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March 4, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Spring clean: Ditch dirt and clutter with fun and effective products

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By Allison Ellis / Special to Sunday Market

Every once in a while, the sun shines through our rain-splattered windows long enough for us to see our homes in a new light — dusty crevices are revealed, upholstery stains appear and piles of clutter become mountains.

That’s when you know it’s time for some serious spring cleaning. Here’s a roundup of some fresh products to help you get motivated.

BUMPED-UP BASICS

Mary Poppins was right: In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Dusting picture frames and décor gets a little more joyful with the kicky, red OXO Good Grips Microfiber Duster ($10 at Bed Bath & Beyond). The fluffy head traps dust and is machine washable.

Rid your house of dirt and pet hair with the Dyson DC41 Animal Upright Vacuum ($419 at Target). The powerful, bagless vacuum self-adjusts and has multiple tools to reach tight spaces.

Streamline your trash and recycling station with the Simplehuman Recycler Trash Can in Brushed Stainless Steel ($180 at AllModern.com). The sleek receptacle is a recycling station and trash can in one, with an internal hinge that allows you to place it up against the wall.

CLEVER CLEANERS

When battling dirt, look for products that are both effective and earth-friendly — with a little aromatherapy as an added bonus. The Caldrea Essential Collection comes in fresh scents such as Hibiscus Yuzu, Citron Ginger and Blackcurrant Mint; the 3 Piece Kitchen Set ($20 at Target) includes dish soap, hand soap and countertop cleaner in a stainless steel caddy.

Use those cleaners with The Honest Company’s Scrubber Sponge ($4 at honest.com and Amazon.com), made from walnut shells and cellulose derived from renewable wood pulp.

No cleaning spray? The MysticMaid Cleaning Cloth ($14 at Mrs. Cooks, U District) clean stainless steel, countertops, glass, granite, tile and wood using water alone.

For gently removing stains on slipcovers and laundry, try Caldrea Essential Collection’s Sweet Pea Stain Remover ($8 at drugstore.com). It uses plant-derived detergents and essential oils to bust through stains. For delicates, pair Nordstrom Lingerie Wash ($18 at Nordstrom) with Real Simple Intimate Wash Bags ($7 for two at Bed Bath & Beyond) to protect your fine washables.

STORAGE SOLUTIONS

When it comes to attacking that mountain of clutter, step one is to purge your unwanted stuff. With your load lightened, finding the right spots for accessories, toys and office supplies can become downright exciting.

The Blessing Basket Project’s Essential Storage baskets ($27–$35.50 at Whole Foods) are a beautiful way to store the magazines and toys you want to keep within reach. Sales of the handcrafted baskets help fight poverty by providing the Bangladeshi artisans with fair wages.

The Komplement Multi-Use Hanger ($8 at Ikea) is a clever, compact solution for all those scarves, ties, belts and other accessories clogging up your drawers. Stash sweaters or seasonal table linens in PEVA Long Bulk Storage Bags ($9 at Storables). A sturdy handle makes it easy to pull it out of storage next fall, and the clear vinyl makes it easy to see what’s inside.

For kitchen or office organization, Seattle’s Three By Three offers modern solutions. Pair the Magnetic Strip Bulletin Board ($13) with the Square Dot Magnet Board ($24) and colorful Spot On! Mini Magnet Hooks ($9 for four, all at Click! Design That Fits, West Seattle).

Or go for industrial chic with West Elm’s Industrial Rail System ($6–$39), a new line of wall-mounted tools and storage options that includes wire baskets, cork boards and hooks.

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