My Story: Could Spring Come Early?

contributed by Teresa Randall

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Just 4 Ingredients to a Cleaner Home

Start with getting rid of clutter. Overcrowded rooms feel stuffy and cramped, not light and airy. Carry a trash bag through your home and look for things such as old calendars, last year's magazines, a pair of worn slippers, an old bathrobe, cracked coffee mugs, dusty wreaths, and faded newspapers. Aim for 10 items to throw away per room. Get rid of these things now.

Next, start with a good window washing. Old t-shirt material is soft and absorbent for cleaning windows and sills. Use dollar store window cleaner or make your own with a bit of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Clean the insides of every window you can reach safely.

Take up your lamb's wool duster and dust the ceilings (if you can reach them) and walls, plus the mini-blinds, baseboards, and shelves. No need for expensive cleaning products; if the dust is thick, use a clean rag lightly dampened only with warm water.

Vacuum after dusting, and don't just zip through the house. Make a few slow passes over each section of carpet to allow the vacuum to pick up imbedded dirt. Change the bag after you're through.

Make all the beds in the house, and empty every trash can. Round up all the dirty laundry and corral near the washer/dryer (or in a closet). Spend 60 seconds (yes, only 60 seconds) with a sponge and cleanser (baking soda works fine) on each sink in the house, and dry the faucets when you're through.

Light a scented candle and forget about the storm outside. Your home gleams with freshness and makes you feel as if spring is here already.

Teresa Randall is a wife, mother, former language teacher, and a professional home organizer. Her book Better Than Feng Shui is available this year. For more information, write

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