7 simple fresh ideas for spring cleaning

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Spring is the traditional season to welcome fresh ideas into the home while preparing for warmer days.

This time of year, many people begin to take stock of their home and office contents and are eager to "spring clean," but are often unsure of how to get started.

To help bounce into spring and tackle those chores, www.iVillage.com offers the following eight tips to get organized:

1. Start on one section/room at a time
· Don't get overwhelmed by starting to organize more than one thing at a time. Start small and work toward to the next 'pile'.

2. Invest in a device to organize important documents
· Papers lying around the house should be organized in a central location. There are many options available to organize documents such as: portable file folders, file cabinets and even fire-and-water-proof file safes to prevent damage caused by natural disasters.

3. Gather unused items and set aside for a yard sale
· Make some extra cash on unused items. Whiteman will hold its annual base-wide yard sale, May 1, 2010, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

4. 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, showers and vehicles.

5. 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 involved will get chores finished in a timely manner. Parents should get their children engaged and teach them good cleaning habits.

6. Make cleaning a fun experience with music
· Create a music playlist with everyone's favorite tunes to enjoy while doing chores. Music may help keep the body moving and free the mind from tedious boredom.

7. Discard/replace expired products
Certain products have expiration dates and should be discarded as indicated on the packaging product. Oftentimes, expired products can actually cause harm. It's also a good time to check common household products which could be out-of-date, such as:

· Medications and supplements
· Air filters
· Food
· Cosmetics
· Beauty products
· Batteries in your fire alarm

In addition to spring cleaning tips, Department of Defense employees wishing to turn in unwanted government property to defense reutilization and marketing offices should send an e-mail to the customer's service box 509lrs.custsvc@whiteman.af.mil or call (660) 687-4044/4074 for more information.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Cut out the following list as a general guideline. Schedule several full days to attend to more involved projects, such as washing windows, shampooing carpets, or cleaning out closets.

Vacuum refrigerator grill and coil
Wipe the inside of the freezer
Living Room
Rotate heavy curtains, rugs, and throw for lightweight ones
 Replace cool-weather bedding with warm-weather bedding
Launder or dry-clean blankets
 Discard expired cosmetics, beauty products, and medications
Home office
Clean out files
Review and update insurance policies, contacts, and household inventories
Reorganize closets, giving away unwanted items
Replace cool-weather clothing with warm-weather clothing
Utility spaces
 Remove lint from the hose attached to the back of the clothes dryer
 Clean the attic and basement, giving away or discarding unwanted items
 Vacuum and mop attic and basement floors
Outdoor spaces
Scrub porch ceilings and walls
Scrub porch floors, decks, patios, the driveway, and walkways
Scrub outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and awnings
Wash light-fixtures covers
Clean gutters
Throughout the house
Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings
Shampoo wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs with backings
Send area rugs without backings out for professional cleaning
Steam-clean upholstery
Dust radiators
Reseal stone surfaces
Reseal grout
Launder machine-washable windows treatment
Dry-clean non-machine window treatments
Take books off shelves, dust shelves and books
Polish metal door and windows hardware
Oil window and door hinges
Wax wood furniture
Wax wood, stone, concrete, brick, and unglazed tile floors
Strip and re-wax vinyl and linoleum floors
Wash windows and window screens
Remove, wash, and store storm windows
Replace air filter, be sure to write the days date on the filter