Friday, 23 October 2020

The tasks you should tackle this spring

Spring is here, which means it’s time to take stock of the dust, grime and clutter you accumulates at home during the colder months. Start the season right and get stuck into some spring cleaning.

Professional organiser Lissanne Oliver says the warmer weather is an obvious time to tackle major cleaning projects. “You’re not hunkered down any more,” she says. “You can open all the windows. You might want to venture farther into the shed or garage.”

Oliver recommends starting with storage areas such as the garage or spare room, where clutter might have gathered over the winter months, or longer.

“Stuff there is old. It’s really gone to die. And that stuff is much easier to make decisions about what has value.”

Michael Girowal, founder of professional cleaning company Green Clean Australia, suggests tackling one task at a time.

iStock-860618360_amtwybFluorescent light globes can’t be thrown out with normal rubbish. Image: iStock

“Don’t let spring cleaning overwhelm you,” he says. “Use a checklist to keep yourself on track.”

Spring is a great time to launder or air out or clean any textiles and soft items, such as clothes, carpets, curtains and bedding.

“Make sure you launder items, like winter coats and bedding, before you store them. Or moths and critters can get in there,” says Oliver.

Clean your mattress by vacuuming the surface and any crevices with a brush attachment. To get rid of any odours, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on top and let it sit for a day before vacuuming again. And don’t forget to flip the mattress over so you’re using a new side for a new season.

Girowal says bicarb can soak up odours elsewhere in the home, such as the bottom of your garbage or nappy bin.

He also likes to dust from high spaces to low places using a dusting brush on the vacuum.

iStock-919768798_znwrtgA checklist will organise your clean. Image: iStock

“It will save lots of time and get things cleaner than ever before,” he says. “Use a HEPA filter and you’ll remove 99.9 per cent of dust and allergens.”

Oliver says she prefers to avoid buying several household cleaners for various tasks. Save on product packaging and money by using simple and affordable cleaning agents, such as water, vinegar, dish soap, bicarbonate of soda and cloudy ammonia.

“You can make a surface spray or floor cleaner which is 50 per cent dishwashing liquid and 50 per cent vinegar,” she says. “It cleans everything.”

If you’re craving a break from cleaning the house, run errands you have been putting off all winter. Look around the house for anything that needs repairing, such as that old heater or rickety chair.

Don’t forget to rid your home of potentially harmful problem waste that can’t be thrown out with the rubbish, such as paint, gas bottles, fluorescent  globes, batteries and motor oil.

iStock-842785478_x7zwjoDisposing of harmful chemicals properly will keep your family safe. Image: iStock

For environmental and safety reasons, these items need special attention, says Kathy Giunta, the NSW Environment Protection Agency’s director of waste and resource recovery.

“Often people store these kinds of materials because they are unsure how to correctly dispose of them, but know they shouldn’t go in the kerbside bin,” she says. “If these materials are dropped off at a CleanOut event or a community recycling centre, with special treatment, they can be recycled.”

Chemical CleanOut events and community recycling centres are two free services funded by NSW EPA that NSW residents can use to dispose of their household problem waste.

“People who use these services are making their homes safer by removing these materials away from family, children and pets and helping our environment by recycling.”

Giunta says spring is one of the busiest times of year for the services. “This is when we can see that people are doing a lot of renovating, or they are really getting into their spring cleaning. So it’s absolutely the time to get involved.”


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