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Spruce things up with a little spring cleaning

Since spring has sprung, it’s time for spring cleaning – a step Cole-Coffey recommends every homeowner should take before pulling out springtime décor.

Keeping everything spic and span is a skill Cole-Coffey learned from a young age.

“On Saturdays we had to clean. We had tile in our bathrooms … they all contained tile, and my mother would make us take everything out of the bathroom, and we would have to get a cleaner, brush and bucket, and we would scrub tile. She would have pretty containers with soap and different things in the bathroom – even vases with pretty flowers – and we would have to clean all of that stuff.”

So in true Cole fashion, Cole-Coffey recommend a good deep clean as springtime sets in.

“You need to declutter and organize, remove the dust and do a really good general clean,” she said. “You want it to smell fresh and clean.”

Clutter, of course, has to be a No. 1 focus.

“Back in the day I don’t think people had as much stuff; homes were smaller closets were smaller,” Cole-Coffey pointed out. “As we have progressed, we’re able to purchase more things, more easily … If you like stuff, you buy more. It’s the same thing with clothes, shoes, collectibles – we like to buy.”

All those clothes, shoes and collectibles, however, begin to pile up. Cole-Coffey recommended purging closets of no-longer-wanted clothes and shoes – nice items can be consigned, and others can be donated or tossed as appropriate – and taking time to sort through mail and papers, creating a place to keep important documents like bills, receipts and records. The “Records and Important Papers” guide, available through the Franklin County Extension office, might be able to help. “If everything is organized, that helps you be more productive,” Cole-Coffey said.

Junk mail needs to be discarded, along with outdated magazines and catalogs. When possible, try to find ways to recycle or donate the materials instead of just throwing them out. Put items to keep in a nice basket or other container.

To start the deep clean, gather up supplies, from a vacuum cleaner, mop and broom to various cleaning products.

Of course, as with decorating, Cole-Coffey recommends using what one has – a lesson she learned cleaning as a child.

“We would have to move items around and clean everything. Back then you didn’t have these items we have now like a Swiffer to reach up really high,” Cole-Coffey said. Armed with a broom with a pillowcase around its head, however, she was able to eliminate cobwebs and dust from the furthest corners.

From vacuuming the mattress to dusting light fixtures to polishing furniture, Cole-Coffey recommended tackling every chore to achieve that fresh, clean feel.

With everything neat and tidy, consider adding live plants and fresh flowers to those spruced-up spaces for a final touch. “Flowers help to generate happiness and improve your mood.”

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