Now is a Good Time to Clean and Clean Out Your Stuff

Cleaning out

Cleaning, disinfecting, and wiping things down has become even more emphasized today with the current COVID-19 pandemic. As we go through this experience, you also take time to clean out some of the other areas of the home as well – spring cleaning! Cleaning is the removal of germs, dust, grime, dirt, and impurities from surfaces whereas disinfecting includes using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Be sure to wear gloves when performing these actions and give the chemicals the time they need to kill the germs – most take a minimum of 20 seconds. Also check the manufacturer’s instructions for electronics and other consumer devices. Some counter tops require special cleaners.

When we clean, we focus on the usual items such as tabletops, counter tops, floors, and appliances. It is important to clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. These areas include but are not limited to tables, doorknobs, light switches, phones, mobile devices, remote controls, hardback chairs, and faucets. Other items could include doormats, windows, reusable grocery bags, cutting boards, pots & pans, and your refrigerator. Everything needs to be cleaned, so plan to clean a few daily and before you know it, you have cleaned every part of your home.

After we clean and disinfect the house, it could be a good time to take inventory of all the items in the home and identify some items that could be given away, recycled, or thrown in the trash. As you list things down and clean the area where the item resides, you can decide if it is something you or a family member still wants, give away, recycle, or throw away. Cleaning out your closets, drawers, and storage areas can help you declutter and simplify your home.

You can make it a game, by choosing to do 5-10 minutes each day and focus on one area at a time. Start by going through your clothes and the ones you never wear, offer to someone or donate them to a charity. One good idea is to set up four boxes marked keep, relocate, toss, or donate to help guide your decision process. Some of the common items that can be reduced in the home include:

  • Kitchen glassware, gadgets, small appliances or tools
  • Cookbooks, books, magazine, newspapers
  • Pots, pans, mixing bowls, storage containers,
  • Over the counter medicine, prescribed medicines, old first aid items
  • Bathroom cabinets – toiletries, old soaps and shampoos, etc.
  • Craft supplies, sewing supplies, photography supplies,
  • Old bottles, candle holders,
  • Old wires, computer devices, AV cables,
  • Old office supplies and items that you have not used in a while
  • Old and current financial and personal information filing cabinet

As you go through the week and you clean, disinfect, and clear out some clutter, be safe in using any chemicals, engage others in the home to help, and have fun doing it. It can be very rewarding doing some exercise by cleaning out your home. Some of benefits that people feel after doing this includes there are less things to organize and clean and you feel less stress. You’ll breathe a deep, gratifying sigh of relief! You can do it, take one step at a time and do something every day.