Make spring cleaning a breeze with these iPhone apps

Mar 19, 2012
Shine

At its most basic level, spring cleaning is about eradicating the dirt that has crept into your house during months of snow-boot tromping and winter-coat flinging. But the mental exercise that comes with it shouldn’t be overlooked. The annual routine is an opportunity to de-clutter the brain as much as the foyer. With that in […]

At its most basic level, spring cleaning is about eradicating the dirt that has crept into your house during months of snow-boot tromping and winter-coat flinging. But the mental exercise that comes with it shouldn’t be overlooked. The annual routine is an opportunity to de-clutter the brain as much as the foyer.

With that in mind, we have researched the very best in iPhone apps designed to help you lay out a plan of attack. Spring is just weeks away after all, and you don’t want you to face it unarmed.

As you go about your cleaning this spring, you may encounter items that you forgot you owned. But being able to remember and list your property is important as you never know when a fire or an earthquake might require you to fill out an insurance claim. Check out the Home Inventory app ($4.99), it will help you record important data for your belongings including make model, serial number, purchase date and purchase price.

If your spring-cleaning coincides with a move, we insist you download the Moving Van app ($1.99). It allows you to track the contents and the destination – right down to the exact room in the house – of each and every box that you pack. That way you never have to be ripping in to boxes looking for things. You’re probably trying to execute all of your spring-cleaning in the course of a few days, and that means you need to be efficient.

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The HomeRoutines app ($3.99) is the Cadillac of organization tools in that it allows you to design customized chore lists based on the different “zones” of your house. And if you want to really gauge your skills, use the built in speed timer to give yourself a little motivation.

I would list laundry among my least favorite chores, and even more so when I am trying to clean winter items such as heavy coats that need to be stored away come spring. The Laundry Pal app ($0.99) will help you break the task down by color, material and so on, while ensuring you don’t ruin your favorite silk blouse or knit cardigan. The app includes everything from very basic “how to” instructions, to detailed ironing tips.

Sometimes there are stubborn household cleaning problems, and lo and behold, your mother isn’t around to help you solve them. Enter the Good Housekeeping @Home app (free). It includes cleaning tips such as how to best remove various stains from upholstery, or how to scrub a ceramic bathtub. In addition, the app also provides tips on how to reorganize furniture and redecorate. Nothing like a fresh room for a fresh start.

Trying to get spouses and children to contribute to the upkeep of the house can be a chore in and of itself. The Chore Pad ($2.99) app helps you assign and follow through on those tasks you designate to others. It allows you to create chore lists, which you can organize by day and importance, and then assign them to various members of the household. And each chore can be given a corresponding value. For example, washing the sheets can be given two points, and vacuuming out the car can be given four. You child, or spouse, can accrue points via the chores that he or she does. The rewards system is up to you.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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