Spring has officially arrived here in the Portland, Oregon area. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are rising. In the paper shredding world, spring means that it’s time to start spring cleaning. We love clearing out the clutter and shredding all the sensitive documents we’ve been accumulating. This year, it makes even more sense to clean since we’re all stuck inside due to COVID-19. While you’re being socially responsible and doing your part to flatten the curve, you might as well tackle some overdue cleaning! Here are our top quick and dirty tips to clean up your home.
Tackle one room at a time
You’ve barely left your house in weeks and the place is a mess! Where do you even start? Trying to do everything at once will leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. Plan on cleaning one room each week (or daily, if you’re bored). Begin by listing your cleaning and organizing priorities to get a big picture idea of what you want to accomplish. Consider focusing on areas that don’t regularly get your attention, such as baseboards, ceiling fans, tops of cabinets or the fridge, window blinds, windows and window sills, or under furniture. As you make your way through the house, try the following:
- Pack away winter clothes and bring out summer clothes. If you’re short on space, store unused clothes in plastic tubs under the beds. Consider using a space-saving vacuum storage bag to pack away bulky jackets, sweaters, and blankets.
- Organize your pantry. Many of us have stocked up on items like beans, pasta, and grains. Organize your food so you can easily see everything. If you purchased a large quantity of something that you are unlikely to use, consider donating it to your local food pantry.
- Clean the fridge. Take out all your food and wipe down all the surfaces. Remove shelves and soak in soapy water, if necessary. Dump out any outdated condiments and any weird, old items that you no longer use.
- Place draperies, throw pillows, and rugs into the dryer for 15 minutes on the “air-only” cycle to freshen them up.
- Speaking of dryers, this a great time to clean it out! While you should be cleaning the lint trap after every load, use your vacuum to pull out debris and hard-to-reach link. Use the vacuum behind and underneath the dryer, too.
- Organize junk drawers. We all have one, or maybe a couple. Dump ’em out one by one and toss out all those random screws, business cards, and instruction manuals that you don’t use.
- Get rid of old digital materials. If you have a pile of hard drives in a closet, now is the time to securely destroy them. Remember: DataSafe can safely destroy your hard drives, CDs/DVDs, and other media.
Focus on seasonal chores
You want to sit outside on a clean, tidy patio or deck, right? This is a great time to clean your outside areas because then you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Wipe down your outside furniture, clean your grill, sweep off walkways, and rake up any old leaves. With a quick mow of your lawn, you’ll have a fresh looking backyard that you’ll love hanging out in. Remember, with social isolation, it’s important to spend time outside in the fresh air — a cleaned up backyard is the perfect place to enjoy yourself.
Don’t use too many products
The cleaning aisle can make you think you need a specialized cleanser for each area you’re cleaning. This isn’t true! Stocking up on unnecessary cleaning supplies only creates more clutter while leaving you with potentially toxic substances that you have to dispose of later if you don’t use them. Keep it simple and use a good all-purpose cleaner and some old rags. If you’re looking for environmentally friendly or low-waste options, there are tons of recipes out there for homemade cleansers, too. It’s amazing what you can do with an inexpensive bottle of vinegar!
Clear the clutter
If your house contains piles of books, closets crammed with clothing, and knickknacks on every surface, now is the time to think about what you really need and want in your home. Use a four-step approach to categorize your belongings as trash, donate, storage, or put away. You might also designate items to store for a future garage sale! Not only is cleaning easier with less clutter but living in an uncluttered space has real psychological benefits, such as less anxiety and more energy. Make sure to identify any sources of paper, like a place where you stash all your mail, filing cabinets, or stacks of paper that need to be sorted. This is a perfect time to pack up documents that need to be shredded! Once you’ve collected all your paper, contact DataSafe to set up a drop-off time. We’ve been Portland’s top choice for secure, convenient, and reliable document shredding for over 30 years.