Spring cleaning can feel daunting to tackle, but you know it’s worth it. Sure, you’ll spend a few days working hard to clear out the last year’s dust, clutter and whatever else you find. But, in the end, you get to step back and admire your work. It’s the best feeling! At least, it should be. But when you look at the mountain of dirty paper towels soaked in chemical-based cleaning solution, you might start to feel less excited about what you’ve accomplished. But fear not! With these green spring cleaning tips, you can get your house in top shape without causing the earth any harm.
Reduce, then reuse or recycle
Green spring cleaning, or really any cleaning, is a lot easier if you’re not trying to navigate around junk piles during it. Before you start sanitizing, use this opportunity to clear out your house. To start, get three boxes. One is for recyclables, one is for items you plan to sell or donate and one is for items you think you may be able to reuse. Then, go through your home or apartment room by room and toss anything you want to clear out in the appropriate box. Old receipts and magazines, clothing you haven’t worn in years, toys your kids don’t play with anymore – anything taking up space in your home is fair game.
Note that we didn’t say to have a trash bin. Ideally, you want to minimize the amount you send to a landfill as much as possible. A great way to do this is by thinking about what can go into your reuse bin. Upcycling can help you make the most of what you’ve got while simultaneously reducing your household waste.
Freshen the air naturally
Ah, spring. There’s a sense of freshness as new growth springs from the earth. In fact, that’s a big part of what inspires us all to refresh our homes during this season. So, naturally, you want to throw your windows open and let the spring air in. And you should! But if the fresh air isn’t quite enough, you’ve got a few options to try before resorting to those room sprays filled with who-knows-what.
For starters, you can boil rosemary springs or citrus peels in a big pot of water while you’re cleaning your kitchen. The resulting steam will fill the space with a fresh, detoxifying scent. And if you want to expand that feeling of freshness to every room in your home, go green. No, really. There are a number of houseplants you can add that will purify the surrounding air, plus their green and living nature helps any space feel more vibrant.
Choose green cleaners
Look at the ingredient list of most household cleaners and you’ll see a long string of words you can’t pronounce. Sure, some of them are totally safe for your family and the earth, but others aren’t. Instead of keeping a running mental list to do your part for your household’s health and the earth, why not swap out your old cleaners with ingredients you can trust – and probably already have in your kitchen?
Whether you need an all-purpose spray, tub scrub or grease remover, we’ve got you covered with some eco-friendly cleaner options. When in doubt, a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water is a great go-to. Add some essential oils for a refreshing scent and you can tackle all your cleaning tasks without worrying about what chemicals you’re leaving behind.
Save the trees
This isn’t your first rodeo. You probably know how to spring clean (and if you don’t, this guide can help). But do you use this opportunity to clean parts of your house that aren’t necessarily dirty but do contribute to clutter? Here, we’re talking about papers. Your spring clean is a perfect opportunity to ditch those piles of paper, filing what you need and recycling the rest. And, while you’re at it, make your future cleaning jobs that much easier by switching all your billing and notifications to paperless. Yes, it’ll add a little extra time to this year’s green spring cleaning, but it can save you hours upon hours of organizing and filing in the future. Plus, it’s good for the trees!
Minimize material waste
The whole point of green spring cleaning is getting your house spick and span without any environmental impact. So if your usual cleaning routine results in a pile of used paper towels and disinfectant wipes, it’s time to make a change. Plus, a reusable microfiber cloth will make it easier than you ever imagined to get windows and mirrors streak-free and sparkling!
Remember that reuse box we set up earlier? If you’re short on cleaning rags, it’s wise to add a couple of old cotton t-shirts to it. These can be cut up to help you wipe down any number of surfaces. And because cotton is such a soft material, you don’t have to worry about any scratching.
Happy green spring cleaning, and thank you for doing your part for the earth! Do you have any green cleaning tips? Please let us know in the comments so we can use them in our own homes and apartments.