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Toi Degree: Find your perfect app for spring cleaning

By Toi Degree
Rowan Cooperative Extension

Spring arrived Wednesday, according to the calendar. I’m sure spring temperatures are soon to follow.

Why do we “spring clean” to wipe away winter?

Spring cleaning comes from the days when homes were heated by fireplaces, and efforts were made to prevent heat from escaping. Another reason for “spring cleaning” is that warmer weather and longer days work as a stimulant for a lot of people to become more active.”

Whatever your motivation, spring cleaning just got easier. Everyone says there’s an app for that; well, there is one for spring cleaning as well. While researching information, I came across an article written on about these apps. The following is a brief description of each.

• FlyLady — Help make cleaning less stressful by dividing your home into zones, such as living room or kitchen. This allows you to focus on one zone at a time and, once you are finished, simply check the task off the list. FlyLady sets a time limit to complete each zone and notifies you when it’s time to move to the next zone.

• Spring Cleaning Checklist — This app allows you to set up a checklist for each room, and you are able to add tasks as you go. You can start in the room of your choice and complete each task for that room before moving on to the next. Again, this allows you get the entire room finished without feeling overwhelmed. Spring Cleaning Checklist is available for download on Android.

• OurHome — This is a great app to motivate kids to do chores and might be a mother’s dream. This app lets you reward your kids for doing their share of the housework. OurHome uses a point system and, once the task has been completed, they will earn points that they can cash in for rewards. Parents can then choose how they will reward based on the number of points gained. You are able to set reminders, send message and view your kids’ chore progress when you sync your families devices with the OurHome app. OurHome is available for download on iOS or Android. 

• Unfilth Your Habitat — This app gives you the motivation you need to get things done around the house. It is said to be the app designed for the “lazy person with a messy home.” Unfilth Your Habitat (UfYH) uses a timer to break up your tasks into smaller chunks of time. UfYH doesn’t wait for you to feel ready. The goal is to beat the clock to finish the challenge and earn a trophy reward. The timer options are 20 minutes of work with a 10-minute break or 45 minutes of work with a 15-minute break. Motivational reminders, such as “excuses are not acceptable,” will be sent to you and UfYh also guilt-trips you. This app is for adults only, as adult language is used. Unfilth Your Habitat is available for download on iOS or Android for $1.

• Think Dirty — This app takes a step beyond spring cleaning and looks at your toxic cosmetics and personal-care products. The app provides information on the products you are using and offers tips on how to shop for safer products. Think Dirty allows you to scan the bar code on your items, and the “Dirty Meter” gives you a rating with extra information. The “My Bathroom Rating” can be used to keep track of what you have in your bathroom and track your progress as you add better products. Think Dirty is available for download on iOS or Android. 

• Decluttr — This app is used for just that, to provide a place for you to sell your tech gadgets that are collecting dust. It doesn’t matter if it is cellphones, gaming systems, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, games or books you are looking to sell. Just input the tech device, make, model and condition to get a guaranteed, instant price. Once you’ve sold an itemDecluttr ships your packaging for free. As soon as your package arrives at Decluttr’s warehouse, Declutter will pay you by direct deposit, PayPal or check. You can download on iOS or Android.

• Snupps — Like DeCluttr, Snupps allows you to sell things you don’t need. First, you go through and organize your items. The app helps you keep track of what you own. You can upload pictures of your stuff, create virtual shelves and organize items by category. Then, you can go through your inventory and sell what you don’t want directly through the app. You can use it as a digital yard sale and share with the community. This will encourage you to declutter, and you can also shop other users’ listed items. Hopefully, you won’t reclutter by doing this. Snupps is available to both Apple and Android users.

• Home Routines — Keep your chores in order. This app helps you keep a routine and allows you to reset your checklist daily, weekly or monthly. You can create cleaning lists for focus zones each day or once a month. Home Routines offers an in-app timer for speed cleaning if you’re feeling ambitious or only have a limited amount of time to get things done. The app has a one-time price of $5 and is available for download on iOS only.

Happy cleaning!

Toi N. Degree is family and consumer education agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Rowan County.

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