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5
Get Organized

So Fresh and So Clean

Want to deodorize the air in your indoor spaces without resorting to chemical-laden air fresheners? Combine one part white vinegar to five parts water in a pump sprayer. Spray the mixture as you would a commercial room freshener. The vinegar smell will dissipate in a few minutes, and the odors will be gone with it. It's a quick and inexpensive option.

If your cleaning supplies are all over the house and garage, it'll be a lot harder to get stoked about the prospect of cleaning. Anything you do to make the task more convenient will also tip the scales in favor of doing chores now -- instead of eating a cupcake now and doing chores next week.

Invest in a cleaning caddy, and organize your cleaning supplies for easy access. These plastic or wicker baskets are designed with easy grip handles and lots of room for spray bottles, sponges and other essentials. Better yet, invest in two or three task-specific caddies. Load one up with kitchen cleaning aids like oven cleaner and rubber gloves. Put another one together for bathroom cleaning supplies like toilet bowel cleaner and tile cleaner. When you aren't using them, stow them on shelves in your garage or basement.

It's also a good idea to take things a step at a time on cleaning day. Tackling one whole room will save you time -- and trips up and down the stairs. It also has a subtle psychological benefit: If you clean the mirrors or the brass all over the house first, you may decide your efforts haven't made much of a dent in the mess and get discouraged. Finish one whole room, though, and all of a sudden the prospect of making another part of your home look as nice seems more doable -- and more gratifying, too.

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