It’s official Spring is here and the clocks have moved forward, meaning lighter nights for all of us craving the sunshine hours.
Daffodils are filling the parks, May blossom is blooming and then there’s the need for that spring clean. Time to rid the house of the dust of winter and make the home ready for summer days with a new lease of life. But before you pick up a duster or delve into your wardrobe, we’ve put together some top tips to help you clean up, declutter and revitalise your living space with the minimum of fuss.
According to the latest research from the Good Housekeeping Institute there are many household chores we keep putting off – and they have issued a list of chores we should be doing daily, weekly and beyond.
Some of the tasks seem a tad unrealistic so we have come up with a checklist of top jobs to help spruce your home for spring.
1. Freshen up your curtains - Curtains need cleaning at least once a year to prolong their life and keep them looking as good as new. If the fabric's washable, you should be able to clean and iron them at home: ironing is most effective while they're still slightly damp. If curtains are pleated or gathered at the top, it's important to release the pleats when spring-cleaning as they're real dust traps.
2. Rescue your carpets - Carpets accumulate a lot of dust, dirt and even fungi over time, all of which are unsightly, unhygienic and can be potential health hazards. Up to 80% of carpet dirt is loose and can be removed with regular vacuuming. But to tackle those really stubborn bugs and stains, it's well worth hiring professional steam-cleaning equipment for a day. But be warned - you'll be shocked at how much dirt comes up!
3. Clean your oven: It's the job that everyone keeps putting off, but let's face it: the inside of your oven is in desperate need of a spruce-up after all those winter roasts and TV dinners. To make life easier mix some bicarbonate of soda into a thick paste, and then smear it inside your oven - including the door - and leave for a few hours or overnight. Then you simply wipe it away with a damp sponge. No chemical cleaners required!
4. Revamp your wardrobe – This isn’t about a spending spree on Asos. Now's the time to literally clean your wardrobe. Remove everything from your wardrobe and drawers, and vacuum them thoroughly inside and out, then wash the insides with soap and water. Moths love to eat, mate and lay eggs in dark, dusty, undisturbed corners.
5. Store away your winter woollies - Always wash or dry-clean your woollies before putting them into storage. Moths feed on the proteins in wool - and they especially love the food, skin and hair particles we leave behind on our clothes.
6. Be charitable - Do your bit for good causes by donating any clothes you haven't worn in the past year. And if you really can't bear to part with that maxi-dress from three seasons ago, wash it and bag it up, but leave it in a drawer. If you haven't missed it by the end of the summer, its ready packaged to be given away.
7. Get your windows squeaky-clean - Now the sun’s finally put in an appearance, it's time to get that natural light flooding through your windows. Sometimes the old cleaning tips are the best. Use an old spray bottle to mix together 1tsp washing-up liquid, half a teacup of white vinegar and two teacups of warm water. Spray this solution on to your windows and use a soft, dust-free rag to wipe clean. No more streaky windows.
8. Make your vases blooming lovely - If your favourite vases have become discoloured with grime and greenery over the winter months, you can give them a new lease of life with - wait for it - a packet of frozen peas. Pour some frozen peas into the bottom of the vase, fill with cold water and swirl. The effect is like a jumbo dermabrasion and will gently get rid of a year's build-up of grime. So now you can buy yourself a bunch of spring flowers as a reward for all that cleaning...
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