‘Spring Clean’: a phrase to strike fear into your heart or do you actively embrace it? Here at Nicholas and White, the camp is divided, we are sure the regular readers amongst you can easily work out who falls into which camp. As the lighter days approach, and the occasional sunny day appears, Mrs N suggests you embrace the blitzing as a seasonal ritual rather than seeing it as a hideous chore (for those of you who don’t know her personally, Mrs N has a tendency when her head is whirring or she’s stressed to do one of two things: cook or clean…or if it’s a really bad day, both!).
To get you in the mood and share the positive Spring vibe (it is after all the season of fresh growth and the promise of brighter days) here are some tips to start you off, grab yourself a brew and have a read…
- Crank up your music – it’s a great motivator and mood lifter.
- Get some washing out on the line – saves cluttering up your radiators indoors and there’s no more uplifing sight than sheets flapping in the breeze
- Open the windows, let the fresh air in – yes, it’s a bit chilly, but you need to let the stuffiness out. We’re also fans of essential oils here, a few drops in some water over a tea light burner/ electric burner or an essential oil infused candle will not only make the room smell fresh, it will also invigorate and uplift your senses too (no, really, it works!). Lemongrass, eucalyptus, clove and orange are favourites here.
- Clear the physical clutter, allowing you to focus on the things you actually need and those which make you happy: beautiful surfaces can’t be seen under a layer of papers/ stacks of DVDs/ magazines etc. Talking of mags, if you can bear to part with the old issues, we have taken to sharing the love and donating them to the local GP surgery and sometimes the local women’s refuge will happily take them.
- If something is bothering you, remove it or move it and put it away straight away, otherwise every time you see it it will irritate: don’t put off moving it until tomorrow. Try to adopt the ‘Toothbrush principle’ – you never lose your toothbrush because you always put it back in its rightful place after every use, simple really.
- The wardrobe: as a general rule, if you haven’t worn it in the last 12-18 months, donate it…unless it’s really shabby, in which case, recycle it. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, eg snow sports gear, good coats, these things should be packed away in put in the loft if you have one or under the bed. Use vacuum bags to condense and protect your stuff from moths/ damp – you can get these everywhere now, even Ikea are selling them: there’s no excuse! A couple of drops of clove oil or cedar oil on a stick of chalk in the wardrobe is great for warding off moths and keeping it smelling fresh.
- Take your ‘donate’ bag to the charity shop straight away, don’t let it hang around cluttering up the place…or tempting you to remove things from the bag!
- Pack away the clean winter woollies and throws, again vac bags are great for this, likewise good for winter weight duvets once the weather warms up a bit more. Whilst the bed is stripped, give your mattress a good hoover too.
- Tackle the tatty tees, we all have misshapen ones, free up space in your drawers by ditching in the recycling bag or use as cleaning cloths. Bin any undies or socks too that no longer cut the mustard.
- In general terms, nothing beats old fashioned elbow grease in the cleaning department. Personally at N&W we’re not big fans of chemical cleaners preferring products such as Method and Ecover, however, we are the first to admit that sometimes a squirt of bleach is definitely needed to get the job done!
- Perhaps most importantly, don’t try to do too much at once, it can be overwhelming and panic inducing if you empty all your drawers and cupboards at once but by the same token, don’t let procrastination paralyse you! Make a plan, work systematically, get your partner or the kids to help do a bit too. We all work hard to make our homes welcoming safe havens from the outside world, sometimes we all get a bit behind schedule but it’s not irretrievable, just needs a bit of planning and positivity, little and often and it will all be dandy in no time; after all, who doesn’t love a clean, fresh smelling home after weeks of winter hibernation?