12 Spring Hacks You Need to Know (04.26.16)

DahliaSpring is a time of renewal. Out with the old and in with the new, as the saying goes.

It’s my favorite season! The spectacular colors. Fragrance of the flowers. Deep green shade of the lawn. Smell of the air after a rain shower. My cherry tree actually bloomed three times during this el nino year, a first!

Most people do some amount of spring spruce-up. It feels good to air out and freshen the house, doesn’t it?

To make life a little easier, here are a dozen hacks.

  1. Free shredding events start in earnest in the spring and run through the fall. Google “2016 free shredding events (enter your zip code).” Local politicians and large shredding companies offer them too.
  2. Household recycling events are common during the spring and summer. A helpful resource is earth911.com. As above, Google “2016 recycle events (enter your zip code).”
  3. Household hazardous waste (HHW) consists of items that are too dangerous to toss in the regular trash or recycling. Click here for an example of collection dates with acceptable and unacceptable HHW items for Montgomery County, PA. For a more detailed list, click here. Do a Google search to find a collection where you live.
  4. Donate unneeded paint to your local theater group or school for performances.
  5. Home burglaries increase in the summer months. If you have a sliding glass door, install a lock at the top or bottom for extra protection.
  6. Know where the circuit breaker box is located and label the circuit breakers.
  7. Know where the emergency shutoffs in your house are located – water (whole house and individual), gas, oil, electric, furnace and hot water heater. The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises that you may need a professional to turn them back on.
  8. To remove dust from curtains, drapes and throw pillows, put them in the dryer on the air-only cycle for 15 minutes. To avoid wrinkles, hang right away. No dry-cleaning expense!
  9. The best choice for general cleaning – appliances, windows, mirrors, glass, countertops and so on – is a machine-washable, reusable microfiber cloth used wet or dry, according to Good Housekeeping. The GH Lab pick is Libman’s Wonderfiber Cloths, 2 for $3.99, available at HomeDepot.com.
  10. To double the hanging space in your closet, slide a soda can tab over the top of the hanger, then hang a hanger holding another item from the soda can tab.
  11. To remove carpet depressions from furniture, hold an iron above the depression and press “steam burst” a few times. Fluff with your fingers.
  12. To keep your car’s cup holders from getting grimy, put a silicone muffin cup in each cup holder. When it gets dirty, just clean it in the sink or dishwasher or replace it.

Let me know if you try any of these. I love tips like these so add your favorites in the comment section. Contact me if I can make YOUR life easier!