Spring Cleaning Simplified: Living Areas Edition
This is the fourth and final installment of our spring-cleaning series. Last but not least, the living areas – IE the rest of the house that we have not yet tackled. And for good measure, we’re including your digital life too!
There are really 3 key areas to focus on in this issue:
1. DUSTING. All of those spaces that you don’t normally get to can accumulate an astounding amount of dust.
Ceiling or wall-mounted light fixtures
The tops of door frames and window frames
The tops of your curtain rods and finials
The tops of picture frames that hang on the wall
The top and sides of a wall-mounted TV
The top and sides of wall-mounted radiators or air conditioning units
Vents or ductwork on or near the ceiling
Exposed rafters, ceiling molding, or other architectural details
The tops of tall bookshelves or cabinets
Under your electronics
2. “SOFT” SURFACES - upholstered furniture, throw pillows, carpets your window treatments can be steam cleaned if they are soiled, after you have vacuumed them to remove dust.
Yes, we all got a tax extension. But since you’re already on a cleaning roll, why not get your documents in order too? For the few paper bills I do still get (which is minimal, I must say!) I usually keep the closing statement of the last year only. For tax returns (if you still keep paper copies), you need not keep more than 7 years, according to the tax experts.
For identity safety's sake - shred your discards. If you don’t own a shredder and don’t have access to one where you work, Office Depot and Staples have shredders that you can use. They charge by the pound of paper, and or you can drop off your stuff and they will shred it for you. Full disclosure, I prefer to shred my own stuff – I don’t want strangers going through my things.
Obviously, the fact that you (hopefully!) get less paper statements doesn’t mean that your digital documents can’t be better organized. In fact, there are more possibilities for you to have a huge mess, because what you don't see can't hurt you! Take this opportunity to organize your folders, back up your files, clean out your email and most importantly CLEAN OUT YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS!
For me the easiest way to clean out my emails is to list them by sender. You’ll see how many promotional emails you kept thinking you’d later advantage of an offer that was soon forgotten. You’ll also see all the threads of conversations repeated over and over – you get the gist. A zero mail inbox is, for me at least, an impossibility, but this does in fact reduce my inbox substantially.
Keep folders labeled “shopping” to manage shipment notifications, and “offers” for later shopping – as soon as the hit your email – that way you can clear it out in batches, much more efficiently.
Thank you for following our spring-cleaning series! We hope it was helpful and inspired you to get your home into shape!
We’re breaking our spring cleaning list up into manageable pieces by areas of your home.