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Our monthlong series on spring cleaning tackles your personal sanctuary.
Spring is here, and with the bright sunlight comes the inspiration to make everything in your home feel as sparkly and new as that fresh spring air feels outside. That's right: We're talking spring cleaning! To We're devoting the month to cleaning all the things you never think to clean, going room by room. These are the big-ticket, deep-cleaning projects you really only need to do once or twice a year – and when you do them, you'll feel like you're living in a brand-new home.
This week, we're tackling the bedroom. You may have heard the term "sleep hygiene," meaning practices like not using smart phones in bed to improve the quality of your sleep – but it can have a very literal meaning, too. A clean bedroom reduces stress levels, leading to a more restful sleep.
Flip your mattress. To ensure your mattress wears evenly and prevent the dreaded butt indent, make flipping the mattress a habit every few months (if you have a pillow top, just rotate it 180 degrees). Vacuum the bare mattress using your vacuum's hose attachment and, if it needs a refresh, sprinkle with a box of baking soda, rub it in to penetrate the mattress cover, and vacuum again after an hour or so.
Wash your pillows and duvets. Check the manufacturer's labels for washing instructions, but most bedding, including down- and poly-filled pillows, can go in the washing machine at cool temps. (Memory foam pillows should be soaked in a tub of soapy water ‚Äì the washer's agitation could damage the foam.) If you can, lay them to dry in the sun to kill odors and bacteria. Otherwise, put them in the dryer on low heat for as long as you need (fair warning: it'll be a while!). Make sure they're totally dry before they go back on the bed.
Take stock of your sheets. If it's been several years since you bought a new set, or if the ones you have are fraying, pilling, or stained, invest in a new set of 100% cotton sheets that are Oeko-Tex certified, a designation that guarantees the fibers were grown and processed without the use of toxic chemicals. There are tons of new companies that sell high-quality sheets at reasonable prices ‚Äì we especially love Parachute's Amalfi Coast-inspired cool linen sheets for hot summer nights. Instead of throwing out your old sheets, save them to use as drop cloths, cut them up into rags for cleaning, or look into textile recycling sites in your area.
Clean your brushes. Remove loose hair from your hairbrush, then fill the bathroom sink with hot water and a squirt of shampoo. Swish the brush through the sudsy water for a minute, then use a fine-tooth comb or skewer to remove any lint that may still be trapped between the bristles. To clean makeup brushes (a task you should do every week if they get used regularly!), gently rub wet bristles with facial cleanser or baby shampoo, taking care to keep the base dry. Rinse with warm ‚Äì not hot ‚Äì water, reshape and leave them to dry on a clean towel. (Now that your makeup tools are dry, how about cleaning up your beauty products, too? Check out Julie's favorite clean beauty picks here.
Clear the closet. Don't worry, this isn't a call to downsize your wardrobe! (But if you're feeling inspired, take a page from Marie Kondo's book and say goodbye to items you don't love wearing, too.) If you keep shoes in your closet, that floor is an unseen haven for outside dirt and grit. Take everything off of the closet floor and sweep or vacuum in there, and mop if you have hard wood.