Oily Rag spring clean

It’s that time of the year when spring is in the air – and keen oily raggers know that their trash may be another’s treasure. Here are some oily rag tips to make the task easier.

Plan for the big clean up day and make a family social day. Organise and arm the troops with fluffy feather dusters, top secret cleaning agents, rubbish bags, boxes, and most of all a positive attitude as they march towards victory. Write down the Mission Impossible task for each trooper, and have them report back to HQ at regular intervals.

Break the tasks down into small and simple steps. Plan one room at a time. Work in pairs if need be and keep the communications short, sharp and snappy, something like; Question: “What about this?” Answer: “Rubbish”.

Start by rummaging through forgotten places. There may be lots of trash that you can turn into cash. Golf clubs, unwanted household appliances, furniture, books… they can all be sold online, at a garage sale or swapped or given away.

In the bathroom check the medicines for their use by date. Destroy anything a bit dubious; it’s dangerous having them lying around, especially if there are littlies in the in the household. Get the torch out and have a good look at the back of the bathroom cabinet. Be ruthless…  if you haven’t used it, you probably don’t need it.

The kitchen is one of those big tasks. Start by removing everything out of the cupboards, pantry and fridge. Toss out those things gathering mould or are past their used by date. Make sure everything in the pantry is visible and easy to access. Have the stuff you have to use in the near future at the front so you can adapt your menus to suit.

While you are at it don’t forget to spring clean the deep freeze. Make room for the bargain buys and baked goodies for school lunches.

In the wardrobe, if you haven’t worn it for years, you are not likely to need it (unless you plan to go to a retro theme fancy dress party!). Sort everything into one of three piles:

·         Stuff that you wear,

·         Good stuff that you would wear if you could fit into it (!), and

·         Stuff that should be thrown out or used as rags.

Give away the good stuff that you don’t wear, drop it into one of the charitable thrift shops, or sell it at a garage sale. When putting the clothing back, try sorting by items (all the shirts together for example) or by use (for example, best, casual, work and so on). The better organised your stuff is the more efficiently you will use them. You may discover shirts lost in decades of chaos in the wardrobe!

Cancel subscriptions to magazines that are no longer read or enjoyed. Sort though the old stacks of magazines that will invariably be cluttering up closets and mounting up in ever taller piles on coffee tables.  Take them to a second hand book shop and turn them into cash.

A spring clean can mean lots of dollars in your pocket. There are lots of avenues available to sell those unwanted goodies; everything from classified ads in your local community newspaper, garage sale, car book sales, to a proliferation of online trading sites.

Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag by Frank & Muriel Newman is available from all good bookstores or online at www.oilyrag.co.nz If you have some favourite money-saving or money-making tips, share them with others by visiting the oily rag website or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.