NEW YORK — Spring cleaning can make a home feel like new, but let’s face it, it’s a pain.
If you’re willing to spend a few bucks to save on the elbow grease, here are some options to consider:
CHECK THE PAPER OR ONLINE: These days it’s easy to find people who will clean your house for you on the cheap. Start with the newspaper or Craigslist for service listings.
Another place to look is TaskRabbit, a company started in 2010 that lets people post services they want someone else to do for them. People who sign up for the site and have gotten a background check can bid on the job. Jobs include pet-sitting and office jobs. Cleaning services are popular as well. Similar sites have been popping up: check out Zaarly.com or beagle.com, which is focused on college campuses.
Don’t be shy in raiding your family, said Atlanta-based organizational expert Monica Ricci.
“Lots of moms forget they have a built-in spring cleaning task force right at home,” she said. “Assign specific spring cleaning tasks to your kids in age-appropriate ways. Little ones can use a sponge to wipe down baseboards, while older kids can help take down window treatments.”
ASK AROUND: You may be able to find a good deal on a cleaner by talking to friends, relatives and co-workers. Perhaps they know a college student looking to make cash, or who might have a low-cost cleaning service themselves.
Anyone you find through a referral will have the benefit of having been vetted by someone you know.
TAG TEAM: If you have some chores you don’t mind and others you can’t stand, check with your friends and neighbors to see if they might be interested in swapping efforts. It can make a big difference in how you approach spring cleaning and make the whole endeavor less of a drag.
SEEK OUT DAILY DEALS FOR CLEANING SERVICES. The newspaper and many sites like Groupon, Living Social and Amazon’s daily deals often have coupons for cleaning services. A recent ad offered full-house spring cleaning for $69, $80 off the regular $149 price.
Some ads have offered half off carpet cleaning, or $45 for three rooms. Especially as the typical spring cleaning months of March and April approach, look for these deals.
“Many professional cleaning services will offer a one-time deep cleaning option, even if you aren’t a regular customer,” Ricci said.
FURNITURE PICKUP: One of the most backbreaking spring cleaning tasks, getting rid of old furniture, can actually be done for free. If you donate old furniture to second-hand stores such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, these stores usually make house calls for items that are hard to transport. Call your local second-hand shop to see if they offer this service.
DIGITAL SPRING CLEANING: Digital clutter can complicate lives as much as physical clutter. You can take advantage of your office’s IT department to get free advice. Ask for tips about how to archive excess email and documents. They can look at your computer files and delete unnecessary ones, which frees up space. At home, take advantage of services online such as Carbonite, Mozy or Symantec to back up files.