If you’re like me, you hear those 2 little words and want to run screaming from the room.
Not that you aren’t acknowledging there may be some cleaning to do, but that you just would rather not CLEAN! You’d rather spend time with the kids, cook, even fold some laundry, right?
Right! But there are some things that you SHOULD think about doing when spring rolls around! Here is a short list to get you thinking!
1. Clean up your photo stash
No, don’t roll your eyes. You and I both know that you not only have photos you printed in a stack, you have pictures on your memory cards and/or computer that NEED to be printed out. This ALSO includes all those photos and videos on your cell phone (you have HOW many albums on there?) Many online photo services will be offering specials for Mother’s/Father’s Day and or pre-summer specials. Now is the time to print them out and organize them BEFORE you get all the summer photos! And you might be able to use some of those extra printed photos for summer projects.
2. Clean out your computer
This one can be easy or hard depending on how much you’ve added to your computer over the past year (2? 3? HOW long has it been since you cleaned up your computer?) You will find that if you do the 3 basics below, your computer may start running a WHOLE lot faster as well! Think of it like a mini-checkup for the hard drive! If you are on a Windows based operating system, then it is very simple to go to the following on your system, and check for duplicate/unnecessary files:
Go to: start>all programs>accessories>system tools>disk cleanup
This one will check to see what files are duplicates and unnecessary, and tell you how much space you can clear up. You can then check/uncheck the files you want to delete. For example, I was able to clear 125,564K of temporary internet files off one of our computers.
go to: start>all programs>accessories>system tools>disk defragmenter
This one analyzes your computer first to see if you have any fragmented files. You can then delete these files, freeing up more space. Depending on how many files need to be removed, this one can take a little while to finish.
go to: start>control panel>add/remove program
This one is excellent to go through and remove programs you no longer use, or that have been replaced by a different version (most programs update the program already there, but some start a new one). Frequently programs may download things like toolbars, which you don’t use, and are taking up valuable disk space! So get rid of them!
3. Clean out your makeup drawer
If you’re like me there may be YEARS worth of makeup in there. Now is the time to be HARSH. Be honest with yourself- have you worn the makeup in the past YEAR? How old is it? Is it something you can give to your daughter for dress up/pretend play? Or is it time to toss it? Check out my post about how long to keep your makeup- you might be shocked at how expired your mascara and eye makeup are! Expired makeup can cause bacterial eye infections, as can dirty makeup brushes! And let’s be honest, it gives you an excuse to go buy some current, trendy makeup! You knew there would have to be an excuse to go shopping SOMEWHERE in this post, right?
4. Clean out your medicine cabinet
We all know medicines expire, but how often do we clear it out? How many times in the middle of the night have you found yourself asking “hmm, it’s 5 months expired, that should be ok, right?” We’ve all been there. Well take the 10 minutes and clear out those meds now, while there are so many coupons out for allergy, cough and flu meds- you can restock the cabinet AND save money!
5. Clean up your insurance
Yup, it’s time to check out the auto, house and life insurance policies. If you haven’t changed your policy in over a year, you may:
- miss possible deductions – changes in available deductions might benefit you
- pay for insurance you no longer need – i.e. you paid off your car or your child is no longer living at home
- not have enough life insurance – say you bought a house in the last year, and your spouse is the only one bringing in a paycheck. If something happened to them, would you have enough to pay off your house?
Frequently this checkup is easier than you think. If you have all your policies under the same company, it is just a matter of sitting down and speaking to your agent, and reviewing the info. It’s also a good opportunity to go grab a cup of coffee, sans kids (just be sure to use a refillable cup, as you are being the responsible earth conscious grownup!)
6. Think green, Earth Day is April 22!
What items can you clean out and reuse, especially for the upcoming summer “I’m bored” projects? Toilet roll holders, paper towel holders, milk jugs, chip canisters, boxes, etc. Put all the stuff in one large bin with scraps of yarn, glue, glitter, scrapbook paper, and you’ve got a box ready for Summer boredom busting! We had so many last year, that the box held over to just about Christmas time!
Where to get all those great items for the boredom box?
7. Clean out your car
Summer is coming. The little boogers (aka the kids) are gonna be bringing sand, wet swimsuits, and more into your car. Is it ready? We all know how nasty (yes, you know that IS the word to use) under the seats and the back cargo area/trunk can get during the school season! PLUS you might find some missing items!
8, Clean out your laundry room/ garage
Ok I know this one sounds like the proverbial spring cleaning chore, but a lot of us put items we’re gonna use later in the storage space in the laundry area. Or you may have a cup of powder detergent in a sturdy box, that can go into a smaller container -makes more space for needed items, and gives you a good size box for the kids to use. If it’s the garage area, you know you’re gonna need new pool toys so why not relegate last year’s to the sand pile, and free up some space?
9. Check out your closets
I know I know, these four words seem pretty close to the dreaded spring cleaning BUT closets can be a boon for the ‘boredom’ box! Old sweatshirts and t-shirts can be cut into strips and used to braid for bracelets and scarfs, used for tie-dye projects, as paint shirts, cut down for making doll clothes and even to make a kids sack pack! Old shoe boxes can become puppet theaters and summer treasure boxes. AND to make some nifty Mother’s Day and Father’s Day presents! Recycle dad’s old tie into a flower corsage for Grandma!
I can guarantee that when you finish these 9 items, you will find your life running smoother, more organized and you may even find you have TIME on your hands to do whatever you want to (ok, yes, that is a dream, but shoot for the top goal!)
So, have I changed your mind about things to do instead of the ‘dreaded’ spring cleaning?
I hope so!
Bless Their Hearts Mom is a parenting and review blog, with lots of fun stuff like giveaways, crafts, weekly recipes, life in Louisiana with a 6 yr old Drama Princess Tomgirl, and anything else that is interesting to us, and we think our readers want to know about! Come sit for a spell and have a cup of coffee (or tea!) with us, the welcome mat is always out.