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Green Your Spring Cleaning

POSTED UNDER Home & Garden

Spring's official arrival every year is March 20th, though it may not look like it in your part of the country. Some may still have snow on the ground or it may look like summer for those in warmer climates. Whatever the weather outside, spring traditionally kicks off the annual indoor cleaning season. 

If the weather is warm enough, open the windows and let the fresh air circulate inside your home. Start with closets, shelves and drawers and remove those articles you no longer use, wear or that are stealing much needed space. Bag them for the next rummage sale, as a donation to a nonprofit organization or give them to someone in need. You will feel so good to have reduced your storage space, recycled and found a way to reuse items once important to you.

With more organized storage space, we think next about cleaning. If you haven’t tried it in the past, explore the green way to clean. Leave the chemicals behind and make your own cleaning solutions using ingredients common to most kitchens such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and liquid soap. Here’s an all-purpose disinfectant:

2 cups water
3 teaspoons liquid soap
20 drops of tea tree oil or 4 tablespoons of vinegar

For a green window cleaner, try combining 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend and spray on your windows then wipe the cleaner off with old newspapers instead of paper towels for clean and clear windows that will sparkle in the sunlight. The vinegar will clean the window while the liquid soap will cut through the residue left behind by conventional cleaners.

Dusting requires only a soft cloth to remove dust particles. No spray-on polish needed - just a few drops of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water mixed, sprayed and wiped clean.

It’s also time to get the garden ready for spring. Here are some tips for you:

  • Remove dead annual plants
  • Prune perennials
  • Remove winter mulch
  • Cut back ornamental grasses
  • Prune roses in warm climates
  • Fertilize evergreens
  • Weed

Spring is a great time to begin composting for your garden. Begin by finding a flat area near the house or garden. Composting requires air circulation, fresh materials and something to contain it, such as an old trash can with holes, a three-sided structure of hay bales, cement blocks or mesh fencing. You can also purchase ready-made containers that close tightly for outside use or a portable container for your kitchen. Your garden will love the rich soil your composting will produce over time

Don’t forget to tune up your bicycles. Check the air in the tires and make sure you have a comfortable seat and lights or reflectors for after dark. Check your walking and running shoes and make sure you have a comfortable pair that gives you the support you need when you hit the walking and running trails.

It’s spring! Time to bring the freshness indoors, and spend some much needed time outdoors after a long winter.