Spring Cleaning Checklist

By Cate Henry March 1, 2013 05:00 AM
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Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s that time of year. The snow is melting (if you’re lucky) and it’s time to welcome spring, and with it, spring cleaning. We know: Yuck. Who wants to spend the first warm days of the year cleaning out closets, deleting old files or rummaging through the garage? Look, it’s not exactly fun, but once you’re through, you’ll feel better. Lighter. Rejuvenated. Kind of spring-like.

So crank some upbeat tunes (“Let’s Get it Started” – Black Eyed Peas, or if sarcasm is more your thing “Highway to Hell” – ACDC) and let’s buckle down and get to it. weBEgirls would never let you tackle your Mountain ‘o Junk without a little help, and that’s why we’ve come up with these helpful tips.

Don’t know what to do with that old lamp and the snowboard you’ve used once? Sign up with excessaccess.com, a non-profit that matches donors to wish lists of charities in your area. They’ll tell you who’s looking for what you’ve got, who’ll pick and who just accepts drop offs. As their website says, “Everybody Wins!”

Spring cleaning is slightly more enticing when you’ll know you’ll be getting cash for your junk. Get a few pals together and have a multifamily garage sale. But first, a few tips from the pros: Be sure to advertise properly (newspaper AND craigslist) carry plenty of change, and look into getting a permit. Most cities require you get one to have a garage sale, and will slap you with a hefty fine ($200 in Los Angeles—Ouch!) if you aren’t covered.

Organize (for Once and for All)
We all have that shoebox of old mementoes gathering dust in the garage. Since you’ve already donated the big stuff and sold everything else (right?), break out the scanner and start uploading those old photos. Organize the pics by year/era and then back them up on a disc. Send a few really special family photos to a restoration site and–Voila! You have a really sweet Mother’s Day gift.

Know thy Waste
Most people know that you can’t throw computers and other electronics away in the garbage can, but there are other potentially harmful pollutants lurking in your junk? (Like old paint and cleaning products, perhaps?). To be sure something is safe to toss, go to epa.gov. The site can also tell you where you can drop off that laptop from the nineties, too.

One last tip: if you’re prone to keeping stuff instead of purging, call on the help of a friend with a discerning eye. Because he or she has no sentimental attachments to any of your stuff, they’ll be able to tell you objectively what you should keep and what you should lose. Hey, it worked with your lousy ex, didn’t it?

And when you’re all done…reward yourself. Order in dinner from your favorite take out, buy those extravagant shoes you’ve been eyeing, or go for a Thai massage. You deserve it!