Little spring cleaning ideas that make a big difference
Open up the windows, let the fresh air in and clean a few things that don't get their fair share of attention during the rest of the year.
When I was growing up, every Wednesday night you would hear my mom shout up the stairs, "Girls, don't forget to clean your rooms, the cleaning lady is coming tomorrow." So, needless to say, keeping a clean house is definitely in my blood.
I like to take advantage of the change of season to open up the windows, let the fresh air in and clean a few things that don't get their fair share of attention during the rest of the year.
Here are a few things on my spring cleaning list.
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Pencil shavings, cracked eye shadows and brushes galore, makeup bags can be a real disaster. Now's a great time to dump them out, take stock of what's there and get rid of old makeup and things you don't use. Take the time to shampoo all your brushes. I use Sephora's Purifying Brush Shampoo (Sephora.com, $7). Replace your mascara (you should really do this every four to six months) and replace eyeshadows and pencils that you use daily. And, if you use a canvas makeup bag, turn it inside-out and throw it in the washing machine. Your face will definitely thank you!
For more tips check out this article from The Glitter Guide.
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Believe it or not, showerheads can use a good, yearly cleaning. The minerals in your water build up and can create an uneven or weak spray. There are two ways to do it. If you're handy, remove the showerhead and soak it in a bucket of vinegar for a few hours. If you're not so handy, that's ok, here's an easy trick: fill a zip-lock bag with vinegar and secure it around the showerhead with a rubber band. Again, let it soak for a few hours. Run the water on very hot for a few minutes after you're done soaking, and your shower will be spraying at full force once again.
While we're on the subject of bathrooms, spring is a great time to replace your shower curtain liner if you use one. For around $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond or other home stores you can buy a new, mildew-free one. I try to do this at least twice a year. Go ahead, splurge.
A good beatin'
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I don't care how good your vacuum is, you'll be amazed the amount of dust and dirt that builds up in your rugs and runners, especially if you live in NYC like I do. Take the time to roll up all your area rugs and runners and take them outside, find a good railing to hang them over and give them a good whacking with your broom. Wait for a particularly annoying day and go to town; it doubles as a great stress reliever.
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Replace all your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries (you should really do this every six months). I learned from Martha Stewart to do it on same day you switch your clocks; that way you never forget. Spring is also a good time to replace remote control and flashlight batteries. And remember, if you're not using rechargeable batteries, your used batteries can be recycled. If you don't know where to do this check out Earth911.com for locations near you.