Recently here at Paste’s Atlanta office we geared up for summer cleaning after being inspired by this website. During our day of blood, sweat and dust, we compiled some tips on how to make your next cleaning mission as efficient and pain-free as possible.
1. Assemble an Army
The interns, sorting away
Taking on a cleaning job (especially a colossal one) is not fun. But it’s a lot more tolerable and faster if you create a cleaning task force. Whether it’s you and your roommates or a friend you’ve goaded into helping you because they owe you, working as a group will cut clean-up time in half: firstly, you’ll be able to split of sections of the clutter to tackle to messes at once. Secondly, you’ll have eyes on you, preventing a bout of procrastination to strike.
2. Ditch The Old Electronics
Relics of the early 2000’s
That light blue ‘98 Macintosh G3 that’s completely broken but you’re totally going to put on display someday? Yeah, you’re not. Unless you have a penchant for fixing up old electronics, dusty relics of tech past are best left either sold or recycled, not stored in the back of your closet. If the gadgets are still functioning or have collector’s value, sell them on Ebay on craigslist. If they’re just garbage in metallic form find a place to dispose of them properly (list of EPA-approved sites here.)
3. Kill Your Darlings (or rather, Extract the Unused)
Here at Paste, we receives dozens of CDs, Books, and DVDs a week. Paste has been around since 2002. You do the math. While we didn’t have to go through eons of promo material, we did go through probably a year or two worth of old stuff that was taking up a significant amount of space. We pulled out what we wanted to keep, and set the rest out for donation or recycling. It can be arduous and painful parting ways with books and shows, but you are lying to yourself if you think that that book your weird neighbor gave you about the making of Braveheart is ever going to get opened. Find recycling centers here.
4. Same Applies for Magazines
We’ll always cherish and hold onto our Paste print magazines, but we also had over a thousand magazines from other publications in our storage area for no reason. Our suggestion is to rifle through, save a few (emphasis on few) articles that have historical significance/sentimental value, then recycle the rest.
5. Treat the Kitchen Like a Hospital
You wouldn’t be okay with being treated in a germ-filled atmosphere, so why are you okay with eating in one? When it comes to the kitchen, the cleaner and more sterile it is, the better. When we purged the back room, we had to toss a lot of broken appliances, warped tupperware and condiments from the Bush era, H.W. (just kidding, mostly). Bottom Line: make sure to deeply clean your kitchen so that its new clean self can be truly rid of grime. Rubber gloves were our best friends as we washed over 100 dusty beer glasses, poured comet powder all over the sink and scrubbed down the microwave with Howie Mandel’s Magic Era- sorry, I meant Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers.
6. Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Label
“L” in this case stands for Large and “Let’s hope we don’t have to fold these again”
After you’ve finished tossing, boxing, and scrubbing, you’re going to have a shiny new space they you’ll be so excited to carelessly walk about in again, flinging your stuff about any which way. Then, in a month you’ll have the exact same mess you had before. Don’t let this happen to you! When doing a major rearrangement, make sure to label your boxes and bins so that everything has its designated place in your space. For example, the office interns folded what must have been 500 Paste t-shirts that had been thrown into random boxes, all assorted sizes, and put them neatly on a shelf, sorted by size. Then we LABELED THAT ASAP. No way are we going to refold and organize 500 t-shirts again. Our cramped, feeble hands are tired.
7. Treat Yo’ Self
The only thing better than pizza is nothing
As Donna and Tom told us, sometimes you just have to take care of you. So after we spent the whole day busting down cobwebs, sorting through thousands of old CDs and moving bookshelves, we here at the Paste office ordered three pizzas to replenish ourselves. But maybe we should have gotten calzones. Be sure to reward yourself after a big clean, because good for you, you did a good thing!