Your spring cleaning checklist
Did you know that 78% of people in the U.S. participate in spring cleaning every year? The annual process of cleaning out the nooks and crannies of your home can be a big undertaking. Whether you’re deep cleaning your bathroom or kitchen or emptying out your closet, it’s important to not only think about where all the “junk” you clear out goes, but also to learn about the environmental and health benefits of a good old-fashioned spring cleaning session.
Clean homes come with a long list of benefits, including improved physical, respiratory and mental health, along with increased overall safety. If you’re wondering how to get started, check out our spring cleaning checklist to spring into action!
1. Clear away dust to improve indoor air quality.
Dust and pet dander are major culprits when it comes to the negative state of your indoor air quality—according to the American College of Asthma, Allergies and Immunology, dust mites, which can be found in pillows, mattresses, carpets and upholstered furniture, are reported as the most common cause of allergy from home dust. To improve the indoor air quality of your space, don’t forget about the dust.
2. Tidy up your kitchen.
Studies have found that people who are placed in a clean, orderly room are likely to choose healthier snack options than those in a disorderly room. Cleaning up your kitchen comes with more benefits than you think, so be sure to recycle old bottles and cans, clean off those counters and compost any food waste that makes the cut.
3. Clean with the least toxic product that will do the job.
We’re all looking for cleaning supplies that pack a punch. However, the powerful chemicals that we associate with conventional cleaning products not only reduce indoor air quality, but can also be harmful to human skin and lungs. If you're looking for ways to make nontoxic cleaners, you can use common household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda to help you get the job done. If that's not your speed, try purchasing nontoxic (or less toxic) formulated products at your local store or online. Learn more about what products are best.
4. Donate or sell old clothes.
If your favorite jacket isn’t sparking joy for you anymore, it’s probably time to let it go. Since rubber, leather and textiles make up more than 9% of municipal solid waste in the U.S., it’s important to do your best to find a new home for your previously loved clothing. Find out where you can donate your clothes before throwing them in the trash.
5. Responsibly discard old appliances.
When electronic waste is tossed into our regular garbage cans, chemicals can seep into the soil, polluting the groundwater and the air. Recycling your old appliances allows their parts to be reused to avoid waste and chemicals released into the air. To find out where you can discard your old appliances, check with your local utility or take a look at the U.S. EPA’s RAD program, which encourages appliance recycling and proper disposal of hazardous components.
As you declutter your space, you’re bound to come across a few things that can be recycled. Curious to know how to recycle in your state? MarthaStewart.com has a state-by-state recycling guide that offers an interesting statistic for each state and a link to its relevant webpage for recycling. Learn more about how to recycle right.