The windows are open, the birds are chirping and the breeze is blowing… dust all over the living room. Nothing a little spring cleaning can’t fix! But sometimes just the phrase “spring cleaning” can cause major stress. Many of us feel like we have to take an all-or-nothing approach, but that’s definitely not the case. We’re here to help you find small ways to fit spring cleaning into your everyday life. Read on for ways to spruce up your house, wardrobe and makeup and skin care!
Spring Clean Your House
We’ve gathered some bite-sized tasks that you can do in between other projects, whether you have 30 minutes or 30 seconds. String them together between conference calls, and before you know it, these often-overlooked areas of your home will be sparkling clean!
Got 30 seconds? Sanitize your phone.
We’ve all heard it before – your phone is a hotbed for bacteria. Luckily, it’s also one of the quickest things to clean. Just pop off your case and wipe it down with a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe (the kind that comes with most first aid kits) or a homemade 70% alcohol solution. Just be sure to spray a little onto a microfiber cloth and not directly on the phone! This same method can be used for your TV remote, computer mouse and other small electronics.
Got 1 minute? Return glasses to the kitchen.
If your house is anything like ours, by the end of the day, there’s a half-full glass of water on just about every flat surface. Take a minute to gather these up and drop them in the kitchen sink or directly in the dishwasher. You’ll be amazed at how much cleaner a space looks when just a few out-of-place items are moved!
Got 5 minutes? Clean your microwave.
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with a cup of water and a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Microwave the solution on high for a few minutes. When time’s up, carefully remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the microwave – the vinegar or lemon juice will have loosened any cooked-on bits, making it a breeze to wipe clean.
Got 10 minutes? Wash kids’ and pets’ toys.
Gather up any toys that you can see from where you’re standing and sort the plastic pieces from stuffed animals and fabric items. Many plastic toys can actually be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher – just skip the heated dry! Check the label on fabric toys; many of these are machine washable. Just toss them in a lingerie bag and start the gentle cycle.
Got 30 minutes? Dust your ceiling fans.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a common mantra when it comes to cleaning things about eye level! But with the weather heating up, you’ll want to make sure your ceiling fans don’t send months’ worth of dust sailing into the air the first time you fire them up. Grab a sturdy step stool and an old pillowcase to make this task almost painless. Place the pillowcase over a fan blade so the blade is inside the case, give it a little shimmy and carefully pull the case off. All of the dust should be trapped inside the pillowcase! Repeat with any other blades and fans.
Got an hour? Organize your linen closet.
Do you dream of the day you can reach into your linen closet and pull out a perfectly matched set? No, just us? Anyway, there’s something about a stack of beautifully folded sheets that we can pretty much guarantee will help you breathe easier. Find a big, flat surface (a bed works well) and pull every last piece out of the linen closet. Now’s the time to match up sets and refold anything that needs it. This video will help you finally perfect the art of folding a fitted sheet! Once everything is organized and folded, simply slide matched sets into one of their pillowcases for storage. Use a safety pin and index card to label the size and never sleep on mismatched sheets again!
Spring Clean Your Wardrobe
Clothing can be one of the hardest categories of things to sort through during spring cleaning, since we tend to get pretty attached. If you’re still holding onto that softball jersey from second grade, you’re definitely not alone! We’re breaking it down into three simple steps to help you get an Instagram-worthy closet and keep it that way, once and for all!
Whether you’re a fan of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method or not, we think you’ll find this first step helpful. Rather than sorting through clothes while they’re still in your closet or dresser, Marie recommends pulling everything out and making a pile in one place. We’ve found that this helps us see exactly how much stuff we have and makes it easier to sort through it all!
Once everything’s all together, mark spots on the floor or in bins for three categories: Keep, Donate and Discard. Pick up each item of clothing individually and add it to the appropriate pile. To earn a place in the Keep pile, an item should be a) something you wear and b) something you love. We’re fans of the “one year rule,” which says that if you haven’t worn it in the past year, it’s time to let it go!
The goal of our Donate and Discard piles is to try to be as kind to the planet as possible, giving whatever we can a second life to keep it out of the landfill. However, we also happen to be in the middle of a pretty strange time, where most donation centers have temporarily ceased taking in donations. But that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for them to reopen!
Sort through items that still have some wear in them and figure out the best place to donate them. Goodwill is a great option for most pieces, though specialty clothing items might see even greater use at other nonprofits. Consider getting work clothes directly to women in need through Dress for Success or donating formal dresses to underprivileged prom-goers through an organization like Becca’s Closet. There are even organizations like The Bra Recyclers and I Support the Girls who are able to repurpose your discarded bras!
Once you’ve decided on a proper home for your donated clothing, pack it away in an opaque bag or box and place it somewhere out of the way. Think a garage, a rarely entered spare room or something along those lines. The key is to stop yourself from digging through again while waiting for donation centers to reopen!
The hard part is over, we promise! All that’s left to do is return your Keep pile to your closets and drawers. But don’t just throw it all back in; take some time to create a system that’ll help you keep things as organized as possible. First, sweep out the bottom of your closet and wipe down any shelves and drawers. Next, figure out a system that works for you. Maybe you like to keep all your shirts in one place and pants in another, or maybe you like to give work clothes one half of the closet and weekend looks the other.
Once your system is in place, start rehanging. If you’re up for it, now is a great time to make sure all of your hangers match. It adds a really polished look to your closet, and these thin velvet hangers take up much less space than those bulky plastic ones. Consider also switching out cardboard shoe boxes for reusable plastic ones that let you see what’s inside. Neatly fold anything that’ll be going into drawers and use small boxes to corral things like socks and jewelry.
Now that everything has its place, the key is keeping it there. We’ve timed it and hanging your jeans in their spot in the closet only takes about 10 more seconds than tossing them on the chair. It’s a small effort that’ll make all the difference!
Spring Clean Your Makeup and Skin Care
Since these products are touching our skin every day, it’s so important to stay on top of keeping them clean. We’ve created a quick-reference guide so you know when it’s time to toss skin care and makeup products, along with some tips and tricks for keeping your products looking and performing like new.
Know what products needs to be replaced.
Yep, makeup and skin care have expiration dates, too! To make sure your products are as effective and clean as possible, follow these guidelines for replacing them. If you’re having a hard time keeping track, use a small notebook to log the date you open each product, or write it on a piece of masking tape and stick it directly to the packaging!
Recycle any old packaging.
Now that you know what needs to go, don’t just toss your old products in the trash! All LimeLife clamshell packaging is recyclable, and our reusable palettes are just waiting to be refilled with your newest shades. LimeLife’s partnership with TerraCycle® also means that all of our bottles, pumps, tubes and caps can be easily recycled through the mail. Just visit TerraCycle to get started!
Clean and organize your makeup tools.
One of the best ways to ensure your makeup lasts as long as possible is to always use a clean brush or sponge to apply it. We created our Clean Act Vegan Brush & Sponge Cleanser to be a chemical-free choice for cleaning all of your tools. Made with tea tree oil and natural coconut oil, it deeply cleans and conditions both synthetic and natural bristles without damaging the hairs. Check out our post on washing makeup brushes and sponges for all of the tips and tricks you need!
Rather than tossing all of those newly cleaned brushes into a drawer, check out our options for storing them neatly. The Bend & Snap Brush Roll has spaces for up to 20 brushes and lays flat to display all of them on your workstation. Perfect for travel, it features a flap to keep brush heads protected, plus a mesh pocket that’s sized to keep your Blenderful makeup sponge at the ready. The Classified Brush Holder is a great option for storing your makeup brushes at home. The unique detachable design creates two separate brush holders: one for clean brushes and one for used ones.
With all of your tools newly cleaned and your cosmetics sorted, now is the perfect time to set new habits that will keep everything fresh moving forward. Our Dirty Work Cosmetic Sanitizer Spray is a simple step to add at the end of your routine. Our hands and face are always carrying bacteria, and it’s easily transferred to products as we apply our makeup. Just one spray of this mist effectively removes bacteria from the surface of your products. We’ve also created Dirty Work Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes for tossing in your makeup bag and the Dirty Work Duo to help you stock up on both!
Has staying home sparked the urge to spring clean? Share your tips and tag us – we’d love to see your before and after photos!