Getting your spring cleaning on, from A to Z


“What do I know about spring cleaning? Only that it should be thorough, you know? Complete.” Here’s where my dear husband, Chad’s voice got tighter, higher and cracked from strain. 

Confession time: I suck at being a homemaker. So, to keep our happy home going, this green-loving, meeting-going, liberal trophy wife turned to local resources for help on de-mystifying cleaning. I found lots of options for chucking the clutter.

Where to toss it

Reduce / re-use / recycle has been the clarion call for the millennial decade. It’s fashionable, and financially feasible. Helping you toss things responsibly is a role county governing boards and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency cherish and strive to deliver to their customers

  • Hennepin County has an A to Z “How to Get Rid of It” guide online for household waste, and another for businesses, non-profits, schools, churches, neighborhood organizations, condominium and townhouse associations, office or apartment buildings, or government entities.

  • Ramsey County also has an A to Z disposal guide. I like a lot because it’s already sorted alphabetically on the first page (Ad Circulars to Zinc Batteries!) A truly cool option St. Paul folks also enjoy is “gently used” clothing pickups. Just place the clean, used clothing out with your recycling.

Free Geek Twin Cities the local computer/electronics recycler can help get rid of antiquated, outdated and irreconcilably broken e-gear. They accept drop-offs on Saturdays between noon and 5 p.m. at 821 E 35th St in the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association firehouse building. See here for a more detailed list on what they’ll take and how much it may cost. (Recycling costs are minimal – $4 for a printer, for example.) All donations are tax deductible. City of Minneapolis residents enjoy curbside e-recycling and the city encourages donations to local recyclers.

Flip your pantry!

March is Foodshelf Month. The annual MN FoodShare March Campaign is now in its 27th year. The Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) will apply your food and cash drive to their Mobile Foodshelf program.

My mother, god bless and keep her was a survivor of the depression. So whenever she saw non-perishables go on sale, she’d get 2-10 of each of what was sold. My husband built a pantry to accommodate her compulsion. (Imagine: 10-foot high ceiling with shelves going all the way up to it; the 2 x 5 foot room was often crammed and over flowing). So in the spring, we “flip the pantry,” donating items to Loaves and Fishes and St. Stephen’s Emergency Men’s Shelter.

Whether you have a pantry full of stocked-up-on-sale canned goods or choose to give cash, March is a good time to give. For all donations collected at EFN during the month of March, Minnesota FoodShare has pledged to “up the ante” by providing matching “food fund” dollars all month long, based on a percentage of total food/cash donations collected.

Spring cleaning: A family affair

Get the kids involved! Our lovely ladies and one of their ‘true-blue’ friends cleaned our yard last Sunday. Three kids picked up a winter’s worth of dog poo. We kept ’em safe and treated them to pizza & a movie afterwards. You’re probably a nicer parent/friend to children so I suggest you check out the activities in your neighborhood that introduce our youngest citizens to keeping our communities clean. Click here to learn how to teach kids to help themselves clean up!