We’ve now officially entered the glorious Spring months, which means it’s time to freshen your home, let the sunshine in and allow the clean air to circulate. We’re all guilty of allowing dust, clutter and waste to accumulate during the festive period when all we want to do is go into full hibernation. However, it’s now time to get your rubber gloves on and begin working through your Spring cleaning checklist – the eco-friendly way!
10 Step Spring Cleaning Checklist
Spring cleaning, at first, may seem like a daunting, tedious and dull task to tackle, particularly if your home has been somewhat neglected over the colder months; however, this doesn’t have to be the case. Creating a plan of action, along with a detailed ‘to-do’ list, will most definitely work to your advantage when contemplating the chore of taking on a full home detox.
When beginning Spring cleaning, many are oblivious to how much harm the use of chemical products has on the environment, not to mention the amount of waste that is thrown away during the decluttering process. With this in mind, it is important for all homeowners to consider making even the smallest of lifestyle changes to promote a ‘kind to nature’ approach to many of their daily tasks.
If you have vowed to become more environmentally friendly, perhaps for your new year’s resolution, then we have devised ten great tips to ensure that you not only clean your house top to bottom but remain eco-friendly while doing so!
1. Switch To Reusable Towels
One of the biggest culprits of building waste when cleaning the home is the use of paper towels and disinfectant wipes. While it may seem considerably easier to wipe away dust, dirt and grime then throw materials straight into the bin, all you are doing is adding to the never-ending pile of waste in your local landfill site. Instead, opt for reusable alternatives.
It is your choice whether you utilise old t-shirts or bathroom towels or invest in a set of microfibre cloths. Microfibre cloths, in particular, are proven to help to achieve a higher standard of cleanliness and are perfect for smear-free windows, mirrors and device screens such as your television or desktop. Made with minuscule fibres, microfibre cloths are capable of grabbing even the smallest of dirt particles that a traditional cloth would simply brush past. They can then be popped in the washing machine, cleaned and then reused as many times as you please.
2. Remove Mould Naturally
Mould and mildew are incredibly unsightly, which means it can be tempting to treat the problem with a host of harsh chemicals in the hope that it will begin to lift. Without thinking twice, the majority of homeowners will spray their bathroom with mould remover to eliminate all signs as quickly as possible, but do not fall into the trap!
Vinegar, in fact, is just as effective as it’s chemical-filled alternatives and while it may take a few extra hours, is increasingly more environmentally friendly. Once the mould and mildew are covered with a layer of vinegar, it will slowly begin to dislodge, which can then be scrubbed away. In some cases, if the culprits are proving rather stubborn, then you can speed up the process by applying an additional layer of baking soda and water paste.
3. Avoid Chemical Air Fresheners
There is nothing better than a gorgeous scented aroma when you walk into the home, however, this doesn’t necessarily have to be through the use of a synthetic air freshener. Synthetic air freshers, to create their plethora of different scents, are filled with a number of different hazardous chemicals which destroy the purity of the air; making them not only harmful to the environment but also those living within the home.
Instead, we suggest making your own air fresheners through the use of natural materials. Both rosemary springs and citrus peel, when boiled in water, are capable of filling the air with a fresh aroma while detoxifying the air as opposed to causing harm. For more homemade air freshener recipes using essential oils and natural ingredients, take a look at The Prairie Homestead!
4. Donate Old Belongings
One of the key steps towards Spring cleaning your home is the task of filtering through all of your old belongings to determine those that you no longer need. There is no better feeling than freeing up a tonne of space that was once filled with unwanted clutter. However, before you get too carried away with filling bin bags with old items, take a look at the condition of each – just because you no longer want them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that no one else will.
Items such as clothing, books, toys, furniture and kitchen gadgets are all capable of having a second life with another owner; whether this may be with a family member, friend or charity shop. If you’re hoping to donate to charity, then you most definitely will not be short for organisations to choose from. Many charities such as The British Heart Foundation even offer a free collection service meaning that a volunteer will come to your home to retrieve your donations.
5. Dry Laundry Naturally
As a nation, we have all become heavily reliant on the use of appliances to make our lives just that little more straightforward meaning we are all guilty of forgetting about the number of free resources available. Tumble dryers, in particular, are the worst cause of wasted energy and rely on 2,400 watts an hour to power. So, why not, if the weather is dry, hang your laundry on the washing line to dry instead? Not only will you be reducing your household’s average carbon footprint, but can also enjoy super fresh linen once it’s dry!
6. Change Lightbulbs
When spending time thoroughly cleaning and decluttering your home, don’t forget to consider the small, easy ways that you can begin to reduce your energy bills. While you may trial several different ways to remain environmentally friendly while doing your once-a-year Spring cleaning, it becomes relatively futile if you’re not prepared to continue the promise throughout the year.
One of the best ways to cut your energy bills is to switch to LED lightbulbs. Compared to a traditional bulb that requires 40 watts of power, their LED alternatives need just 5 watts to remain lit throughout the day; making them the most energy efficient type of lightbulb. A wide range of different LED bulbs to fit all fixtures in your home can be purchased from LED Hunt.
If you’re on a roll with building an eco-friendly household, then you may also want to consider swapping the gas and electricity supply for your home to a new provider. Particularly if you have been with the same provider for many years, you are almost guaranteed to find a cheaper home gas supply and electricity tariff that is able to reduce your carbon footprint.
7. Always Recycle
You would be surprised by the number of materials that can now be recycled; no longer is it the matter of just paper-based products. Along with paper waste, fabric, glass, food and old electronics can now all be recycled.
It is always worth, before throwing anything into the bin, checking on Recycle Now to see whether your local recycling centre is able to dispose of the waste on your behalf. The Recycle Now website allows you to search for a particular item and will then provide you with a number of disposal tips to ensure that you remain environmentally friendly.
Those who are keen gardeners, when it comes to food waste, we recommend making your own compost pile. Filling a compost bin with waste throughout the year will give you an organic fuel for your plants during the Summer. Home Composting Made Easy have put together a super helpful guide on how to compost food scraps.
8. Use Natural Cleaning Products
It is more than likely that, while you may not always notice, even the most simple of your household cleaning products will be filled with a number of different chemical ingredients that you cannot even begin to try and pronounce. Although they may claim to be entirely safe for use, you can never be too sure that they are kind to nature. With this in mind, we suggest using natural alternatives, that you’re likely to have stored away in the back of your cupboard, to your advantage, including the following:
- Baking Soda – Works as an effective abrasive for not only mould but also residue on cooking equipment, stained carpets and fridges filled with a strong odour.
- Lemon Juice – Ideal for polishing metal, cleaning appliances such as the microwave, blender and oven hobs, removing stains from cutting boards and countertops.
- Vinegar – An all-round household cleaner perfect for windows, kitchen appliances, bathrooms and even clogged drains or shower heads.
Wellness Mama has a helpful guide with more information on natural cleaning recipes and tips.
9. Sustainable Storage Solutions
Once you’re feeling super organised and your home is looking sparkling clean, its time to begin putting all of your belongings back in their rightful home. To avoid falling into the same routine all over again, having to re-declutter a few months down the line, take a strategic approach to organise your home through effective storage solutions.
Thanks to the growing popularity of eco-friendly alternatives, there are now tonnes of different storage options that are able to keep the organic theme. When clearing clutter, we suggest taking extra care to spot things that could be reused as storage. For example, once you have emptied the contents of jars into your compost bin, put the glass jars to one side to be used as vases, holders for cutlery or makeup brushes. Any old shoe boxes, in addition to jars, can be used to organise shelving or cupboards. For more great ideas on eco-friendly organising tips, take a look at the Make Space.
10. Go Paperless
The last step of your Spring cleaning mission should be to filter through all of the paperwork, junk mail and receipts you have accumulated and determine what areas you can afford to go paperless. Bank statements, phone contract bills and monthly household bills all now have the option to switch to e-statements to ensure that no additional paper is wasted. If you notice that you are throwing away the same junk mail each time it drops through your letterbox onto your doormat, then keep note of the company name and opt out of their mailing list. Money Crashers have put together 11 great ways that you can begin to build a paperless household – and, it’s easier than you think!
Make Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Choices!
Even the smallest of changes in your lifestyle can make a world of difference in encouraging family members to take a more environmentally friendly approach. Whether you opt for testing just a handful of our top ten ideas or challenge yourself to implement all, you will be contributing towards reducing your household carbon footprint.
We hope that you have felt inspired by our eco-friendly Spring cleaning checklist, if so, why not share the ideas with your friends and family on social media?