Spring has sprung!
So spring is officially here, proving once again that the weather has no respect for calendar convention. Flowers are beginning to bloom despite the cold, though, and it’s true that many of us are beginning to venture outside into neglected gardens, and this newness and freshness is often in marked contrast to the conditions inside our homes. Long months spent inside (in relative gloom) have enabled us to turn a blind eye to the increasingly shabby and grubby condition of our interiors and we are now beginning to realise that things need to change. Yes, we are about to begin spring cleaning.
It is getting lighter earlier and darker later, and something about the quality of light that enters our homes makes dust and general grime become more apparent. Coupled with the daily bombardment of adverts from retailers that excitedly encourage us to buy lots of lovely cleaning products, we are collectively galvanised, ready to get organised and reclaim our homes from winter detritus.
Spring cleaning isn’t like normal cleaning, oh no. Normal cleaning involves wiping surfaces, vacuuming, maybe giving the windows a wash, and keeping on top of laundering countless bulky jumpers. Spring cleaning is hardcore. Sofas are moved; shelves are dusted; toy cupboards are examined and contents culled; wardrobes are tackled.
Wardrobes are a big deal.
This year will be different, though. Because you are going to be super-organised
and ‘spring cleaning’ will not just involve wiping skirting boards or dealing with the alarming amount of soap scum on the shower screen. No, this year will involve proper change! Because before you even reach for the mop, you are going to get organised.
Spring in the UK coincides (in theory) with a change in the weather, necessitating a change of attire and this can prove difficult if not properly planned for. Those t-shirts, dresses and shorts are too often to be found crammed in the bottom of the wardrobe, creased, covered in cat hair and generally in need of care. The fat fairy may also have visited during winter
, summoned by the stews and steamed puddings that kept us cheerful during dreary, dark nights at home, and this may now mean that some of those items we wore last spring and summer no longer fit. You are therefore faced with the need to buy new clothes, but may be reluctant to part with your old favourites: storage becomes that bit more challenging.
Your first job, therefore, will be to sort through your wardrobe, get rid (that is, throw away or give to charity) any winter clothes that you did not wear last year, and put all of the remaining winter clothes
into a box. This will leave you with plenty of room for the clothes you are actually going to wear in the next few months.
That job done, you will proceed to your loft, understairs cupboard or wherever else it is that you keep your Christmas decorations and you will put those in a box, too. Then on to the hallway, where all those bulky winter coats make it impossible for you to open the front door all the way, and those will go into another box.
If you are feeling particularly brave, you will then have a look in your shed: can you even see your garden furniture and lawnmower, or are they buried by things like sledges, shovels and bags of sand that you had meticulously bought in when they first began predicting storms and blizzards back in November? Those items are taking up valuable space in your shed and need to go in a (large) box, too.
Once you get started, you can easily become quite ruthless about what you want to keep or throw away and it is entirely possible that you will come to regret some of those decisions later on. For items that are sentimental but entirely impractical to keep if you want to see your dining room table again (such as piles of your children’s artwork), you could either take a picture of them and throw the original away (hiding it in the bin, of course) or put them into a special box to be kept safe, dry and clean.
Deal with the winter clutter
Once you have boxed up everything you won’t need until next winter (at the earliest) or that you want to keep but don’t have room for at home, you will have loads of space. The boxes can be quickly and easily put into self storage at a very reasonable cost, leaving you with lots of room to properly tidy away the belongings you will actually use between now and December. Once everything is tidy, you can get down to actually cleaning.
It is hard on the soul to think about cleaning the whole house, so instead you should focus on one room at a time. Your house is a finite area, and it is entirely possible to clean it all properly, but there is no need to be frantic about it. Set yourself no more than an hour per room to get everything tidied, wiped, dusted and properly clean. If a room is looking particularly shabby then redecorating won’t be as difficult as it would have been before your big clear-out, so make the most of a clutter-free room and apply a lick of paint.
Then sit back and enjoy your lovely, clean and fresh home!
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