-- Spring cleaning: Everybody has to do it, but who among us really looks forward to it?
From purging items that are no longer useful to priming your laundry strategy for the freshest linens possible, the following tips from lifestyle experts will help streamline the spring cleaning experience into an easy weekend event.
1. Don't Get Overwhelmed -- Do Get Strategic
"Take a step back and look at the big picture," Abby Larson, founder and editor of Style Me Pretty Living, told ABC News. "Assess the areas of your house that are constantly messy to see if you can find a way to solve each area. If you never put the Tupperware away because it lives on a shelf that's too high, maybe you can rearrange your cabinets and make room for it somewhere you can reach. If it's not easy to put it away, it's almost a guarantee you'll never do it. Fix those roadblocks and then you can get to scrubbing!
2. Don't Procrastinate Hated Chores -- Do Let Robots Take Over
"There are so many jobs that people don’t want to do," said smart home and digital lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch. "It’s annoying to have to clean gutters and behind the toilet. So for those tasks, I recommend outsourcing to machines. There are robots you can buy or rent now that will clean your windows, mop your floors, fling debris out from your gutters and other ones that are literally small enough to fit behind your toilet." Two to consider: an iRobot Scooba or Braava for hands-free scrubbing.
3. Don't Hold On To Items You No Longer Use -- Do Feel Free to Purge
In New York Times bestselling self-help tome, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing," author and organization expert Marie Kondo encourages readers to only surround themselves with things that "spark joy." But in order to determine whether a blouse or book passes muster, one must truly examine it before deciding to throw it in a garbage bag or return to a shelf. “Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill,” she writes. “You must take each outfit in your hand.”
4. Don't Oversuds Your Linens -- Do Launder Like a Pro
"A recent study showed people would rather do their taxes than their laundry," said Knobloch. "For me, when I got my front-loading high-efficiency (HE) washer, I just find it makes life so much easier. The HE machines have 40 percent larger drums versus traditional machines and can wash up to 32 pounds of laundry. That means you don’t need to waste all day doing one chore. If you already have an HE washer, it's important to make sure you're using a low-sudsing laundry detergent specially designed for your HE Machine like Tide HE Turbo Clean. Otherwise, you will end up having to spend more hours rinsing clothes multiple times."
5. Don't Get in a Decorating Rut -- Do Refresh Old Furniture and Walls
Larson told ABC News that it's possible and practical to give old items new life by refreshing them with simple accessories or colors. Is your dresser bringing you down? "A fresh coat of paint does wonders," she said, adding, "A new color palette of pillows and throws added to a neutral sofa or sitting area" can make a lived-in room feel new again. Likewise, "Try clearing out your shelves and re-accessorizing" from room to room, she said. "Shopping your home for items you can move to a new spot will give it a breath of fresh air without spending a dime."
6. Don't Go It Alone -- Do Get the Family on Board
"Make it a game!" recommends Larson. "Kids love being timed, so set a timer for 10 minutes of cleaning. Challenge them to beat their previous record of how much they were able to pick up. Another great thing about a timer is that they know they won't be stuck cleaning all day, so they'll be much more interested in pitching in."
7. Don't Get Overrun By Receipts -- Do Keep Records Online
"Life doesn’t allow you to be completely paperless. In fact, I'm convinced it procreates when you’re not looking," joked Knobloch. "So I try to keep the paper count in house to a minimum by scanning as much as possible into online storage files like Evernote or Dropbox to make sure that as much as possible is off the counter and out of my physical life."