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Eight apps to make spring cleaning feel less like a chore

Jasmine France | April 25, 2014
Ah, spring: A time of torrential rain, wicked allergies, and the oh-so-pleasant ritual of cleaning your house.

Ah, spring: A time of torrential rain, wicked allergies, and the oh-so-pleasant ritual of cleaning your house. 

Okay, so maybe it's not everyone's favorite season, but there's something to be said about really digging in and doing a good cleansing once a year. You'll feel better afterwards, I promise. Plus, this is the tech age, which means there are plenty of tools to help you get the job done.

Deep clean your house

When it's time to start fresh, the first order of business is to scrub your home silly. If you're the type that would rather procrastinate than perform the necessary tasks to do that, check out Unfilth Your Habitat ($2; Android and iOS). (Disclaimer: The app itself uses a word a bit filthier than "unfilth"). This cheeky app takes a unique approach, with "terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes." 

As with many cleaning apps, you can set standard to-do lists by task or room as well as recurring chores, but Unfilth Your Habitat uses guilt, shame and a little swearing to motivate you to actually do them. Arguably the best feature are the Challenges, which provide five, ten, or 20 minute intervals for you to complete certain tasks. You can also use the integrated timer to reward yourself with breaks for any given amount of work.

Don't do it yourself

Not all of us have a penchant for cleaning, which is totally understandable. (And really, who can really say they "enjoy" getting down on their knees to scrub a toilet?) If you really can't handle the mess, Homejoy (free) can help you find a network of people you can hire to lend a hand. This web app features a customized cleaning module that lets you specify your zip code, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and whether or not you want to add extra tasks — like interior oven cleaning, laundry, or wall washing. You can also select whether you'd like to provide the cleaning supplies, or you can ask the cleaner to bring them for an additional five bucks.

Once you've selected the services you want, Homejoy provides you with a choice of available appointment times based on your address. You'll then get an estimate, and secure the appointment by inputting your credit card info. For a three-and-a-half hour cleaning in Oakland, my estimate was $70 — very reasonable for a bonded and insured cleaning service. Currently, Homejoy is available in more than 30 markets throughout the United States and Canada.

Organize your closet

Now that your house is spic and span, it's time to tackle the closet. First, go in and get rid of anything you haven't worn in the last six months. Then, download a good organization app like Stylitics (free; Android and iOS). Stylitics lets you create a virtual closet so that you can easily view all the items you have and create outfits without having to take the clothes off the hanger. Plus, there's an integrated calendar that tracks the last time you wore an item or outfit, making it easier for you recognize when to donate or sell the stuff you don't use.


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