In the classic novel "Anna Karenina," Leo Tolstoy wrote, "Spring is the time for plans and projects." What better application of those wise words than cleaning? Listed below are five mobile apps that will help you jump-start your spring-cleaning regimen.
(iOS, Android: $4.99)
Spring cleaning is not limited to the epic indoor battles with dust balls and mold. Recently updated in March, Landscaper's Companion is a necessary resource for gardeners, botanists and anyone who appreciates things that grow. The app features some 26,000 plants across 17 categories and is startlingly comprehensive. For each plant or vegetable, the database lists the proper environment and characteristics, like the amount of water and sunlight required.
Home Maintenance, an iOS exclusive app, is tremendously useful for whoever heads the household's cleaning brigade. The app provides expert advice on cleaning, household creativity, organization, home and appliance repair. Articles are filed under categories such as Healthy, Clean, Handy, Green, Creative, Hungry, Savvy and Curious. Some articles are affiliated with specific tasks, like organizing your closet or purchasing smoke detectors, which you can schedule with the tap of a button.
(iOS, Android; free)
The official app for Good Housekeeping has four sections: Stain Buster, Do-It-All Cleaning, Home Decor Gallery and News & Tips. The first provides an A-Z listing of common stains and effective techniques for cleaning them. The Do-It-All Cleaning section also employs an alphabetical list of how to clean various surfaces, appliances, windows and more. Search through the Home Decor Gallery for inspirational ideas that can improve the feng shui of your home.
My Measures & Dimensions PRO
(iOS: $5.99; Android: $4.99)
Another popular chore during springtime is home improvement. My Measures & Dimensions, while pricey, is a great tool for capturing the dimensions of objects and rooms, and for keeping track of various do-it-yourself projects. A well-executed project can clean up your home better than any broom, vacuum or sponge. The app comes fully loaded with iCloud sync backup and tutorials.
It's a real shame that Exec Cleaning is only available for iOS devices. Upon launching the app, Exec Cleaning reminds you that they use only eco-friendly supplies and offers a 200 percent guarantee (a free second cleaning if the first doesn't impress). Their service is currently available in major U.S. cities, including New York City. To book service, specify how many bedrooms and bathrooms, if you have pets (dogs or cats) and your address, which all factors into the total cost.
Colbert lures Bill Clinton to Twitter
Bill Clinton has joined Twitter -- maybe. During "The Colbert Report" with Clinton as a guest, Stephen Colbert created a Twitter account for the former president and longtime Twitter holdout with the handle PrezBillyJeff. Clinton dictated his first tweet to Colbert, but it's unclear if Clinton will actually use the account. By Friday, PrezBillyJeff had more than 150,000 followers despite still having just that one tweet. -- Peter King
Sony's Ultra High Definition TVs were among the stars at January's Consumer Electronics Show. The entertainment giant says a 55-inch set ($4,999) and a 65-inch set ($6,999) will go on sale next Sunday. Ultra HD sets have resolutions four times sharper than regular HD TVs. While no TV shows are yet in the new format, purchasers of the TVs will receive three free Blu-ray Ultra HD movies. -- Peter King
A new app hopes to hit the right note with aspiring singers and musicians looking for their big break. SongBooth (iOS; free), which calls itself "a handheld recording studio for every musician in the world," allows users to create professional-looking music videos. The videos can be uploaded to SongBooth's social network, where they can be viewed by SongBooth members and, presumably, music producers. -- Peter King