Written By: Jessica Minato, Marketing Manager, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
With the days getting longer, and the air getting warmer, we’ve officially transitioned into Spring! Personally, I have two favourite things about this time of year. First, I love the fact that my commute to and from work is now in daylight… yay! And secondly, I love Spring Cleaning.
Here are some helpful tips when it comes to Spring Cleaning:
1. Be Efficient
Clean one room at a time. This not only helps to avoid unfinished jobs, but also the satisfaction of seeing a fresh space will help inspire you to start on the next.
Multitask (when possible). Throw in a load of laundry before you start vacuuming the carpet, run the dishwasher while scrubbing the sinks. This will cut clean-up time in half and get you out enjoying that lovely Spring weather in no time!
Invest in vinyl gloves. The last thing you want after a hard day of cleaning is dry hands and chipped nails. To evade the need to run out and get a fresh mani, make sure you’ve got a pair of vinyl gloves handy to protect your skin and nails… Tip: You can find a decent pair in most Dollar Stores.
I’ve always been an advocate of ‘less is more’ and I find it truly liberating to go through my ‘stuff’ and downsize (usually twice a year, in my case). Typically, when we think about Spring Cleaning/Downsizing, clothing is the first thing that comes to mind, but there is so much more you can get rid of than just clothing… household items like furniture and décor (if you’re looking for a full refresh), old mobile phones and computers, outdated bicycles and rollerblades that you’ve been hiding in the garage keeping ‘out of sight & out of mind’, etc.
I do however tend to start in my closet because I find that once you master parting with clothes, you can part with just about anything. I usually go item by item, drawer by drawer and pull out anything that no longer fits, is no longer my style, or just deserves to be worn more.
If you’re having a tough time parting with your clothes, I recommend the ‘hanger trick’. Start off the season with all your hangers facing the back of the closet, and once you wear an article of clothing, switch the hanger to face forward. At the end of the season (or year, your choice), get rid of any items with their hangers still facing back, that you haven’t worn.
Once you have a collection of clothing, household items, and whatever else you decided you could live without, separate the items into three groups: recyclables, trash, and donations.
When it comes to donations, make sure your items are in good condition (ie. clothes lightly worn, household items with lots of life left in them, etc.), and then source out where you’d like to donate to.
There are tonnes of great national and international organizations you can donate to like The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Dress for Success, and Big Brothers. If you’re looking for an organization that helps out directly in your community, research which local charities are in your area; here in Vancouver we have Covenant House which aids homeless youth in Vancouver, and HomeStart Foundation which helps people rebuild their lives. Another option, and possibly the most traditional, is to donate directly to a thrift shop. Some thrift shops, like Value Village, pay local non-profits when you donate, and recycle unsold items to developing countries.
Don’t have time to source out a specific charity? No problem! This Spring, some hotels, like the Fairfield Inn & Suites® by Marriott St. John’s Newfoundland are actually collecting and managing donations on your behalf. The items collected at Fairfield are being donated for the Iris Kirby House and so far there has been an amazing turnout.
So what are you waiting for? This weekend break-out the cleaning supplies, gloves, and boxes, and prepare for a clean-a-thon! Once you’re done I guarantee you’ll feel lighter, refreshed, and ready for the new season!