Thursday, April 09, 2015

Spring Cleaning


The sun is shining.

The skies are blue.

Like animals crawling out of hibernation, we all seem to be waking up and feeling ready for a brand new season.

And with the season of spirng, comes the requisite need to spring clean. Hence pictures like the above, where I feel a little like I'm being attacked by a metric tonne of clothing.  Great for the charity shop...not so great for my sanity whilst sifting through gigantic piles of clothing.

The older I get, the better I feel I'm getting at the day to day, week to week keeping tidy of a home, but there's still always time for some spring cleaning.  So when I was asked to write a post for the #CurrysSpringHacks I was more than happy to join in.  Currys wrote their own post, as did lots of other bloggers you can find through the hashtag. Here are a few of my tips - I'd love to hear any you may have!

1. First things first, embrace the to-do list.  Make time to have a good look round and list all the things you'd like to do.  Be realistic with your expectations - some people tend to be a little messier, some are more Martha-Stewart esque.  Find your level and make a list of everything you'd like to achieve.

2. Block out some time to do your spring cleaning.  Ideally a day or two or three is perfect, but in our busy lives this can often be a stretch.  If that's your case, find a few pockets of time to spring clean.  The big-ish tasks you'll be doing require more than a quick fifteen minutes, but will buy you a lot of free time later if you get them right!

3. Purge, and be brutal.  There's nothing quite as frustrating as keeping items beyond their usefulness, and then transporting them through move after move!  Decide what things you're passionate about keeping (for me, that's books and photographs), what things you could probably trim down a little (for me, old letters and cards, and homewares) and the items you want to target for getting rid of the most.

This year the two things I've popped into the latter group are clothes and DVDs.  I've donated a boatload of clothes to charity so far this spring (there are bundles of great charities you can support in this way, and some will even come and collect the items from you); there were several items I'd kept for years and years until I slimmed down/wanted to wear that colour/because I bought it and was sure I'd like it one day and I was decisive about what I would and would not keep.  Next up are our DVDs.  We tend to watch a lot of things on Netflix but have loads of DVDs taking up shelf space.  We're going through them and keeping a few faves (movies like Pitch Perfect & Pretty Woman, which trot out for girls' nights; series like Father Ted and 30 Rock); the others we will donate or ebay.

4. Top to bottom. Fairly common sense, this.  When cleaning go from the top of the house to the bottom - that way any dust you may unsettle will be scooped up as you progress downwards.  That tips comes to you from my lovely mum!

5. Help!  A big part of a deep clean is realising when you're bested.  If there's a particular chore or task you struggle with, consider outside help.  For example, I am useless on a ladder and pretty short to begin with, so cleaning our windows was a nightmare!  We now have a lovely guy who does our street facing windows for a fiver each fortnight, and in the spring we have him do the back windows as well.  Gorgeous streak free windows, fewer falls for me.  Whatever the task - whether it's windows, waste disposal, carpet cleaning - there are a few tasks where calling in the pros can save you a lot of time and angst!

6. Tools. Before a big clean, make sure you've got your cleaning house in order.  Stock up on fluids and sprays; bulk buy your sponges and cloths; double check your mop and hoover for any damage.  When it's go time for a spring clean you want to be bringing your 'A' game!

7. Google and Pinterest are a godsend! Whether you're looking for cleaning tips, ways to organise and declutter, or simply want to set up a cleaning schedule to help you keep things tidy, the internet has a wealth of wisdom to impart!

8. Storage.  Investing in some decent storage for items you want to keep safe and separate (seasonal clothes, decorations, toys) is really worthwhile. I love some of the options available at Asda, Ikea, and Lakeland right now.

9. Finishing touches! Once the grunt work is done, don't forget the finishing touches.  A pretty pillow, fresh flowers or a spritz of room fragrance can really lift a room!

10. Rewards.  After a long day of cleaning, don't forget to treat yourself - whether it's a cup of tea and an evening of TV, a glossy magazine or takeaway for dinner, be sure to put your feet up for a moment and revel in your splendidly tidy home.

I hope you've found this post helpful; here, I'd better get back to the cleaning!

Disclaimer: I was asked to write this as part of the Currys Spring Hacks series.  I will be receiving a goody bag (the contents of which I do not yet know - exciting!) in return. Any links are my own and I have not been compensated for them, nor are they affiliate links.

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Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.

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