Spring cleaning is one of those annual rituals that you either love or loathe. Some people can’t wait to get the house decluttered and full of fresh air after a long winter shut up indoors, and others see it as a tiresome but necessary chore.
While the days when sooty chimneys and smoky fires may be over, there are still important health reasons to keep our homes clean and well aired. An orderly and pleasant environment can also have a positive effect on our mental wellbeing, helping us to feel more relaxed and in control of our life.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of a big clean.
Tidy up first
It is impossible to have a deep clean when surfaces and floors are full of clutter, so have a good tidy up first. If you have the time, have a proper decluttering session by sorting through cupboards and drawers and recycling or giving away items that you no longer use. This can be a day’s work in itself, so it’s best to allocate an extra day beforehand.
The extra space you gain from getting rid of unwanted clothes, children’s toys, kitchen equipment and so on can make keeping the house tidier an easier task. Even rearranging items more neatly in a cupboard can create valuable extra storage space. While your cupboards are empty, take the opportunity to dust and wipe them down.
Wash and air soft furnishings
Pick a mild dry day to tackle the soft furnishings, such as throws, cushion covers, curtains, and duvets. Check the care labels as some items may not be machine washable, or may require a delicate setting. For heavy items such as curtains that are not suitable for machine washing, hang them outside on an airer or washing line for a few hours to freshen them up.
Dust ceilings and walls first
Dust can settle on textures, vents, and trims on walls and ceilings, so take a long armed duster, or use a suitable attachment on your vacuum cleaner, and brush them down from top to bottom. This should be done before you clean anything else, as the dislodged dust will settle on floors and surfaces.
This is also a good time to dust and clean picture frames and ceiling and wall mounted lights, and any shelves, ledges, or other features.
Tackle mould and mildew
The enemy of a sparkling clean kitchen or bathroom is the build up of limescale, mould and mildew, particularly on grouting and the sealant around sinks, showers, and baths. Mould can be scrubbed from grouting with an old toothbrush and a bleach solution. For a greener alternative, use a bicarbonate of soda paste and spray distilled white vinegar over it.
White vinegar is also excellent for cleaning windows, mirrors, and for removing limescale build ups around taps and shower heads.
Break it down into smaller zones
If you are one of those people for whom cleaning is an unwelcome chore, spending half an hour each day on a particular task can be a way of breaking it down into more manageable chunks, rather than having to give up a whole day.
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