Spring is finally here and it’s starting to get nice outside. That’s why it’s a tradition to use this time of year to thoroughly clean the insides of our homes. It just makes sense.
Whether you’re making a large undertaking out of cleaning up your dwelling, or if you’re just looking for some tips for your standard routine, you can turn your cleaning habits into an opportunity to save money.
Breathe Fresh Air
Before you finalize your do-to list, recognize how much money unseen dust and dirt can cause you to waste.
Appliances are more efficient when their arteries are unobstructed. Make time to clean the air vents of your air conditioner and the lint traps of your dryer.
Go the extra mile and pull your refrigerator out from the wall and clean off its coils. By cleaning them off yearly, you’ll see the most significant long-term savings, not just because your refrigerator will become more energy-efficient, but also because it will last longer overall.
In addition to the big machines, make sure your vacuum cleaner has its pipes cleared – it won’t be much use if it’s having trouble breathing. This can be as simple as clearing out the hoses or as thorough as combing through the teeth of your vacuum’s rollers, but every little bit helps.
Shop Cheap, or Don’t Shop at All
You need to get your cleaning supplies from somewhere, right? Why not your local dollar store? Its cleaning products are just as serviceable as the high-end ones are.
For something larger like a new vacuum cleaner, consult eBay or a local resale store before you commit to buying brand new.
That said, you might not even need to go shopping. You may have worthwhile cleaning supplies around your house already.
Between vinegar and baking soda, you can clean almost anything. Also, baby oil has a special knack for cleaning stainless steel, so if a new parent is finding the cost of raising a child to be exorbitant, it may have just gotten a little bit easier.
If you’re looking for cleaning tools rather than cleaning solutions, there are a few things around the house that can be given a second life.
For example, newspapers are almost a magical tool that can work to soak up liquids, line garbage bins, and absorb odors.
Then there are dryer fabric-softener sheets, which you can not only reuse, but use again after that. When they’re done fulfilling their dryer duties, tuck them into your air conditioner’s register to do double-duty as a dust trap and an air freshener. When its freshness has worn off for good, use them to dust the rest of your home. The freshness might fade, but it takes quite a while for that clinginess to completely disappear.
Step Three: Profit
When you’re doing a deep-clean of your home, you’re inevitably going to find some old things you’re not going to use anymore, like that old shirt you spared from a life as a cleaning rag. Surely some of these things can have value to somebody out there.
This is where you stop saving money and start making an actual profit from your spring cleaning. If you’re sure you have no use for something anymore, it can’t hurt to try selling it instead of just throwing it away.
From eBay to a classic yard sale to a bunch of avenues in between, you have plenty of options for seeing if somebody is willing to pay you for something you haven’t yet remembered you even own.
Clean Up Your Wallet
Now that you’ve saved yourself a bunch of money — and if you’re lucky, you may have even made a few bucks — the important thing is not to squander it.
Use this exercise in financial consciousness to start more good habits with your money. You might even be inspired to start making specific plans and budgets going forward to keep yourself on a good pace.
If spring is the season of new life, that can also mean a fresh start for your spending and saving habits.