates, especially on any items you don’t remember buying. Different products are labelled in different ways, so it may help you to become familiar with the Canadian Government’s labelling guidelines.

Organization Audit

When was the last time you really thought about how your kitchen is organized? Chances are, you inherited a few habits from family or old roommates that don’t really reflect the way you live now. Make sure that the most convenient spaces like drawers, low shelves, and the countertop are home to the items you use the most, while occasional items hide away under the counter or way up high. If you’d like to take your organization to the next level, try a few of these kitchen tips from Better Homes and Gardens.

Natural kitchen cleaners

Kitchens constantly have to be cleaned, and rightly so. These important spaces are where you store, prepare and eat food on a daily basis. Keep your Sudbury apartment’s kitchen clean as can be using a natural kitchen cleaner. The Panoramic Properties blog team has a few DIY cleaner recipes so that you can get started today.

Give shine to stainless steel

Vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water are the main ingredients behind this DIY All-in-one Glass and Stainless Steel Cleaner recipe. If you want to restore the shine in your kitchen appliances or if you want to brighten the room with cleaner kitchen windows, give this simple cleaning solution a try.

Like-new silverware

Is your silver starting to lose its shine? There is a one-step, one-ingredient solution for naturally cleaning your silverware. Line a pan with aluminum foil, put silverware in the pan and cover with boiling water. Next, sprinkle baking soda over the silverware and water then let it sit for 20 minutes. Finally, use a soft cloth to polish your cleaned utensils.

Oven solutions

An oven can easily accumulate grime and grease. Once again, baking soda offers an easy alternative to chemical products for thoroughly cleaning this kitchen appliance. Follow the tutorial to make a paste using baking soda and water. Spread throughout your oven and let sit overnight. In the morning, wipe away the residue to uncover a cleaner oven.

The basics

Every kitchen needs an all-purpose cleaner for keeping your counter and cabinets clean. Try this recipe to craft your very own chemical-free lemon-scented cleaner.

How to Clean and Organize a Refrigerator

Cleaning and organizing your refrigerator can be a simple and easy task. All it takes is a bit of a plan and some preparation.

The first step is to clear out the fridge – this way you’ll have space to really clean. Take all of the food and drink items out of the fridge and place them on the kitchen counters. This also gives you the opportunity to do a quick check of expiration dates on items to get rid of any spoiled food or condiments.

Step One: Clear the Fridge

Make sure you have lots of heavy-duty garbage and compost bags on hand, too.

Step Two: Take out the drawers and shelves

Remove the fridge drawers and wipe them using a wet cloth, sponge or paper towel. Spray the drawers with a disinfectant and wipe the drawers. Note that you should not use bleach to clean your fridge. It is too strong to use in a place where food is stored.

An effective and cost-efficient option while cleaning is using a water and white vinegar combination. Reader’s Digest has a number of great tips on how to use this homemade cleaning solution.

Step Three: Clean the Interior

Once you have cleaned the drawers, wipe down the whole fridge. Clean the entire interior, including the shelves and the sides of the fridge. Wipe the fridge and the drawers dry with a dry cloth or paper towel. For more tips on cleaning your refrigerator, head to How Stuff Works’ article, 5 Tips For Cleaning Your Fridge Quickly.

Step Four: Organize Your Items

Look through the items that you removed from the fridge earlier to decide what you need and what can be thrown away or composted. Discard any unwanted items. 

Choose sections of your fridge for different types of items. For example, you can have a shelf for meat or fish items, dairy products, an area for produce and one for drinks. Once you have decided where you want your items to go, place them back into the refrigerator in the correct areas. Our friends at How To Clean Stuff have a great article on 10 Ways To Better Organize Your Refrigerator that is a handy resource for any apartment dweller in need of fridge cleaning tips.

Spring Cleaning Without the Harsh Chemicals

The basic supplies you’ll need to make your own green cleaners include: 

o   Distilled white vinegar (Make sure to buy a large container)

o   Baking soda

o   Olive oil

o   Borax (sold in a box in the laundry aisle)

o   Liquid castile soap

o   Microfiber cleaning cloths

o   Newspaper

If you enjoy an added scent, you can also add Citrus or Tea Tree oil to any of our suggested recipes.

White Vinegar and Water

The easiest of all cleaning solutions, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water. Reuse a spray bottle and squirt onto windows or mirrors. Scrub with newspapers to avoid any streaking. For those who don’t like the scent of vinegar, use club soda or undiluted lemon juice.

Heavy Duty Cleaner

Here’s an easy cleaning recipe that is still effective without the harsh chemicals – it also smells amazing! 

o   ¼ cup white vinegar

o   1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap

o   ¼ cup baking soda

o   2 gallons of warm tap water 

Spruce Up Musty Towels

Wash towels with 1 cup of vinegar on a hot cycle, then again with 1/2 cup of baking soda on hot. Your towels will smell way better…you don’t realize how musty they may smell over time!

Scrub your Porcelain and Tile

Dust your bathroom or any tiled areas with baking soda. Next, scrub with a moist sponge. For tougher grime, add a pinch of kosher salt and keep scrubbing.

Treat Stains

For stains or grease streaks – try a spray of vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for about five minutes and then scrub with a stiff brush.

Disinfectant

Create a DIY disinfectant by combining 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and approximately 30 drops of tea tree oil.

Oven Cleaner

Create a paste made with water and baking soda. Next, coat the inside of your oven and let the mixture stand overnight and scour off the grime. And voila – easy and green oven cleaner!

Clogged Drains

Pour ½ cup of baking soda into a drain and follow with around 2 cups of boiling water. For a heavy-duty solution, follow the baking soda with a ½ cup of vinegar. Let sit for the reaction and chase with boiling water.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This recipe requires washing soda, borax and one bar of soap. For full details, stop by DIYnatural.com. We like their simple pictorial instructions and effective recipe. For an extra boost, add at least ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Spring cleaning tips for lazy people

Break it up

Proper planning can save you time and energy. If you hate to clean, break up the task into manageable bits. Rather than spending an entire dreadful day digging through the dinginess that has built up over the winter, do just 10 minutes. Most single cleaning tasks can be tackled in this amount of time. Tomorrow you can move onto the next task. Just be sure to maintain what you’ve already completed, so cleaning doesn’t become a never-ending loop. Even if you’re too tired to start cleaning today, you could spend 10 minutes gathering the cleaning supplies, gloves, buckets etc. that you’ll need for the job tomorrow. 

Start with the job you dread the most

This can be a tough one, but if you can cross the hardest, most hated job off of your list early, the rest of the tasks won’t feel so daunting. If you hate to scrub the toilet, do it now. Spend a few minutes getting it out of the way so that you can feel free!

Keep the shower sparkling

Scrubbing a shower is nobody’s idea of fun. To handle this gruelling task with ease, we recommend following the mantra, “a spray a day keeps the scrubber away”. Every time you use your shower, spray it down with a no-wipe cleaner, or better yet, make your own non-toxic version from equal parts water and white vinegar. A few seconds of regular maintenance will save you time in the long run by keeping mold and mildew at bay. Keep a spray bottle and mini-squeegee in the shower, so you never forget.

Slip out of sweeping

If the thought of sweeping puts you on the verge of weeping, this tip is for you! A big fluffy pair of slippers or socks can be an easy and fun way to clean your floors. The fluffiness that makes those bunny slippers so comfy also makes them a magnet for dust bunnies. Simply slide around your pad with a pair of something fluffy on your feet and you’ll have done most of the floor dusting with no effort required!

Finish spring cleaning with a closet purge

Here are some good questions to keep in mind while going through your closet:

·   Does this item fit me right now? (i.e. not when I go down a size)

·   Have I worn this item in the last year?

·   Can I see myself wearing this piece a year from now?

·   Does it work with other items in my wardrobe?

The process of slimming down your wardrobe often takes a few passes through your closet over a few months. Another approach is to break down the job into different elements of your closet. Use one month to tackle pants, a month later go through blazers and jackets. No matter what, don’t pull out the entirety of your closet. We’ve been there before with everything scattered on the bed and floor, rapidly losing steam. At that point, the only solution is to shove the stuff back in the closet and make it worse than it was to begin with. Keep the jobs small and work section by section.

Cut the extras out by sorting through your clothing and picking out items that you think a friend may like. These pieces should be nearly new and ready to wear. We all have pieces like this lurking in the back of our closets – the ‘ten pounds from now’ jeans, that gorgeous dress you wore to two formal events then retired, or those killer heels that look amazing but kill your feet.

There’s no need to play favourites with friends about who gets what. Instead, organize a clothing swap with an equal trade system. A clothing swap can be a really fun event and it’s a great excuse to get together. Hosting it in your Ottawa apartment is easy. Participants should each bring a maximum of 10 high-quality items to swap. Make a batch of your favourite snacks or drinks, put on a playlist and get to trading. We’ve found that a fashion show will inevitably break out so it’s best to have Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ queued up.

Don’t let the thought of ending up with the cast-off items after the clothing swap discourage you. Instead, think ahead and set up a pickup from the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) Clothesline program. This program comes right to your door to collect your gently-used clothing and household items. All profits from the items collected go to support the CDA’s efforts in research and support of Canadians living with diabetes.

Other local options to donate your clothes include:

Dress for Success Ottawa – This not-for-profit group provides professional attire, networking and job coaching to assist economically-disadvantaged women succeed in the workplace. The organization accepts interview-appropriate clothing, accessories and shoes.  The next donation dates are: Tuesday, May 21st, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and Monday, June 3rd, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  For more information, visit: dressforsuccess.org. Be sure to check out Dress for Success’ fundraising event held on May 30, visit steppingout.ca for event information.

Ottawa Neighbourhood Services (ONS) – This local organization has been operating since 1932 with the aim to help all Ottawa Residents access life’s essentials. ONS accepts clothing and furniture donations and sells to customers for the lowest possible prices. ONS also partners with social service organizations to assist their clients for free. ONS offers both pickup and delivery of donations. To learn more about ONS, visit their website or view the video profile.

We hope this complete guide to spring cleaning helps you feel good and spruce up your living space during any season.

To find your new home with Panoramic Properties, please visit our website