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A Clean Slate

It’s that time of year... the weather is warming up, the flowers have started to bloom and spring is in the air! After being cooped up in a stuffy house all winter, it’s finally time to cast open the windows, clear away the cobwebs and take on your annual spring cleaning. Revitalize your hibernating home with a few of these simple suggestions:

SPRING INTO ACTION Create game plan you’re comfortable with, making sure not to overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations. Make a list of the rooms that need the most love and tackle those first. Once you've decided and written out your plan of action, you will a weight lifted from your shoulders. So grab a pen and start planning!

ONE ROOM AT A TIME Since they get the most foot traffic and are the activity hub of your home, start with communal rooms, like the living/family rooms, dining, kitchen and main bathrooms. After that, move on to bedrooms and closets. Once all the basics are covered, you’ll have time to deal with surfaces, walls and other neglected hiding spots.

JUST DANCE Music makes everything better, so turn that broom into an air guitar and shimmy and shake to your favorite tunes while you scour and scrub. Not feeling your personal playlists? Here’s a super spring-cleaning set courtesy of mashable.com. Cleaning can also be extremely therapeutic for stress and anger, and can help bring mental clarity. So go ahead and get zen while you dust your den!

CLOSET CASE Organizing your personal closet is a great way to get rid of unused clothes and accessories that can be donated to local charities. Another great way to simplify your everyday life is to lay out your closet by how you get dressed in the morning, and then by color.

SPONGE LOVE Believe it or not, your sponge is often the most germ-laden place in your home. Before you begin your spring scouring spree, make sure to zap the bacteria on your sponge by either nuking it in your microwave for one minute in a bowl of lemon water or soaking it for five minutes in a mixture of 3/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water.

PURGE YOUR FRIDGE Pull up the trash can and dump forgotten fruits, lingering leftovers, spoiled snacks and condiments you haven’t touched in months. Then remove all the glass shelves and bins and rinse them all out. Finish with a fresh box of baking soda to absorb odors. Mom would definitely approve.

GO GREEN Some chemicals found in store-bought cleaning products can be more dangerous than the dirt you’re trying to banish! Thankfully, there are many natural alternatives available that you can make yourself that can help your home get squeaky clean—and green:

Glass Cleaner: In a recycled spray bottle, mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water. Spray on glass and wipe clean with recycled newspaper or a bamboo cloth.

Countertop & Tile Cleaner: Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Scrub with a sponge and wash away.

Air Freshener: Sprinkle your fave essential oil on a cotton ball, and stash it in a corner of the room. Lavender is a relaxing scent that is great for your bedroom, while cinnamon, clove, peppermint and citrus oils will energize the rest of the house. Just make sure to keep out of reach of kids or pets.

Now that you have a tidy, sparkling home, all you have to do is add flowers! Floral arrangements bring color, vibrancy and scintillating scent to your abode. It’s a beautiful finishing touch and a pretty reward for a job well done!