Can you believe Tax Day is almost here? Yes, it’s true – somewhere between building that raised bed and decorating all those Easter eggs, we’re less than two weeks away from the April 15 deadline.
Preparing your tax return can be chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be. Keeping important papers organized year-round can help you spend less time scouring your file cabinet and more time planning your Tax Day shopping spree (you know you’ve been browsing the sales).
SPRING PROJECT: Upcycle Your File Cabinet
Start with the mail. It’s easy to let the mail stack up, and somehow even easier for unread letters to make rounds through every room of the house and get lost. Since it’s not always possible or practical to deal with the mail as soon as you walk in the door, create a system for sorting the mail that works for you – it doesn’t matter when or where, but a consistent routine will help you stay on top of things.
More Ways to Curb Paper Clutter
There’s something intrinsic about spring cleaning. Everything in nature is fresh and new so naturally, sprucing up the house just feels like the right thing to do.
I like to open windows for fresh air so spring cleaning with harsh chemicals is a little counter-intuitive. Apparently, I’m not alone because natural, homemade cleaning recipes are trending on Pinterest.
This one-minute microwave cleaning trick with a lemon and a tablespoon of water is popular on HGTV’s Help Around the Home Pinterest board.
An easy spring cleaning tip I learned from my mother-in-law: Set pillows out in the sunshine because the sun is a natural disinfectant.
What are your best tips for spring cleaning?
As you know, spring inspires cleaning of household areas that typically get neglected — like the refrigerator. I’m a single guy whose fridge usually only holds a few condiments and bottled water — and even then mine gets amazingly messy. So if I need assistance, I know those of you with families must! Fridge Coasters can help us.
They are easy-to-clean absorbent liners that come in different sizes to fit high traffic areas of your refrigerator. You place them in your fridge to help absorb drips that would normally dry to the bottom of your bins.
They’re rather cute, too. Who would have thought you could make the inside of your refrigerator look stylish?
We love music in my household. In fact, my roommates and I have a speaker in just about every room of the house. They help us power through our chores whether it’s tackling piles of laundry, scrubbing the tub or vacuuming – we do a lot of vacuuming.
With March finally underway, I want to kick off spring cleaning season by sharing a couple of playlists to help you breeze through your household tasks. Categorized by cleaning mood with everything from today’s pop hits to ‘80s power ballads, you’re sure to find something to get you motivated.
You can listen to the entire mix here, or read on for the individual playlists.
More House Cleaning Music
Winter is undeniably one of my favorite seasons, but I’ve checked out early this year. In an attempt to coax spring into coming early, I’ve started the long and grueling process of cleaning my house.
Whether it’s deep cleaning or just tidying up, there are a few ways to go the extra mile and keep your home sparkling. During my spree, I uncovered dirty items around my home that I didn’t even realize were in need of my care. I cannot confirm or deny that I spent 30 minutes vacuuming a loveseat.
1. The upholstery. Vacuum couches, chairs, love seats, rugs and mattresses, then spot clean with a rag and warm water. Depending on the fabric, curtains and slipcovers can be tossed in the washing machine.
2. The walls. If you have kids or pets, this might be a no-brainer – those handprints (or pawprints!) add up. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth, then gently scrub off any dirt with an all-purpose cleaner safe for your walls. (Test in an inconspicuous area first if you’re unsure.) Don’t forget the molding!
Achoo! A couple of us down at HGTV Headquarters aren’t feeling so well. I spent last week in bed fighting what I’m convinced was the plague, armed with only a stash of home remedies and a few boxes of tea.
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that never seem to get sick, you’re bound to catch a cold sometime. Keeping your home spic and span is one of the most important ways to ward away disease, and a thorough cleaning once you’re feeling better can prevent illness from spreading to your loved ones.
Start with the air. If you don’t remember the last time you changed the AC filter in your home, you’re cheating yourself out of good health. Harmful airborne particles like smoke, bacteria, pet dander, mold and allergens can build up in your home with a dirty filter. A quality pleated filter will only run you about $20 and last for 90 days.
Take off your shoes. Your shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Millions of harmful microorganisms can be tracked across the floor – a major problem only multiplied if you have kids that like to play on the floor. Take your shoes off at the door and politely ask guests to do the same.
Read the Rest
Remember when I introduced you to ORG a few short weeks ago? Well, it’s time to reveal part two of our master bedroom custom closet build, because today the team visited our home to install the final design (in just 6 hours, I might add)!
Here's our new friends installing this gigantic unit. Because our unit has full Forterra back panels (creating a clean, consistent look), the closet conceals the bedroom wall and eliminates the need for any drywall work. (yay!)
Our installers were fun, hilarious and excited to be building us our dream closet. If you’ll remember, we chose a material called Forterra that is produced with recycled content and is craaaazy strong. (Which means the ORG men are very, very burly.)
My favorite part of our new closet is the sweet little vanity you’ll see below. I’ve wanted a vanity since I was a little girl, and now, as a grown-up (sort of), I can’t wait to try it out! I mean, gracious, it just feels so luxurious to sit down while applying mascara. And yes, for the record, I’m very easy to please.
Don’t Miss the Vanity Pics
Recently the drawer that I use to store my cosmetics has become an unmanageable mess with bottles of lotion and hair product thrown haphazardly here and there because my daughter is late for school. And putting things back in their proper place is just so much work. No, it really is. Because I’ve just spent the last half hour repeatedly screaming, “YOUR SOCKS GO ON YOUR FEET.” Or telling my husband over and over again that the baby is in the fireplace.
And then I inevitably forget to throw away things that should be thrown away. Or more accurately, I get down to the last three drops of lotion, think I’ll eventually use those three drops, and then leave that empty bottle sitting at the bottom of the drawer for the next three years. Multiply this by about a thousand, and THIS IS MY LIFE.