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Our Top 4 Spring Cleaning Tips

…& some second hand gems!

We’ve had the biggest spring clean imaginable with our move from our Genoa St Sustainability Centre, which had been our office, excursion centre and heart of our organisation for over 20 years. As you can imagine, especially with a staff of environmentally conscious individuals (read: experts at reusing items, therefore hoarding things until that purpose could be found!), we had a LOT. OF. STUFF!

Some of it’s for sale via our Gumtree profile, and is perfect for a home office, school, kinder, garden shed storage, cubby house, garden…. Whatever use you can dream up! Fancy a piano in your playroom? What about a filing cabinet in your home office? A nest box for your garden? We’ve got you covered and then some, and you’ll feel great knowing that all sale proceeds go towards supporting our not-for-profit organisation during our BIG move!

So, in the spirit of Spring Cleaning time for your home, classroom or business, we thought we’d put together our top 4 tips:

  • 1) Detox all those household chemicals! These should be responsibly disposed of, so for Victorians, check out Sustainability Victoria’s Detox Your Home collection points and dates. We found plenty of half empty bottles of crusty cream cleansers, stinky floor polish and myriads of other ‘cleaning’ products that we’d rather our stick insects, volunteers and visitors didn’t have to inhale. Why not join us in switching to some natural cleaners this spring? You’d be amazed by how far some white vinegar, baking soda, lemons (if you’ve got a tree handy!) and some liquid castile soap can take you.
  • 2) As the popular KonMari method and Project 333 state, a great starting point for simplifying and downsizing all your stuff (for example clothes), start by consolidating everything of that type into a central place/pile (so for clothes, all clothes from every drawer, wardrobe and coat hook in the house). Then sort into piles for ‘DONATE’, ‘BIN’, ‘SELL’. If you’re struggling to make decisions, make a ‘THINK ABOUT’ stash and set it aside for a few months out of sight. From experience, you’lll find it much easier to part with those things once you’ve lived without them for a short while!
  • 3) Got some larger items that you use infrequently (say, once or twice a year, like luggage, a hedge trimmer, or wheelbarrow)? You might consider the possibility of selling or donating yours and loaning from a friend when you need them, or you could generate a little extra pocket money and list them on a site like OpenShed to loan them out to your neighbours! Toys that your kids have outgrown may be welcomed by your local toy library (that way, should you ever have a desperate need to revisit them, they are available to be loaned!).
  • 4) Check the use-by dates on your cosmetics, and foodstuffs. For a room by room guide of what can be recycled Victoria wide check out Get It Right on Bin Night’s fact sheets! Whilst it’s tempting to just throw those half-full, mouldy food containers straight into the trash for fear of delving into their contents…why not just SHAKE (contents into the bin), RATTLE (a chopstick or spoon can get any big chunks out!), and ROLL that container to the curb in your recycling bin! Remember, recyclables don’t have to be spotless clean, they just shouldn’t have perishables inside them. It’s a quick bit of effort to ensure that chutney jar in the back of the fridge can live out it’s destiny to be made into another jar an INFINITE number of times…. Instead of sitting in a stinky landfill dreaming of what it’s life could have been!

    Good luck with your spring clean and give all of your STUFF the chance to be the best it can be… to infinity and beyond!