Spring Cleaning

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If we close our eyes and click our heels three times, we may just catch a glimpse of spring on the horizon. Brighter mornings and evenings stretching out just that little bit longer? We’re definitely in the home straight now despite the relentless spate of winter storms.

Spring is a season of renewal and as everything starts to come alive again outside, our thoughts turn to the places we’ve been bedded down in all winter long and the instinctual need we feel to refresh and reinvigorate our homes. Whether it’s a total transformation or a simple refresh you’re seeking, ‘spring cleaning’ is on our minds and as cleaning has now become cool again thanks to the likes of Instagram wonder cleaner Mrs Hinch and decluttering guru Marie Kondo, there’s no end to the information available on how to make the process as stress-free as possible.

If you’re readying your home for the market in spring, there’s no better time than now to get started on spring cleaning. Having your property look fresh and decluttered will speak volumes to prospective buyers visualising how they could use that space, so it’s worth putting the time and effort into doing the job thoroughly.

If, like most of us, the thought of taking on your spring cleaning seems daunting, we’ve put together a list of top tips to guide you through it ensuring that once it’s done, yours will be a home worthy of showing off – whether that’s to prospective buyers or to fulfil your own sense of extreme satisfaction. Spring is a season of renewal as everything starts to come alive again

Before getting started, have a plan. You wouldn’t go for a big supermarket shop without having some kind of a list and the same goes for tackling a major spring clean. Write your plan down. It’ll give you an enormous sense of satisfaction as you tick things off and will prevent you from ‘backtracking’ – going back into rooms because you’d forgotten to clean something. Cleaning room by room also helps make the tasks more manageable.

Ready to get started? Here goes….

1) Start with decluttering your home.
Try going by a simple rule. If something’s not seasonal or clothing and hasn’t been used in the past six months, consider throwing it away. Separate ‘keep’, ‘donate’ or ‘throw away’ items into boxes or bags and clearly label them to avoid discarding any treasures by mistake! Once you’ve taken this stance, you’ll discover how much extra room you have.

2) Deep clean your carpets and get rugs outside
Over time dirt, dust and hair build up in carpets affecting their colour and texture. This is especially true in bedrooms and dining rooms where we’re less likely to move bulky furniture when cleaning. Using a high-performance vacuum cleaner or better still, hiring a professional will help breathe new life into your carpets. Make the most of warmer weather by getting rugs outside and beating the dust out. Leave them to air on the washing line to get rid of odours or sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and leave overnight before vacuuming.

3) Remove pet hairs with rubber gloves
We love our pets but they don’t always make for clean homes! If you want to remove pet hairs from sofas, curtains or bedding, a trusty pair of rubber gloves can come in handy. The friction they create coupled with the material they’re made from means that hair naturally sticks to them.

4) Dust the house
Give your home gleaming surfaces by running over hard surfaces with a soft, damp cloth, a microfiber duster or an electrostatic duster. Other cloths just help to spread dust around creating more work. More intricate objects such as lampshades, carved wood and ornaments can be dusted with a clean paintbrush which allows you to get into the fiddly bits. Vacuum fabric such as curtains.

5) Clean the sofa
Chances are the sofa might be a little grubby after a winter spent being huddled up on and letting extra light in to the home really helps draw attention to unsightly stains. First, check washing instructions on your sofa. Start by removing all sofa cushions, leaving the base exposed, then get the vacuum cleaner out. If you have an upholstery attachment on your vacuum, use it for cushions, fabric and base then use the long nozzle to reach down the crevices between cushions and the framework.

6) Clean your oven with bicarbonate of soda
There’s no fast-tracking a good oven clean but a small amount of bicarbonate of soda can go a long way and avoids the use of harsh chemicals which can irritate skin and damage the oven. Make up a spray bottle with bicarb and water, spray the interior surfaces and avoid the heating elements. Leave overnight and wipe clean the next day. If soda remains, spray with vinegar to remove.

7) Find your fridge’s sparkle
Food matter and water build up in our fridges leaving unsightly stains and unpleasant odours. You can use a toothbrush and toothpaste to deal with this. Chemicals in toothpaste help remove stains while a toothbrush provides the friction and accuracy to get to hard to reach spots.

8) Refresh the windows
Feel the benefit of a lighter, brighter room immediately. Giving your windows a quick clean to get rid of the accumulated layer of muck and dust will help you let the light in this spring! That said, try to wash windows on a cloudy day. Direct sunlight may make it easier to see the dirt but it also dries windows too quickly, leaving streaks behind.

9) Clean the grout
Tackle stained, mouldy grout and have your bathroom and kitchen gleaming again – and more hygienic. Use an anti-fungal grout cleaner or, if you want to try a more natural alternative, make a thick paste with baking powder and vinegar and leave on grout for 30 minutes before cleaning.

10) Retouch chipped or stained paint
It’s worth keeping some paint leftovers in a shed or attic for touching up chipped, flaked or stained paint annually to refresh walls. If you don’t have paint left, sample pots from DIY shops prevent you from having to repaint an entire wall.

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