Spring brings many new arrivals with its appearance, the first sprouts of daffodils, buds on the trees, birds migrating back home, as well as the most obvious and welcome arrival- warm weather. With all the new it makes one feel an overwhelming need to get rid of the old! There’s no time like the beginning of spring to make you realize how much random stuff you’ve been accumulating in your den all winter long. Spring break is the perfect time to open up those closets and cupboards and have a good old fashioned de-clutter day. Here’s some ideas about how to best go about your spring cleaning in the most eco-friendly way!
De-Clutter Your Closet
The first question that might come to mind when examining your closet is- Where do I start!? Clothing has a pesky tendency to hold good memories which can make it difficult to part with, but here are a few first steps.
Get rid of anything with holes/stains.
If you think it can be mended, do it! If it doesn’t get done by the end of the week, it’s doubtful the motivation to keep it is there. Set it aside for fabric recycling! Cut garments and towels into small squares to use as rags around the house. If it’s the end of the item’s life, Knox has a fabric recycling drop off bin in the Mail Room and the Share Shop. Your ragged sweater could be one day transformed into new items!
Ask yourself- how many times have you worn it?
A good rule of thumb is that if the answer is less than 3 and you’ve had it for over a year, it’s time to go. Don’t just toss unwanted items. Donate still-good clothes to Knox’s Share Shop, local shelter, or local thrift stores. Have a clothing swap with friends. There are even a few ways to make a bit of money off name brand items by posting item in online consignment stores (https://poshmark.com/) or thrift groups (https://www.thredup.com) or drop off items at local consignment shops
Sort the warm-weather wear from the cold
Clothing easily becomes “clutter” if you have a sundress hanging next to a wool sweater all year. A good way to stay organized is to separate your clothes to match the seasons! Keep a few favorites sweaters or pants in case the weather takes a shift, but storing your fall and winter clothes when it gets warm will instantly help clear up closet space.
Bringing new items into your closet
Once your closet is clear, keep this simple rule in mind throughout the year: one in – one out. Any time you acquire a new piece of clothing, say goodbye to something that is too big/small, worn out, or something you just don’t wear. This way, the yearly spring cleaning won’t be too hard to tackle.
Super Cleaning Your Living Space
It’s easy to get a little slobbish when you’re hunkered inside away from the cold. Your living space can easily become your cave and dust and clutter can quickly pile up. Here’s some tips on how to best go about your cleaning.
Remember the three R’s- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
A lot of things can easily be thrown out or recycled, but remember the sustainability 3 R mantra. Reuse is number two of three! For example, if you have a candle that has burned out to its last whiff of vanilla, don’t automatically throw the jar into to the recycling! You can easily reuse candle jars in many ways around the house. An easy way to get the rest of that pesky wax on the bottom is to stick it in the freezer for a couple hours. After it’s frozen solid, the wax will chip right off! Consider transforming your new jar into a cotton ball container for the bathroom, or a terrarium to bring nature into the heart of the living room. That’s one way to transform something that’s been hanging around and make it brand new.
Think About Your Cleaning Products
You probably know this already and don’t have to be told, but many household cleaners have very unnatural ingredients both for the environment and for you. Before you bust out the bottle of cleaner there are plenty of eco friendly cleaning products you can make yourself! Check out this list of 27 chemical free cleaning products and recipes that you can make yourself!
Make Your Renovations Eco-Friendly
If you are thinking about fixing up your living space and making some renovations, consider these sustainable fixes!
Low Flow Shower Head
If you’re shower head is on its last leg consider investing in a low flow solution. Most shower heads use up to 5 gallons of water per minute, low flow shower heads typically use only 2!
If you are changing out any old blown out bulbs consider investing in LED bulbs if you haven’t already. The cost of LEDs are still a bit higher (though they have reduced significantly in recent years!), but considering they last, on average, 5 times longer than other bulbs and use less energy, the upfront cost is worth it in the long run! Though CFLs had been the bulb of choice, they contain mercury and therefore must be properly disposed of, not with the regular trash. Take your old CFL bulbs to Lowes, they have a collection bin for proper disposal.
If you are in the market for new furniture or finishings, consider buying pre-owned. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is one option to get high-end pre-owned items. There are also estate sales, garage sales, antique stores, and thrift shops that might have just the thing you’re looking for!
Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas for your spring cleaning plans! Get ready to open your windows and let in the fresh air; spring is finally here!