No one likes spring cleaning. Unless you’re Monica from Friends or the Type A equivalent in your friend group, you’re probably dreading the ceremonial yearly decluttering. Make it easy on yourself by tossing the obvious things and saving the hard decisions for later. Here are four pain-free steps you can take right now to kick start spring cleaning and set yourself up for success.
1. Clean out your fridge.
I probably open my fridge ten times a day and reach for the same shelf every time. Anything old, expired, or uneaten gets pushed to the back and forgotten about. Not only is this gross, it’s wasteful. Take a few minutes to throw out anything spoiled, expired, or questionable. Don’t forget to go through your condiments, sauces, and salad dressings. If you don’t remember when you bought it, it can probably go. If you don’t remember why you bought it, it can definitely go. While you’re in there, take inventory of what you have and plan a meal for the day. Give your newly decluttered shelves a wipe down with a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar.
2. Sort through your underwear drawer.
You know those beautiful aspirational photos that all the lifestyle gurus have of their perfectly organized matching undergarments? While my underwear drawer will never look quite that perfect, there are a few things I do to make it less of a disaster. First, throw away anything with tears or holes and anything stained beyond repair. Match up your socks, mourn the forever-alone stragglers, and toss the loners. Finally, get rid of anything with uncomfortable or stretched out elastic and the socks that always roll down inside your shoes. You never wear those anyway.
3. Recycle your junk mail.
Can’t remember the last time you got a piece of mail that wasn’t an advertisement, credit card offer, or take out menu? Me neither. Instead of letting those pile up, throw them straight into the recycling. Just make sure you pull out any important bills or letters.
4. Throw out old makeup.
Did you know that most makeup has an expiration date? Using old makeup can breed germs and cause breakouts. Take some time to toss your old gloopy mascara and that foundation that completely separated and is way too dark for you anyway. Generally speaking, foundation is good for one year, mascara for 3 months, lipsticks and lip glosses for 6 months, and powders for 18 months to 2 years. (http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/toss-makeup).
Originally published April 27, 2017