It might not feel like spring in some parts of the country, but reality is that the season is here. After spending most of winter cooped up inside, many of us follow the tradition of “spring cleaning” when the first bout of warmer weather starts to hit.
Before you get too deep into spring cleaning, you may want to consider tidying up your home in the following ways so that you can potentially save money in the long run!
Synthetic sponges may seem like short-term tools for cleaning, but they don’t have to be. After using a sponge a few times, soak it in a large tub of water and a cup of bleach.
Doing this will kill any remaining bacteria and the sponge is likely to smell better. Be sure to wear clothes that you don’t care about staining while dealing with bleach. I learned the hard way and ruined a good pair of yoga pants when accidentally splashing bleach on them while cleaning my sponges a couple years ago.
We may be at the end of the current tax season, but it doesn’t hurt to think ahead. When going through your closets or spotting things around the house that you may no longer need, think of items that can be donated. Old clothes, used cookware, furniture and kitchen appliances are typically accepted by charitable organizations. When it comes to clothes, as mentioned in this article about how to consign old clothes, only donate clothes that are in good condition.
If you donate your items to a qualified organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, then you can itemize your deductions next tax season with IRS Form 1040, Schedule A. Be sure to record everything that you have donated so that you have what you need when it comes time to fill out the form. When recording your donations, if you’re not sure what the fair market value of an item is that you’re donating, then you should check out Turbo Tax’s It’s Deductible software, which is free.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing a dirty or clogged air conditioner filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. We all know that using more energy equals spending more money. Save money by following energy-saving measures.
While some filters may be reusable, it’s recommended that all filters are replaced or cleaned every one to two months during the cooling season or even more if you have dogs or cats and during peak heat periods when your air conditioning system runs more.
When spring cleaning, we may be more apt to use our washer or dishwasher to clean things that we wouldn’t normally put in either appliance, like rugs, curtains and vases.
Rather than using more money to run your appliances by relying on hot air to dry items in your dishwasher or using your dryer for items in your washer, let them sit out and air-dry naturally. It won’t cost you a cent.
While energy-efficient CFL or LED lighting typically last longer, they are usually more expensive than the old incandescent bulbs used to be.
If you wipe down your bulbs, you can increase the amount of light in a given room. If you have more light, you may not need to use more than one lamp, which will reduce energy consumption and potentially save money.