(BPT) - Before we start spending more time outdoors, we first have to tackle the often-daunting task of spring cleaning indoors. But if you follow a game plan and keep the end result in mind, the experience can be more rewarding than stressful.
Here are five tips to help streamline the spring cleaning process so you can reap the benefits of your hard work, faster.
1.Get organized before you get to it. Before you start washing and scrubbing away, create a detailed checklist. Grab a notebook, walk through your home and organize to-dos by room. Doing this before getting started will help you to better manage your cleaning schedule and lay out precisely what needs to be done in each room as you tackle the task of cleaning them.
2. Earn cash while you de-clutter. Items you no longer use or that you find buried in your junk drawer could mean money in your pocket. Some retail stores and a number of online services, for example, will purchase electronics (i.e. old mobile phones, a gaming system you no longer use) and send you gift cards or cash. Likewise, 51 percent of those surveyed currently have unused gift cards in their possession, according to a recent survey by Blackhawk Network. You can sell unused or partially-used gift cards for cash. Cardpool.com, a gift card exchange website, makes it easy for you to sell your unused gift cards and get up to 92 percent of the card’s value back in cash.
3. Don’t just be clean, be safe.Because you’ll already be moving from room to room, conduct a safety inspection as you check off items on your cleaning list. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and perform all required safety checks on locks and other safety measures in your home.
4. Turn cleaning into a game for the family.Create a task list for everyone in the family and track progress to earn individualized rewards. For example, one of your kids may be motivated by the opportunity to earn a new video game while another may prefer cold, hard cash. Another great idea is to stock up on gift cards for each of your family member’s favorite stores and leverage those as rewards. Gift card exchange sites, like Cardpool.com, offer pre-owned gift cards at discounts up to 35 percent, so you can dole out rewards without breaking the bank.
5. Remember to restock. After you’ve scrubbed the floors, dusted every surface and cleaned the baseboards, make sure to replenish your cleaning supplies. Use Cardpool to save money on these every day purchases, too, with discounted gift cards to big box retailers and home improvement stores nationwide. In particular, make sure you restock all-purpose and glass cleaners in addition to your baking soda and vinegar bases. Toss the microfiber cloths and sponges used for spring cleaning and start fresh there, too!