The Bonus Points List
Bathroom cabinet. You know all those lipsticks you bought and didn’t like? Or the toners and primers you swore you’d use but never did? Time to clean out that overstuffed bathroom cabinet. “Spring is a good time to go through and get rid of products you’re not using,” says Helms. “If you didn’t use them the first time around, you probably won’t now.”
That’s especially true for bottles of medicine and sunblock lingering well past their due dates. “Get rid of all the leftover bottles of lotions and potions and medicines beyond their expiration dates,” says Helms. Would you really want to take expired cough syrup or apply expired sunscreen? We think not.
Light fixtures. “Light fixtures often get overlooked,” says Helms. “We dust the outsides [of lamps], but don’t get up inside the light fixture. Over time, that dust builds up.” Make sure to wipe down the insides of your light fixtures—even the ones that are installed permanently—especially if you have a dust allergy.
Washing machine. Yes, you do need to wash the washing machine. “Especially if you’re a family that does cold water laundry for energy reasons, you can get a buildup of bacteria if you’re not washing in hot water,” explains Helms. To keep it clean, she suggests: “Run super hot water in there and if you want to feel like you’ve sanitized it, then use an oxygen bleach product.” Then you’ll be ready for another energy-saving year.
Junk piles. “The next step beyond cleaning is organizing,” says Helms. She recommends purging all the clothes that you never (or can no longer) wear, the housewares you don’t ever use and the piles of papers you haven’t touched in months. “Getting rid of what you don’t use gives your mind a more advanced state of clarity,” she says. “There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you’re complete.”
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