We’re on the cusp of spring, and for many, this means it’s time to start cleaning. Stores are filled with new and innovative organizational items, plus every magazine is telling you their perfect way to spring clean your life. Before you go out and spend money on new containers and cleaning products, consider these ways spring cleaning can actually save (or make) you money.
Cleaning can reduce your energy costs
Even though it’s not a very exciting task, cleaning out your appliances and home heating and cooling systems can save you money on your energy bills.
Check your refrigerator
Is your fridge or freezer covered in ice? If frost builds up, it causes your refrigerator to work harder and be less energy-efficient. Although this won’t save you a ton of money (a few dollars here and there), keeping your refrigerator working at maximum efficiency can help it last longer, saving you from having to buy a new one.
Clean your dryer
It’s important to remove any lint buildup each time you use your dryer. But, lint can get caught in other places and decrease your dryer’s efficiency. Use your vacuum’s nozzle attachment to get lint that has collected below the lint screen. In addition, make sure nothing is blocking your dryer vent. This not only makes your dryer use more energy, it also can be a fire hazard.
Check your air conditioning
Making sure the air filter is clean can lower your air conditioner’s energy usage by 15 percent! This will depend on your home’s unit, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Cleaning with simple products is cheap
Before you buy expensive cleaning products, consider making your own. Did you know you can make a lot of effective cleaning products just by using common and cost-friendly household items like vinegar, baking soda, ammonia and rubbing alcohol?
For example, vinegar is a deodorizer. You can use it to eliminate odors in your bathroom and kitchen by wiping down your countertops, vanity and shower walls with a mixture of water and vinegar.
Selling what you find
You’ll likely find things you don’t use anymore during spring cleaning. If you have appliances or clothes in good condition, you can sell them and make some extra cash.
Think about holding a garage sale to sell any odds and ends you can’t take to consignment stores. Most neighborhoods have a neighborhood-wide garage sale, or get together with some friends to have a multi-family garage sale.
If you don’t want to sell your items, you can also donate them. Make sure to write down what you are donating and get a receipt. You can then claim the value of the donations on next year’s taxes.