DECLUTTER ROOM BY ROOM
It doesn’t really matter which room you start in, but it’s best to focus on one room at a time. If you haven’t decluttered for a while, this can make the whole job seem more manageable. Have four boxes ready for items to keep (and clean), sell, donate or recycle.
Alysha Alli, Redrow’s head interior designer, says: “For many of us, working from home has heightened our desire to feel more organised. No one wants to work in a crowded or disorderly environment so staying on top of housework and keeping spaces clutter-free is more important than ever.
“The kitchen cupboards are a great place to start your spring clean. Even those of us who keep clutter to a minimum elsewhere in the home still need to have a sort out here occasionally. Do one cupboard at a time, remove the contents in their entirety and clean as needed. Then only put back what you really need, placing larger items at the back and smaller items at the front.”
Everything else can go in one of your four boxes.
“As designers we’ve seen a huge trend in recent months for storage and organisation aids – and these have become key product areas for retailers. I love John Lewis’s clear stacking pantry boxes and Lazy Susan while tiered cupboard organisers from Dunelm are a great way to make sure you can see all your items. A Place for Everything is another brilliant website where you can discover items to help keep your cupboards in order.”
Could your unwanted items find a new home elsewhere? We’ve all heard the saying ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’, and donating your items to local charity initiatives is an eco-friendly way to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.
Many local charities offer furniture collection services or try the British Heart Foundation, who organise free collections nationwide. You can also list your items on freecycle. Look out for other local initiatives like book exchanges, clothing banks and baby banks, who may take your unwanted items, providing they are in good condition. You can donate unworn jewellery to the Alzheimer’s Society.
They will send you a freepost envelope and you just need to pop your unwanted jewellery inside and return it, to help support people with dementia.
Alysha says: “As a nation we are becoming much more aware of the environment. There has been a huge shift in lifestyle trends shining a spotlight on being more eco-conscious when buying as a consumer or specifying as a designer, and we are increasingly looking for ways to give back to society. Make sure any items you donate are freshly cleaned and in good condition. For goods that have seen better days, check with your local council what can be recycled at your local recycling centre.”
Once you’ve decluttered, your cleaning operation should be a lot easier. Again it’s best to take one room at a time and a good idea to start at the top of your house and work your way down. For added motivation put on your gym gear, turn your music up and treat it like a workout!
Here’s our quick checklist for each room you clean:
- Music on, gym gear on, open windows, start top of house work way down
- Start at the highest points – dusting window treatments, light fittings and artwork.
- Wipe down all surfaces with the appropriate cleaner (don’t forget kitchen cupboards, cooker hoods, skirting boards, desk fronts, chair and table legs etc).
- Clean windows and mirrors with a glass cleaner (top tip - there are lots of recipes for homemade eco-safe cleaning fluids online).
- Vacuum soft furnishings like sofas (under the cushions too!)
- Vacuum carpets or clean hard floors (remember to clean underneath or behind furniture)
- Don’t forget to keep the space you’re cleaning well ventilated to reduce allergens and allow fumes from cleaning products to escape.
REVIVE THE SENSES
Once everywhere is clutter free and squeaky clean why not treat yourself to a couple of spring clean finishing touches to celebrate your success?
New bedding is a small way to reward yourself and help you feel like you’re really making a fresh start.
Alysha adds: “We love to create a luxurious boutique hotel vibe in our show home bedrooms using crisp white bed linen with a fitted sheet in your chosen accent colour for the space. Blend this with a chunky accent throw tucked in tightly to envelope the whole bed and finally add a pop of colour and texture with scatter cushions in one of the season’s hottest tones like spirulina green, soft yellow or sapphire blue.
“Adding a new home fragrance will ensure your spring refresh satisfies all of the senses. We’re developing a new Redrow scent for our show homes so you feel at home as soon as you walk through the door.
“Spring-inspired aromas are fabulous for bringing the outdoors in. Try reed diffusers or scented candles like these in Lavender and Lime from John Lewis or White Sandalwood from Dunelm. Or try the White Company’s aptly named Spring scent, which combines “light and sweet notes of honeysuckle, rose, jasmine and lilac” with the “earthy aroma of freshly mown grass”.
Happy spring cleaning.