From Spotlight: Top Tips & Helpful Hacks for Easy Home Maintenance

3 Spring Cleaning Tips and Ideas to Save Money and Time in April

Stop doing these 3 little things if you want a tidier home.

Various homemade cleaning products against blue tile
Image: Amanda of Small Sustainable Steps

Before you open the windows and crank up your favorite spring-cleaning playlist, here are some housekeeping and maintenance tasks you can actually stop doing. 

You'll save time, energy, and money.

#1 Don't Use Bleach

It's tempting to go straight to the bleach when you're doing a deep clean. But bleach is a strong chemical. It eats through sealants on granite, fades acrylic tubs, and corrodes disposal seals.

What's more, it's not even the mold-killer many people believe it to be. While it does kill mold on nonporous surfaces (like porcelain), it can actually cause more mold to grow on porous surfaces like grout. A homemade scrub of water, baking soda, and lemon oil can clean just about anything without bleach's harsh effects.

#2 Stop Opening the Windows When You Clean

Two cats sitting on window sill of open window
Image: @penzealot

Nothing feels better than letting old, stuffy winter air out through your windows and replacing it with a warm, spring breeze. What could be bett – achoo! If an allergy-proof home is your goal, keep your windows closed when you clean.

If you must open them, try later in the day. Allergens are usually worse in the morning.

#3 Stop Organizing Paper First

Clear pink plastic bin on wood floor overflowing with papers

Decluttering is an essential cleaning step, but whatever you do, don't start with the paper piles. This frustrating and overwhelming task will only slow you down.

Instead, start organizing small areas like closets or bookshelves, and work your way through the house, giving yourself an endorphin-boosting pat on the back (or chocolate break) after completing each small task.

Then let the momentum you've gained propel you through the paperwork.

Related: Why Being Organized Saves You Money

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Kelley Walters

Kelley Walters is a Southern writer and editor. She focuses on interior design and home improvement at outlets from HGTV to Paintzen. She lives in Italy a month every year, drinking Negronis and writing in internet cafes.