DARLINGTON COLUMN: Spring cleaning on a Budget
Anybody who knows me will tell you that I'm not one for cleaning. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say there are only a few times a year when I roll up my sleeves and really get into it.
The beginning of spring is one of those times. And if you're like me, that means you want to get absolutely everything over with: the closets, the bathrooms and even the baseboards.
I'll walk you through a few chores with some tips and ways to save money (and even make money) doing them.
Let's start with the epic task of getting rid of your junk. A practical approach would be to ask yourself whether you've worn or used the item in question in the past year. If the answer is no, and you can't come up with at least three reasons why you need to keep it, throw it in the giveaway pile.
Notice I said giveaway. Donating to a charity is easy, so there's no excuse to throw your stuff in the trash.
If you have some items that still hold their value such as designer clothes and electronics, consider selling them online. One of my favorite tools is the Amazon.com Trade-In program. They'll send you a gift card in exchange for gently used electronics, DVDs, books and more.
Once you've sorted through your stuff and dealt with the things you no longer need, you'll want to reorganize and put winter items in storage.
You might need some durable storage bins, which you can find at Dollar General this week for $1-$12. If you lack storage space and need some decorative bins, check out the supply at Big Lots. You'll find plenty of cute options for as low as $5.
The final step is the deep cleaning. As I've said in a previous column, I'm a major advocate for natural and homemade cleaning products. They're easy on the environment, your family's health and your wallet.
If you still buy regular cleaners, be sure to look for coupons in Sunday's Post and Courier. Companies, including Proctor & Gamble, are running coupons on many cleaning products.
Finally, don't wear yourself out with an outdated vacuum cleaner. They won't get the job done right, and they certainly aren't easy on the electric bill.
Consider investing in a durable vacuum, such as the Dyson Ball. Now I know the latest models are retailing for around $600, which sounds crazy. But you can find slightly older or gently used models online for as low as $255.
Once you've tackled all the big tasks, add some finishing touches. A few indoor plants can add a lot of personality to a room, and they can even help with air circulation. Plus, nothing says “spring” like flowers in bloom.
Email Abigail Darlington at Charlestonsavvyshopper@post andcourier.com. Find more ways to save by liking our Facebook page and visiting the blog at charleston savvyshopper.com.