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Spring cleaning with a difference

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With the first bit of warmer weather comes the mixed feelings about Spring cleaning. It's wonderful to be able to open windows and catch a breath of fresh air, but let's face it - Spring cleaning is a chore.

There are so many things to do if you want to do it right. That includes putting away the winter clothes, vacuuming under the beds, freshening the lighter linens, washing the windows, and just shaking the dust off unused areas. So while you perform these tasks, you can make a difference for others.

  • Help an elderly or disabled neighbor with some of the aforementioned tasks
  • Before you put away all of those winter clothes, sort the pieces you never wore. Even though it's the wrong season to give them away locally, there are numerous agencies that might like to have them. Some organizations may ship them to other areas of the country where cool weather clothes are still being worn, and there are always the yellow collection bins for donations of clothing and shoes for third world countries.
  • Clean out your garage and stack things that you know you'll never use. Give that usable clutter to agencies like Habitat for Humanity which has many re-stores that are happy to have extra tools, ladders, etc.
  • Buy extra cleaning supplies to share with someone who may need them, or donate them to local agencies serving those in need
  • Offer to take recyclables for your neighbor or someone who cannot do so by him/herself
  • Buy fresh flowers and share them with someone who needs a little day brightener. You can also buy and share plants to grow in the ground with people who are unable to do so (but be sure that plants are where the person can easily water and care for them)
  • Turn exercise into something fun with your family. Walk around the neighborhood with a sack and pick-up trash that has accumulated in common areas
  • If seeding has just occurred, water your neighbor's lawn when you water yours
  • Consider purchasing a bird bath to place outside a window, but remember to keep it full of clean water. (This is also a great gift for someone who is a shut-in because it gives them something fun to watch)
  • Air purifiers will soon be on sale so be sure to pick up a few extras to give to those who don't have or can't afford one
  • Buy extra allergy medicine to keep with you and offer to share with anyone who needs it while you are out and about

Last of all, remember that whatever you need to do, there is likely someone else who has the same need. So share your time and your efforts. It doesn't have to be a lot to make a positive difference for your fellowman.

Check out this Spring cleaning checklist tips: http://www.rightathome.com/Cleaning/Articles/Pages/7LittleCleaningTricksThatPayOffBig.aspx?Page=13#CommentsPage, and the video on how to turn clutter into cash.

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