I don’t know about where you live, but where I live, over the past week, the weather has been gorgeous. Temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, and maybe even peeking into the 80’s. It’s a sign that winter has finally ended and spring is on its way. And you know what spring means?
Oh, and we just hit time change weekend, so if you didn’t already, use this as a reminder to go change the battery in your smoke detectors. And if you don’t have smoke detectors, what are you doing reading a blog post? Get yourself to the store right now and don’t come back until you have properly installed your smoke detectors.
Right, back to spring cleaning. Personally, I hate cleaning. I love when my house is clean, but I hate getting it to that point. I have priced out a maid service more than once, but it just doesn’t make sense for me to spend my money on that right now. It’s just not the top of the priority list. So I have to do my cleaning myself.
Spring cleaning is a bigger animal than weekly cleaning, as it’s a bit of a deep clean. Take the time to dust your blinds, wash all the bedding, get the sweaters cleaned and stored in mothballs for the summer, etc. You don’t need a lot of fancy supplies for this, just a bucket, some rags, and some vinegar and water will handle most of the tasks. A broom is nice too.
I have a habit of squirrling things away in my house and then forgetting where I put them, and then I find I own multiples of things, typically consumables. And then I open a cabinet and realize I have four gallons of white vinegar or four cards of hair bands. Spring cleaning helps me reorganize and take stock of what I have instead of spending on things I don’t need to be replacing just yet.
I like to use spring cleaning as a kickstart to get rid of things that are just taking up space in my house. And that’s where the financial side really comes in. Get rid of stuff. Put it on Craiglist or eBay or your neighborhood list. And while it’s always good to make some money, remember, if you’re not using it, what value does it have? Price it at a point where you’re likely to get rid of it quickly and easily, but not so low that you feel like you’ve just given it away.
(Unless you want to give it away – I’ve done that with a number of things and it feels so good. You’d be surprised at the people who are happy to take broken electronics for parts or to attempt to repair.)
This is also a good time to spring clean your finances. Take a look at your monthly bills and see if there is anywhere you can cut back. Are there any subscriptions you have signed up for that you don’t really need? Those subscription boxes can be addictive, that’s for sure, and while $10-$20 a month doesn’t seem like a lot, it starts to add up. Are you paying for any services you don’t use? How about your cell phone plan? Are you paying for significantly more than you use every month?
How about your credit cards? Do you have too many open accounts? For a while, I was big into opening store accounts for the discounts, paying off the card immediately, then never using the card again. A few years back, I went and closed all of those accounts. I didn’t need to have that many store accounts open and I was leaving myself open to risk by having them all open and unmonitored.
Spring cleaning your finances takes significantly less time than spring cleaning your house, but the results can feel just as great. So as spring quickly approaches, make a plan of what you want to tackle this spring and get to work!