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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 12:41 pm    Post subject: Energize Your Home with Spring Cleaning Reply with quote

Spring is a time of new beginnings, renewal and fresh starts. It's the perfect time to get rid of clutter, clear the cobwebs and re-energize your home. For many, this means Spring Cleaning.
Here's how to take it a few steps beyond just washing the windows, without spending a ton of money.

Getting rid of unwanted items around your home can help freshen it up and make cleaning a lot easier. Don't just tackle the closets and toys; clear your pantry and garage as well. Take a hard look at what you're not using anymore and give it away to charity. Don't forget to claim your receipt for tax savings.

Carpet Cleaning
Keeping carpets clean can help extend their life, so vacuum frequently (several times a week in high traffic areas) to prevent dirt from damaging the fibers. Have them deep-cleaned at least once a year. Call around to different cleaners to see who can give you the best price based on square footage, and make sure you know which cleaning method is best for your carpet. Consider renting the equipment and doing it yourself, if time permits.

Where to Shop and What to Buy
Sometimes out-of-the-way places have the best deals. Check out your local Dollar Store, which has a lot of the same cleaning items for much less than traditional stores. Look for laundry soap, dish soap, shower cleaners, window cleaners and other cleaning products. You can almost always save money when considering store brands and generics. Often the only noticeable difference is the fragrance, but the price can be as much as half off premium brands. Look for cleaning products in larger containers to get the best price per ounce.

Use Coupons
Before you buy it helps to check for coupons both in the Sunday papers, at manufacturer websites, on eBay, online & on our "Let's Trade" board - especially if you don't have time to clip coupons from the Sunday circulars.

Make Cleaners at Home
Making cleaners at home doesn't just save you money - it's also an easy way to go green. Baking soda and vinegar are great for cleaning and don't contain harsh chemicals, so they're not harmful to the environment. Other cleaners can be made at home for a fraction of the cost of their store-bought counterparts. You can save even more by looking for coupons for the ingredients needed to make the cleaning solutions. Again, manufacturer's Websites and sites like offer savings for many of these products.

Here are directions for making a few common household cleaners:

Window/Glass Cleaner:
One part vinegar
One part water

Floor Cleaner:
1 cup vinegar
2 gallons water

Dishwashing Soap:
1 bar white bar soap
1/2 gallon water
Grate the soap into flakes. In large pot, stir water and soap flakes to dissolve. Boil for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and pour into container.

Soft-Scrub Cleaner:
1 2/3 cup baking soda
˝ Cup liquid soap
Water as desired to create the right consistency

See our Special Recipies section for more homemade idea's:

Freshen Up!
Put a fresh face on your home by painting walls. Check the paint section at your hardware store for "oops!" (mistinted) paint. You can often find gallons for under $5 - and sometimes even tint them to the colors you want.
Don't forget to freshen up your accessories as well. Switch out picture frames to include up-to-date photos. Plants and flowers symbolize life, so include a few green plants in your home to add fresh new energy. You can often find great deals on houseplants that don't look so great and easily nurse them back to health.

Moving your furniture can create an entirely new feeling in your home, with no money needed. Remember to think outside individual rooms. A lamp in the bedroom might fit well in the living room, and a mirror in the dining room might work for the entryway. If you feel the need to add new pieces, look in thrift stores or check your local State Recycle, Yard Sale & Grocery deals:

With these tips you can easily and inexpensively clean house and get a fresh start this Spring. Getting rid of the clutter and grime will help energize your home, and doing it for less will help energize you.
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