Spring Cleaning 101

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Spring is traditionally the time of year to focus sprucing up the home and office. The first few weeks of warmer weather offer a chance to get outside, buy supplies and freshen up the places where we live and work. One of the biggest challenges of spring cleaning, however, is knowing where to start.

Each spring, I take advantage of warmer weather and look forward to opening my windows and making better use of my space, whether it is at home or in the office. All too often, I hear people say they would like to kick spring off on the right foot by getting more organized and tackling chores, but they do not know how to get started.

To help you get started on your spring cleaning, check out the following tips that have helped me start my spring off right.

1. Make a checklist and get everyone involved
Get the entire household involved and divide chores so that no one will have to carry the entire load. More participants will get chores finished in a timely manner. Parents can use this as an opportunity to get their children engaged and teach them good cleaning habits.

2. Make a list of cleaning supplies
Try eco-friendly products. The natural scents and toxic-free cleaners can be used to scrub everything from the counters to showers and vehicles. If chemicals are hazardous, be sure to keep them out of reach of children.

3. Start on one section/room at a time
To avoid becoming overwhelmed, start small and organize one room at a time.

4. Make cleaning a fun experience
Prior to cleaning day, create a music playlist with everyone's favorite tunes to listen to while sprucing up the living area. Music can help keep the body and mind active.

5. Invest in a filing cabinet for documents
Going through bills and important documents can be a tedious task but the best way to catalogue them for future reference is to organize them in a filing cabinet with labels. There are many options available such as portable file folders, file cabinets, online folders and fire and water-proof file safes, which will prevent damage from natural disasters. Documents that are not needed and contain sensitive information should be cross-shredded to reduce chances of identity theft.

6. Gather unused items for a yard sale
Make some extra cash on unused items. Whiteman is holding a community yard sale April 27, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To be eligible to participate in the yard sale, base residents must register with the housing office and provide their address and items they are selling. Call 660-687-0559 to register.

7. Discard/replace expired products
Certain products have expiration dates and should be discarded as indicated on the product's packaging. Often, expired products can cause harm. It is also a good time to check common household products which could be out of date, including medications and supplements, air filters, food, cosmetics, batteries (especially for fire alarms, flash lights and battery-powered radios), paint and fire extinguishers.

8. Update or make an emergency plan
Develop or revise an emergency escape plan in case of a fire or other emergency situation. Get family members involved in making the plan and know at least two ways out of every room. Designate a clear meeting place. Practice the plan, as practice makes perfect. Make sure your street number is visible in case a first responder needs to find your house. For more information on making sure your house is prepared for emergencies, contact the Whiteman Fire Department at 660-687-4507.


In addition to spring cleaning, Department of Defense employees wishing to turn in unwanted government property to disposition services and marketing offices should send an email to the customer service box, 509lrs.custsvc@us.af.mil, or call 660-687-1165/4044 for more information.

Remember, working safely in and around the home and office will keep Team Whiteman healthy and happy. Always follow safety directions and ask for help if you need it. Happy Spring!