When it gets down to brass tacks, I’ve always been a “company is coming” cleaner. If you’re like me, maybe you’ve struggled with finding some deep intrinsic motivation to really spend some time deep cleaning since the pandemic started – if I’m the only person staring at my baseboards, does it really matter if they look a little worse for the wear? If I haven’t turned on my fan in months, do I really need to break out a ladder to dust the blades in the wintertime? Basically, my spring cleaning dilemma is this: Will I get it done? Yes! In a timely manner? That’s questionable!
Enter the Astrological New Year, AKA the kick in the butt I need. This Sunday, March 20th, marks the spring equinox – the first day of spring! – and I’m really excited about it for two reasons:
- The EHD team can testify that I looooove a good New Year’s resolution, and the Astrological New Year gives you a chance to check in on your progress. I like to think of the first two months of the year as a trial period – what works? What doesn’t? – so I can reframe some of my goals accordingly. (Like, in my case, I’m reducing my water intake aspirations. Maybe one day I’ll get to 8 glasses a day. For the rest of 2022, we’re shooting for and celebrating 3 glasses of water per day, THANK YOU.) It’s nice to knock out spring cleaning this weekend because it’ll start your “new year” on the right foot, you know?
- I want to clarify that I’m not an astrology expert – I know my birth time (11:58 PM on 10/14/91 in Newark, DE, baby!!!) and have a general idea of how my chart works, but I’m totally lost when it comes to day-to-day interpretations. (People who understand planet positions and new moons and and transits are way smarter than me. Knowledge-wise, I’m like an astrological sixth grader.) That said, experts suggest that there’s value in preparing your home for a fresh start before Sunday will set the stage for the year ahead. And, well, I don’t know – there’s just something kind of nice about tying tedious chores to the possibility of something nice happening over the next 12 months, you know? It makes scrubbing my (wholly unused and yet still somehow grimy) oven feel less annoying. I’m into it.
SO. Here we are. In the spirit of helping others conquer their most annoying spring cleaning and organizing tasks, I’ve pulled a few products that I own, love, and actually enjoy using. They’ll help you tackle those forgotten-about nooks, neglected crannies, and maybe you’ll even be able to set up some organizational systems that you keep your home running smoothly year-round. (Look at that! You really WILL set the stage for the year ahead! Literally!) LET’S BEGIN?
1. Electronics Cleaning Brush: A microfiber cloth cannot hold a candle to this double-ended tool. The rubber side can still get gunk out of the cleanest keyboards.
2. Electronic Telescopic Waterproof Scrubber and Polisher: STOP SCRUBBING WITH SPONGES. This is my 2022 discovery – it’s an electric scrubber with a telescoping rod. You’ll never have to squat next to the toilet and scrub those little crevices again (and there are 5 different heads, so you can clean all kinds of surfaces). If you have any mobility issues, this thing is AWESOME.
3. Pumice Stone Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Extra Long Handle: Because sometimes a brush and your cleaning agent of choice can’t cut it. (Especially handy if you live in a city that’s notorious for its hard water. #LA)
4. Broom and Dustpan Set: I will never stop singing the praises of the Disney broom/lobby broom/movie broom. It makes sweeping fun. (I hate that I said that, but I mean it. Wrangling in that last strip of dirt/dust/debris is SO much quicker with a standing broom.)
5. Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel: I don’t know what’s in this, but it’s miraculous. They last for ~60 days and I cry when my Target doesn’t have them in stock – I keep one in my kitchen (read: the litter box room) and it makes a huge difference.
6. Power Scrubber: It’s like an electric toothbrush for your grout. I’ve had mine for a year and it cuts cleaning time in half.
7. Deep Clean Brush Set: For all other nooks and crannies in your house, these are a life-saver. I use the smaller one to get gunk out of the strip where my linoleum meets my cabinets in the kitchen. Great for polishing up drains, too.
8. 32pk Felt Pads: While you’re doing all this cleaning, you might as well take 20 minutes to protect your floors. (This is an open letter to myself, from myself.)
9. Pot & Pan Brush: I don’t have a dishwasher, so I take my scrubbing tools VERY SERIOUSLY. While I am loyal to Scrub Daddy for washing my utensils, cups, bowls, and plates…nothing tops scrubbing burnt stuff out of a pan with this brush, guys. (Maybe you don’t need this if you’re better at cooking than I am.)
1. Ribbed Shelf Liner: If you’re going through your drawers, give them a quick clean after everything’s been removed. Then, take a second to line each drawer before filling it back up. (If your drawers are already lined, you’ve already got it all together. Go you!!!)
2. White Cabinet-Sized Pull-Out Drawer Solutions: Before you demo your kitchen cabinets, consider grabbing a few of these – they’ll make all of your shelves function like drawers. No more crouching and hunting for the one pot at the back of the cabinet – just pull out the drawer and grab it! GAME-CHANGING.
3. Weathertight Portable File Box With Handle: Everyone should have a dumping ground for their important documents. It doesn’t have to be organized, but it’s nice to know where you can find a medical record or your birth certificate, or your car’s title.
4. 4-Sort Wire Dividers: I don’t know if anything makes me as irrationally angry as the sound of a baking sheet being pulled out from the middle of a stack of baking sheets. (So cacophonous! So unnecessary! Harsh and metallic! BLEH!) If you have space in your cabinet, these are great for organizing sheets, small pans, and lids.
5. Corner Double Tool Rack: So many configurations, so little time. I think this is the best and most utilitarian space-saving garage storage item on the market. Rakes, shovels, brooms – they all fit. Keep it in a demilune shape or separate into two pieces to make use of some corner space.
6. Hangmate Belt & Tie Rack: As someone who’s always been like, “um, excuse me? Do I…roll these? Put them in a box? Hang them over a hanger?”, this is the best solution for keeping them all visible in one place. Big fan.
7. Large Expand-A-Shelf: If you cook a lot, you owe it to yourself to create a multi-tiered cabinet where all of your contents are readily visible. I love this shelf because it expands to fit larger cabinets, but you can always DIY a solution that fits for your space.
8. Polytherm Undershelf Baskets: Adding a few of these will double your shelving capacity. They’re AWESOME. If you don’t have a ton of cabinet space, these can open up some breathing room so you’re not just balancing all your plates and bowls and cups on top of each other.
9. White Mesh 2-Drawer Unit: If I had participated in our closet organization challenge, I would have hyped these up SO HARD. I love their construction – a little more elevated and sturdy than their plastic drawer cousins – and they come in a ton of different configurations, so you can find a piece that fits your spatial needs.
1. Large Pet Hair Roller: INCREDIBLE. I’m not sure how many times I’ve linked this up over the past 2.5 years, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. Great for lint rolling upholstery. Even better for lint rolling yourself when you’re running late and don’t have time to lint roll your sweater in seemingly-minuscule increments.
2. Pet Food Containers: Especially handy if you buy pet food in bulk. I also love these because they keep food fresh when my cat comes back to the East Coast with me – it’s nice to not worry about her food going stale while we’re gone.
3. Wiper Blade Squeegee: Squeegees are the best, second-most underrated pet removal hair tool – especially on velvets and microsuedes. (The most underrated tool is a latex glove.) Run it along the surface and hair will start to clump together. DREAMY.
If you, too, have been fully motivated to knock out your spring cleaning ASAP, all of these products shoooould also be available in-store at a retailer near you. Here’s to all of us powering through our annoying tasks (fan blades, I’m coming for you) so we can settle into our comfy, freshly-laundered beds on Sunday night. WE GOT THIS, RIGHT? (Anything else I forgot?) xx