As much as I love winter, it has a time limit and that limit was reached a few weeks back.
Sure, winter has its perks; sitting by the fire, comfort food and snuggling under the blanket are certainly ways to soften the blow of the cold and dark, but the spring, well, the spring is full of promise that winter simply can’t deliver.
Because of the indulgent nature of winter, spring is the time when I give my whole life a bit of a clean up. The way I eat changes – hearty stews are replaced with light, fresh salads. My winter coat finally gets a break from keeping me warm and my stone-coloured classic mac is favoured. The same can be said for my home, and I find no other better way to welcome spring than with a good old-fashioned spring clean.
So where to start? Spring cleans can be overwhelming, especially if you start doing little bits in every room, leaving your house in more of a mess than it started in. Even though, as the saying goes, you have to break some eggs to make an omelette, I’m of the firm belief that you don’t need to create chaos to give your house the spring-clean treatment.
To avoid creating more mess, start with one room at a time and don’t move onto the next until that room is completely finished. The added benefit of this approach is that once you see one room looking great, you’ll be excited about what you can achieve with the next one.
Make a list
When looking at each room, start by thinking about what you want to achieve and then make a list of things you will need to do to achieve that. Write two lists, one of what needs to be done and another of any things you need to help you, such as boxes, cleaning products and the like. I tend to make these sorts of lists using the fantastic Wunderlist app on my phone. That makes sure I don’t run the risk of losing the list and it’s with me wherever I go. Plus, it’s free to download, so there’s nothing not to lose.
Organise your list logically. There’s little point in doing things in reverse order as that will create more work. If you are storing things, place them in boxes and label them correctly. If you are getting rid of things, consider whether or not it could go to a local charity shop – I always feel less guilty about throwing things away if I think somebody else could benefit from using them. I also use Gumtree to sell items of furniture/miscellany that I no longer use, but is in good enough condition to pass on. Again, I use the app on my phone, which is a really quick and effective way to make a little extra cash and leave your house feeling clearer and lighter.
Now onto the cleaning part. Once you have cleared a room out, you should have much more room to clean it. First of all, I give the room a quick hoover, including door frames, skirting boards, cornicing and lampshades – it’s amazing how much dust lurks in areas you can’t see. I then clean the windows and any furniture with a chemical cleaner, to help kill any germs. You can get lightly fragranced chemical cleaners in any supermarket. After the furniture is dry, it gets a good polish and the windows get a wipe down with a window cleaner so that they’re streak free.
I end my clean with a second hoover over the room to get up any additional dust that might have been kicked up during the clean. I then add a vase of flowers and a candle to give the room a warm, homely feel.
There’s nothing more satisfying than having your house in tip-top shape thanks to a spring clean and de-clutter. I did my spring clean at the weekend and going home after work to a house that’s fresh and light has made such a difference. Good luck with your spring clean!
Chiara is an editor who likes the simple things in life; a cup of tea by the fire, travel, and spending time with friends and family. She also can’t resist the lure of Scandinavian decor and has a penchant for anything warm and cosy. You can find out more about Chiara and follow her adventures on her blog, Wine and Olives.