Getting a Fresh Start

I’ve never been a fan of spring cleaning. Why spend more time cleaning indoors just as the weather is starting to change for the better? I prefer spending a good chunk of time deep cleaning the apartment in January. Starting the new year with a clean, uncluttered living space helps me focus my attention on resolutions and the year ahead.

Light Fixtures: Dusting light fixtures and changing burned out bulbs are chores I usually put off, but accomplishing these small tasks brighten living spaces in the dark, gloomy winter months. Don’t forget to replace those bulbs with energy-efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs.

Kitchen: So, I just found some dried basil that expired in 2007. What?! While it might be fun taking expiration-date-inspired trips down memory lane, no one should have spices this old. Start the new year off right by throwing out expired spices, grains, oils and condiments. If you can’t find a date, smell it – or, if you’re brave, taste it. If it doesn’t smell right, toss it. Also, wipe down refrigerator and freezer shelves and doors before restocking.

Closets and Drawers: This is the perfect time to reevaluate your wardrobe, organize closet shelves, and declutter the junk drawer. In fact, maybe it’s time to get rid of the junk drawer all together. Who needs all this junk?!

Floors and Walls: Baseboards and walls take a beating throughout the year. My favorite tool for tackling stubborn spots and stains is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I don’t know how this little, white sponge works, but it gets the job done. Spaghetti sauce splatter stains in the kitchen? Christmas tree stains along the entryway wall? Shoe scuffs behind the desk? This sponge wipes them out without much elbow grease.

Electronics: I’m mainly referring to my laptop, y’all. This thing grosses me out. I plan on making more money by writing in 2013, so I need my laptop in tip-top shape.

Do you save cleaning for the spring or do you prefer a fresh start to the year?