Whether it’s spring cleaning or your regular household chores, there are ways to make housecleaning a boon to your budget.
Start with the supply closet
Before a big cleaning project gets underway take stock of your cleaning supplies. Make sure you don’t buy anything you already have by cleaning out the supply closet and organizing everything you have.
Use up all of your current cleaning supplies before replacing them, and this time, consider generics or other inexpensive alternatives. Cleaning supplies are one of the products where there is very little advantage to the expensive name brands. Search the net for recipes for homemade cleaning supplies; you may find that vinegar or baking soda can replace a number of cleaning products you normally use.
When put all of these supplies away, make sure they’re stored where kids & pets can’t get to them, away from freezing temperatures, and where they won’t end up being spilled or exposed to sunlight.
Include the pantry
When completing your housekeeping rounds, take the opportunity to clean out your food storage. Look for anything that is past its expiration date or nearing it. Toss the old stuff and make a plan to use the expiring goods before their date comes.
Reorganize your food pantry so the older goods are used first; Americans discard 12 to 25% of all the food they buy; avoid this loss by storing your food wisely. This goes for the refrigerator, too.
Clean more often
A quick cleaning every day means you won’t have to do the hard cleaning later. You’ll be able to use milder, less expensive cleaning supplies, rather than waiting for a tough mess to accumulate that requires more powerful cleaning agents.
Clean the air ducts
When you vacuum, include the cold air returns and heating registers. Also check your furnace’s air filter every time you clean; dirty filters and register covers make your furnace work harder, costing you extra money.
Organize your lawn & garden storage
When cleaning the garage, tool shed, or other lawn & garden storage, hang everything in an organized manner; avoid buying a second garden tool because you can’t find the one you already own. Things like garden hoses need to be stored properly so they won’t be damaged by weather or weed eaters and lawnmowers.
Treat garage supplies, like insect sprays, lawn fertilizers, windshield wiper fluid, etc. the same way you treat your food storage. Keep it organized so you won’t waste money by buying supplies you already own but can’t find.
Think about future garage sales
As you clean your home and look for ways to reduce clutter, think about which items you can part with that others might want. Set aside some storage space for a future garage sale so you’re ready to go when that time comes. Store these things in plastic tubs to keep them from getting damaged or dirty, and you’ll have less work to do when setting up your garage or yard sale.
A clean and organized home helps you reduce stress, save money, and protect the value of your property. Consider all the ways you can save money when doing your regular cleaning, and it won’t seem like a dreadful task.
Once your home is organized, consider getting your finances in order. Our Budgeting 101 course will give you an overview of how to tackle your household budget; it’s available free of charge right here in the FIT Academy.