Published May 01, 2013
Spring cleaning is a yearly ritual that many people hate. However, by putting technology to work, you can get your cleaning done in less time this year. Here are five apps and online resources to help you out.
When dividing up chores, the task of motivating slothful family members can often be more work than the tasks themselves. Rather than just stick a chore wheel on the fridge, why not turn to technology to coax your offspring into action. With Chore Hero you can manage your household workload from your smartphone. The app lets you assign tasks, check in to see when they are finished and reward productive family members with a points system.
When it comes to kids, sometimes money is the best motivator. If you want to get the most out of the weekly allowance you give your kids, turn to an app like Chore Bank for iPhone or ChorePay for Android, both of which allow you to set a monetary value to each task. When the kids complete the chore, they get to cash in, and you get peace of mind knowing that the job is done.
Spring is the time to start anew, so why not get rid of some of the clutter that you’ve accumulated over the years. An app like Rumgr can help you get that clutter under control. Much like a digital yard sale, Rumgr allows you to snap a few pics with a smartphone of your unwanted goods and have them up for sale in seconds. You then post your items to your social networks so that your friends and family can peruse your sale, and add them to the app’s map interface, which allows others in your area to see what you’ve got to offer.
If you’ve ever wondered about the best method to remove a wine stain or the proper way to clean leather, Good Housekeeping’s (iOS/Android) app is for you. With tips and tricks on dozens of cleaning techniques, the app will have you powering through your spring cleaning in no time.
BrightNest is another app that looks to take some of the guesswork out of home maintenance, offering up numerous tutorials and how-to guide on projects big and small. But BrightNest is more than just a resource for DIY tips. It’s also a virtual repository for details about your home, like paint swatches, appliance manuals, or the make and model of your air filter. By logging all this info into BrightNest, it’s all at your fingertips the next time you need to patch a wall or replace a part.
In The Yard
Spring cleaning isn’t just about getting your house in order; it’s also the time to get your yard and garden cleaned up. Garden Pro! and Landscaper’s Companion (iOS/Android) are two powerful apps that put all the information you need to garden at your fingertips. Featuring thousands of plant species, the apps give you plant-by-plant data on the optimal light and water conditions, times to fertilize and common problems you might encounter.
To help you stay on top of your garden this year, you can also check out Garden Plan Pro, an app that allows you to sketch out your garden beds, track planting and germination times, and get helpful reminders to ensure that your garden doesn’t go untended.
If you’re looking to tackle a landscaping project this spring, check out iScape, which allows you to overlay virtual flowerbeds, trees and shrubs on top of photos of your home so that you can test out your landscaping ideas before you ever head to the garden supply store.