Spring cleaning isn’t just about getting things organized. It’s about letting go of excess clutter and ensuring your home is as safe as possible. Things such as expired medication and old magazines aren’t just eyesores but can actually be a danger to your family. Here are our best tips on spring cleaning:

Start in the bedroom. Your bedroom is probably cluttered with things you didn’t even notice — too small clothes, worn out shoes, and unmatched socks just to name a few. And there’s no telling what’s made its way under the bed this winter. Your spring cleaning efforts should start in the bedroom with your closet and drawers. Woman’s Day offers more information on how to organize your bedroom.

 Your garage needs extra attention. If your garage is like half of those in America, it’s a dead zone that acts as storage for all the projects that we swear we’re going to get to and never do. Spend a weekend cleaning the garage and get rid of things such as old paint, rusty nails, and last year’s small swimming pool accessories including swim rings and pool noodles. Sweep the entire garage, including the areas underneath workbenches and behind the washer, dryer, and hot water heater, if applicable.

Dispose of medication and chemicals. The FDA explains that unused medications should be taken to a DEA take back event. If one is not available, they may be disposed of either by flushing or grinding. Don’t keep old medicines laying around, as they could be dangerous if ingested.

Wipe down the unused areas. While you’re cleaning, take the time to wipe down areas you don’t normally see or use. This includes baseboards, the top of the refrigerator, behind the toilet, and the top shelf of closets.

Toys can go, too. Broken toys can make your kids cry in more ways than one. Sharp edges on plastic can leave them with nasty cuts while loose doll arms and wobbly toy truck tires pose a choking hazard. You’ll encounter protest, but damaged toys have to go.

Don’t forget the lawn. Speaking of broken toys, you also need to make a perimeter sweep of the lawn to look for stray balls, action figures, or princess wands that never made their way indoors last fall. When it’s time to mow, these items can get caught up in lawnmower blades and become shrapnel.

The kitchen needs attention. As much time as you spend your kitchen, there are still plenty of things that need attention that you’ve unconsciously learned to overlook. Expired food in the pantry can make you sick and take up space for foods that you will actually eat. ImproveNet’s Jacob Hurwith also points out that old Tupperware and microwavable food containers should go, too, since these items take up valuable cabinet real estate and can break down over time, leaving you and your family exposed to dangerous chemicals.

Make a conscious effort in each room to keep an eye out for items that tend to pile up over time. These include old magazines, expired makeup, old paperwork (quotes, bank statements, etc.) coat hangers, coffee mugs, trinkets and knick knacks, stuffed animals, books, and scrap craft pieces. These items serve no purpose and, as is the case with anything paper or cloth, may pose a fire hazard.

While cleaning is never particularly fun, getting it done early in the year will allow you to enjoy the warmer months both outdoors and in. If enjoyment of your home isn’t enough, just think about how much safer your family will be without the extra fire hazards, broken toys, and expired medicines lurking in every corner. So grab a broom, pull up your hair, and crank up the radio. You have to do this stuff anyway, you might as well make the best of it.

Article by Seth Murphy: Seth Murphy first got into doing DIY projects to save money, but over time he has developed a real passion for this hands-on, intensive work. He knows DIY can be intimidating so he created PapaDIY.com to share tips and help others with their own endeavors.