The cleaning (I would say “spring cleaning” but we’re in the thick of summer!) bug has bitten, in a big way. It seems that everywhere I look in my condo (which is for sale, if you know of anyone looking for a cute place – 2 BR, 2 BA – close to Buckhead and I85… ok, enough with the shameless plug), there seems to be something to clean out or get rid of. Here are some of my favorite tips – feel free to comment and add your own!
–Old magazines – I’m infamous for collecting magazines, probably because I love to read other people’s writing styles and pick up their tips on style, beauty, DIY projects and cooking. However, often, I don’t get around to reading them in a timely fashion – or ever! – and my coffee table and kitchen counter starts to look like a scene out of Hoarders (scary!). My goal for this week is to go through the magazines I’ve been holding onto, clip out the pieces I’ll actually use (or recipes I’ll make) and pass them along to friends who will enjoy them. If you’re a bride who has most of her planning done, why not pass along your old Modern Bride, The Knot and others to a new bride who will enjoy reading them? Same goes for Gourmet (R.I.P. – I miss it!), Food & Wine, In Style, Lucky, Glamour… extend the life of publications by passing them along!
–Closet Refresh – If you’re like me, I’m sure there are bunches of things lurking in the far reaches of your closet that either A) you forgot you had, B) don’t fit or C) are just a little dated. If something falls into any of these categories, why not either take it to your local thrift store (& save the receipts for a tax write-off) or a trusted consignment store? If anything sells, if feels like free money. One of my favorite Goodwill alternatives if you live in Atlanta is the Thrift-ique, which benefits Buckhead Christian Ministries.
–Brushes – Granted, this should be done more than once a year (once a month is probably more like it!), but it’s a good reminder. I like to soap my make-up brushes up with a clarifying shampoo several times (until the water runs clear when you rinse) and then dip them in rubbing alcohol. Just let them dry before using again and you should break out less, since all that nasty bacteria will be gone.
–Virtual clean-up – I’m really bad about holding on to old emails, hoping that I’ll one day get around to reading them fully (who doesn’t have an inbox cluttered with forwards, political messages, etc…?). But, when I really think about it, it is a little stressful to open your account to see so many messages waiting to be read. Why not take 20 minutes and de-clutter?
–Kitchen makeover – If you’ve got things lingering around in your pantry, particularly things you’re not planning on using but that have a long shelf life, consider cleaning them out and donating them to your local food bank (ACFB http://www.acfb.org/is a great one in Atlanta) or shelter. You’ll have more space in your cabinets and can feel good about helping someone else provide healthy meals for their family. **Also, it’s a good opportunity to glance through your fridge and freezer to make sure all condiments, cheeses, dairy products and others are well within their expiration dates. Give the shelves a quick wipe-down for good measure. BONUS: if you find some still good, already prepared items in your freezer, it’s a great excuse to just defrost and not have to cook some meals.