Janet Leap, RE/MAX of Boulder

Janet Leap,           RE/MAX of Boulder

BOULDER COUNTY – In Boulder County, and in cultures around the world, spring cleaning is a welcome tradition.

But spring cleaning isn’t only about dusting. It’s also about having an “out with the old” attitude that drives you to get rid of all the unneeded stuff that has collected in drawers, closets and cabinets. There is no question that de-cluttering opens up room in your cabinets, and clearing out extra items makes cleaning quicker and easier.

Here’s an easy checklist to guide you painlessly through the first steps of cleaning. The list was first published by maidpro.com and has been updated for a Boulder County perspective.

The kitchen is a great place to start de-cluttering. Toss all foods that are past the ‘use by’ dates. Clear the freezer, pantry, refrigerator and cabinets of foods that are no longer fresh enough to eat. Get rid of items you will never eat or use anyway. If the food packaging is damaged or appears discolored, throw it away. When in doubt, throw it out. Be sure to compost and recycle all appropriate items. The BoulderCounty.org website has specifics on where to recycle items at this link: bouldercounty.org/environment/recycle/recycling-center.

Next, get rid of containers and lids that don’t have a mate. Discard or recycle chipped and cracked glassware and recipes or cookbooks you don’t use. Then, open the utility or “junk” drawer and get rid of all of those old receipts and odds and ends you’ve been holding onto.

Safely and securely dispose of expired medications – both over-the-counter and prescription. According to BoulderCounty.gov, it’s important to keep unused drugs from being misused and reduce the amount of chemicals that reach our waterways. Drop off pharmaceuticals at a designated site or follow simple steps for safe home disposal. You can get more information about drop-off locations and safe disposal methods here: bouldercounty.org/families/disease/safely-dispose-of-unwanted-medication-and-syringes.

Cosmetics and lotions also often pile up in our bathroom, creating dust-collecting clutter. Get rid of old cosmetics or those that you will never use. Also toss old toothbrushes, flossers, razors, combs and hairbrushes.

Family room
Toys, games and puzzles can bring back warm memories, but if they are broken or have missing pieces feel confident they aren’t worth keeping.

And a spring yard sale season is the perfect time to donate bulky media, such as books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and video games. You can have your own yard-sale or donate to one of the local schools annual yard sales.

This is also a good time to test and replace batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Clean the lint that accumulates in the outside dryer vent. It’s a fire hazard, so cleaning the outside dryer vent is an important, and often overlooked, yearly spring activity. Discard unmatched socks and dingy whites. Take your coin jar to the bank and use the proceeds to buy yourself a spring-cleaning treat.

Coat closets and storage areas
Donate shoes, jackets and other gear that no longer fit. Toss anything without a match. Look at all the spring and summer gear you saved from last year and replace or replenish sporting equipment, flip flops, sunscreens and other gear.

Office/homework area
Now that your tax returns have been filed, you can purge, shred or recycle old and unneeded paperwork. Clear your computer of old emails and files that are no longer needed. Also download and organize photos.

For the original list and more, visit maidpro.com/blog/get-ready-spring-purge-guide.

By Janet Leap, RE/MAX of Boulder. Janet Leap is a Realtor at RE/MAX of Boulder. Call 303.449.7000, e-mail [email protected] or visit boulderco.com.