By Lara Valles
The extra time at home during social distancing can be useful for some satisfying spring cleaning that is good for your house and the soul (and to get rid of pesky viruses too). Put some tunes on and get ready for a cleaning that would make Monica Geller proud.
Step one is to go through all your things and figure out what you need and what you don't. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't used it in 6 months, you probably won't use it at all. Instead, you can donate it to someone who will through organizations such as Terracycle Fabrics and Clothing Zero Waste Box. You can also check out Donation Town, which will help you find a local clothing donation pick-up services in your area. Bunz is another excellent app to exchange items you don't need for ones you do. One person's junk can really be someone else's treasure! You don't always have to scour garage sales with Grandma anymore to find that vintage poster.
Get creative: Instead of giving away clothing, you can also set them aside to be mended by a tailor. A lot of broken things you may have laying around could be fixed or even re-purposed; You would be surprised at how easy this can be. You try DIY courses or other things such as these DIY bike repair shops in Toronto. You may have to wait until social distancing is over to try some of those, you can make donations anytime, people need it now more than ever.
Next, get your cleaning supplies ready. This glass spray bottle from Package Free Shop is great as it has recipes for making your own cleaning products on the bottle itself. You can also simply re-use old spray bottles; check out this website for some cleaning product recipes. Instead of disposable cleaning wipes, take some old t-shirts to make rags and switch to re-washable cloths entirely. In the long run, you'll save money, the environment, and you'll actually know what chemicals you're using in your home every day.
Lastly, get into some good habits: This Zero Waste Cleaning Guide has a thorough chore list on how you can stay on top of cleaning your place spic and span.
Lara Valles is the Director of Community Service for the Rotaract Club of Toronto. She started her minimal waste journey a year ago and is excited to be a part of this community of people that not only care about the environment but are doing everything they can to fix it.