When the seasons change and the weather turns warmer, we want to throw open our windows and doors and let the sunshine in. It’s the perfect time to lavish some attention on the home and give it a thorough spring clean. The tradition dates back centuries but if the thought of blitzing every room from top to bottom feels like an overwhelming household chore to fit into your busy work and home schedule, we have some ideas.
With a bit of planning and a positive attitude, house decluttering and deep cleaning can not only be made more manageable, it can even be a fun project for the whole family to join in. Look at it as an exercise in family bonding and an opportunity for learning to take real pride in your home surroundings. Enjoy the fruits of your labour and make your home a nicer place to be. It’s a win all round.
Make a plan
All good projects start with proper planning and are kept on track with good organisation and management. Spring cleaning your home is no different. Make a list of all the cleaning and decluttering jobs that need doing around the house, how long each task is expected to take and who is the allocated person responsible. Where necessary, break individual tasks into bite-size pieces you can handle, and declutter one room at a time. It’s a good idea to get the most daunting or least popular jobs out of the way first, while you still have maximum energy and patience. The really satisfying bit comes when you can tick off and cross through the tasks when they are done.
Create a playlist
Keeping your motivation up during the spring clean is arguably just as important as having a clear to-do list to follow. That’s where your playlist comes in. Music is a great way to keep cheerful and upbeat while you work. The right choice of tunes and beats can make even the worst cleaning jobs more tolerable. Take some time to compile an upbeat playlist to carry you through – here’s a suggestion from Spotify – then open the windows, turn up the volume and let your favourite songs take it away. From crooning along to Adele’s latest ballad to feeling the infectious groove of I Like To Move It from the movie Madagascar, make sure there’s something for all the family.
Get the right supplies
Next, do a stock check of cleaning products and equipment in your cupboard to see if you have all you need, or if there’s anything missing. If conventional detergents and household cleaners are your go-to, consider whether natural supplies that are more environmentally friendly could work equally well. You can get eco cleaners from most supermarkets these days, or you could easily make your own saving money. Your green home cleaning basket should contain lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and table salt. Also check over your vacuum cleaner, broom, dustpan & brush and make sure you have plenty of reusable (and ideally biodegradable) cleaning cloths available.
Wash the windows
There’s nothing quite like sparkling clean windows to let the fresh air and new light in. Use a weak solution of warm soapy water and a lint-free cloth to remove dust and dirt, then wipe over with a soft, clean cloth to remove any drips. Finish by using a commercial glass cleaner, or mix up one part vinegar with one part warm water, spray onto the glass and rub off with a paper towel. For cleaning the outside of high-up windows, we recommend getting a professional window cleaner in. As one company explains, “extended pole window cleaning, using water-fed poles and purified water, is appropriate for windows up to 21 metres high,” which should cover most homes.
Refresh soft furnishings
Fabrics and textiles can trap debris, dirt and dust, harbouring allergens that can be harmful to health. Rugs should be hoovered and aired, and if you (or perhaps a hormonally charged teenager!) can give them a traditional beating on the washing line outside, so much the better. Curtains, cushions and loose covers on sofas may be washable (check the label) or require dry cleaning. Professional help may be needed on delicate upholstery or carpets, and for stubborn stains. Now is also a good time to review your colour scheme, perhaps updating your interiors with the new season’s brighter fabrics or prints to lift the energy in the room.
Sanitise kitchens & bathrooms
In view of the recent pandemic years,, it’s never been more important to ensure that your home is clean and germ-free. With this in mind, kitchens and bathrooms are key areas to spring clean. That said, it may surprise you to hear that there are many items in the house that harbour more germs than a toilet seat including kitchen chopping boards and mobile phones. That’s a learning opportunity for the whole family! Wash surfaces with hot soapy water, go over floors with a steam mop, use disinfectants and diluted bleach or natural alternatives to remove any nasties. Don’t forget tables, worktops, splashbacks and cupboard fronts.
Make a bit of money
Decluttering the family’s possessions can be a liberating exercise to free up space in cupboards and around the home. Better still, decide what you’re going to do with the unwanted items: Donate to a charity shop? Take them to the tip or recycling centre? Before you do that, check if there’s any resale value in the things you want to get rid of. The second-hand value of old clothes, household items, toys, gadgets etc could add up to a tidy sum. You can use eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or similar online platforms to list your old stuff for sale, or take it to a local car boot sale and make a day of it for the whole family.
Involve the kids
If you have children, involving them fully in your spring cleaning project can provide good life lessons for the little ones, as long as you add an element of fun to the proceedings. Think up some simple cleaning games such as who can complete the tasks the quickest, with a reward for the winner. Let the kids dress up as cleaning ‘superheroes’, or the teenagers choose the music. Ask them to choose which local charity they would like to donate toys, gadgets and unwanted household goods to and get them to help deliver them. Finally, plan a family reward when the job is done so that everyone can feel good about having achieved what you set out to do.