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Apps: Tips on spring cleaning, organizing

The iPad app for 52 Organizing Missions.

The iPad app for 52 Organizing Missions. Credit: Handout

Spring is in full swing, and it's a great time to declutter the spaces in which you live and work. From cleaning out closets, to dusting off shelves, to making a few extra bucks from unwanted items, spring cleaning does not have to be such a chore with the help of a few smartphone apps.

Good Housekeeping@Home
(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; free)

This app wins our seal of approval. Good Housekeeping magazine may take you back to Home Economics class, but this long-standing publication delivers a ton of smart solutions for the home. The app includes cleaning tips for how to best remove various stains from upholstery or how to scrub a ceramic bathtub. The app also provides tips on how to reorganize furniture and redecorate rooms. The Stain Buster cleaning guide will keep you on the right track with instructions on how to clean quickly and without breaking your back. There is also a News & Tips section, which is helpful for maintaining a neat home even after spring cleaning is complete.

Home Inventory
(iPhone, iPod Touch; $4.99)

As you go about your cleaning this spring, you may encounter items that you forgot you owned. Having a detailed record of your property can be extremely important for insurance claims. Home Inventory, which also has a free lite version that you can try out, will help you record important data for your belongings, including make, model, serial number, purchase date and purchase price.

52 Organizing Missions
(iPad; $9.99)

Weekly 30-minute guided sessions available through the app include: "Detoxing Your Briefcase," "Organizing Your Bill Payment," "Decluttering," "Cleaning Out Your Closet" and "Organizing Specific Rooms in Your House." Any of these sessions can help you finally conquer that massive, undone "to-do" list that's been keeping you up at night.

Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule
(iPhone, iPod Touch; $0.99)

Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule app helps users organize a rotating priority list, so you don't feel overwhelmed at the prospect of cleaning the entire house all at once. For example, you can put the most attention-worthy items on a weekly to-do list. But areas of the house that don't get as dirty can be placed on the two- or three-week cycle.

The Smarter Neighborhood Marketplace

(iPhone, iPod Touch>, Android; free)

Spring cleaning also affords us the chance to make a few bucks by unloading things that we don't really need. EggDrop enables online, real-time buying and selling at the local level, so you can skip the auctions, promotions and shipping that come with other web-based marketplaces. List items for sale along with photos and descriptions, and share them on Facebook and Twitter. You can search for items by location, and message the buyer or seller immediately. EggDrop's interface is cleaner and more streamlined than Craigslist. There is also a reputation system built in to track the best users, and, unlike eBay, there are no listing or transaction fees.

Reports from, and Tribune Media Services are used in this story.

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