Melting snow, chirping birds and budding leaves mean it’s time for every homeowner’s favorite warm weather tradition: spring cleaning. Whether this is your first time attempting the process in your new home or you’ve spent years mastering your checklist, spring cleaning can be a daunting task. But, with the right planning, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some eco-friendly tips to make your spring-cleaning routine healthier for your family and for the planet.

1. Declutter and Donate

Before beginning any deep cleaning, clearing the clutter from your surfaces and storage areas is a must. Get rid of the things you don’t use anymore and store the winter items you won’t need for the next few months. Decluttering can reduce stress and improve organization. Instead of just throwing out your old clothes, donating them to charity can help people in need and the environment.

2. Open Your Windows

After months of braving the cold, embrace the warm weather and let some fresh air into your home. Hold off on using the A/C and open a window to let the cross breeze naturally cool your home. This will reduce indoor pollutants that could be lingering and allow you to save on energy costs, while helping to save the planet, too.

3. Go Natural

Instead of relying on ingredients you can’t pronounce to clean your home, switch to natural, eco-friendly products. The ingredients in your pantry, like baking soda and white vinegar, can be used as effective alternatives to harsh chemicals with intimidating warning labels. Using nontoxic cleaning products is safer, cheaper and can improve the air quality in your home, too. Try out these natural recipes to tackle your spring-cleaning checklist:

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 cup of water and a few drops of essential oils.

Stainless-Steel Cleaner: Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of olive oil.

Window Cleaner: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.

Oven Cleaner: Mix baking soda and water to form a spreadable paste and spread it inside your oven. Let the baking soda sit for 12 hours and then wipe it off. Spray any remaining baking soda residue with vinegar.

4. Ditch the Paper Towels

Use washable, reusable cloths to clean and dust instead of paper towels to keep waste out of landfills.

5. Use Eco-Friendly Lightbulbs

While you’re dusting your light fixtures and every other inch of your home, replace your light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs. Making the switch will increase your home’s energy efficiency and save your family money.

With these easy and eco-friendly spring cleaning tips, you’re now ready to get your house into shape, and you won’t harm the planet in the process. Get started now and good luck!