Want to get your clean on? Here's everything you need to know...
Nothing feels as satisfying as coming home to a clean house, and with the annual spring clean on the horizon, there are plenty of tips to help you tackle every room like a pro — from the bathroom to the bedroom.
'Cleaning and organising your house are excellent de-stressors,' Sadie Sillett, cleaning and ironing expert from The Funky Appliance Company, tells House Beautiful UK.
'Getting rid of dust, mould and other nasties improves the air quality, creating a healthier home. As well as this, doing some of the more physical spring cleaning jobs will help deliver workout-like benefits and release mood-boosting endorphins. Spring cleaning really is healthy!'
Ready for spring cleaning but not sure where to start? Follow these simple steps for a sparkling home...
Spring will see many of us embark on the arduous and satisfying task of a big clean – whether it's the whole house, cluttered garage, or just one cupboard. It can be easy to overwhelm yourself, so before you begin, prioritise what needs to be done first.
For some, spring cleaning means tidying, decluttering and organising, while for others it's the chance to tackle those bigger tasks on the to-do list.
'I think knowing what your priority areas are will make it feel less overwhelming than knowing you have to declutter the whole house,' Lizzie Grant, founder of Declutter on Demand, tells us. 'When it comes to spring cleaning, there's no point in lifting things up and putting them back down again — you might as well kill two birds with one stone and clean, declutter and organise all in one.'
HB recommends... Creating a schedule can help prioritise tasks and make sure procrastination doesn't set in.
Trying to organise the whole house in one go is sure to overwhelm even the experts. Lizzie explains the importance of 'starting with easy areas' such as 'just one category of clothes' instead of your entire wardrobe.
She explains: 'If you are someone who likes to break things down into chunks or small bite-sized pieces, it might be that you ease yourself in and sort out something small like your cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink because that will be helpful.'
Once you've decided which area to start with, it's now time to tackle it — and tackle it well. 'The mantra I'd like people to have in their head when they're decluttering is deciding what to let go of,' adds Lizzie. 'It's very easy to fall into that trap and keep things "just in case" we might need them.'
Much like Marie Kondo has been advocating, Lizzie explains the importance of keeping things which make us 'feel good and positive'. Whether it's your favourite jumper or a home accessory with great meaning, use this clear-out to filter through the items around your home.
And remember not to be too hard on yourself, either. 'This past year has been really difficult because many of us have just been wearing casual clothing at home, so I never really advocate the 12-month rule. Decide whether you love the item — and more importantly — whether you use it,' says Lizzie.
When you've powered through your decluttering, the next step is to think about how you want to organise everything. Before you begin, remember that some items will need to be more accessible than others, such as cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, children's essentials and clothing you wear regularly.
'A lot of people jump into the fun part of decluttering, such as buying the prettiest storage solutions, and then they try and cram all of their stuff into the storage solutions, which never works, especially if you just have too much stuff,' says Lizzie.
Organising has certainly picked up momentum in recent years, thanks to Marie Kondo's KonMari philosophy and The Home Edit's 'edit, categorise and contain' method, to cleaning influencer Mrs Hinch and Stacey Solomon's Tap to Tidy Instagram stories. It can be tempting to buy all of the loveliest storage boxes, but, as Lizzie tells us, there are 'lots of different, cheaper storage solutions' out there.
'Try using empty shoe boxes as a drawer divider or chocolate boxes left over from Christmas,' she suggests. 'People think they need to be all fancy, but this option is much more environmentally friendly, too. There are some things which are really useful — I love vacuum-packed bags which saves masses amounts of space when I'm changing out my seasonal clothes.'
It can be hard to part with our belongings, especially those of sentimental value. Decluttering goes beyond just getting rid of things; it's an act of self-care, can improve your overall wellbeing, and help you take back control of your home.
With many charity shops overwhelmed due to the ongoing pandemic, consider donating your items via easy-to-use apps instead. 'One great app is called OLIO, which you can give away items for free, whether it's food or non-food items. It's quite a nice way to find local people to donate things to,' Lizzie suggests.
'Another great one for furniture is Shpock — this allows you to sell things. Vinted is a great one for clothing, particularly high-street items. Try local Facebook groups, such as Next Door.If your items sit around for ages, they'll just end up back in the cupboard taking up space.'
There's no turning back now, and that's a good thing. 'When you're looking through items to get rid of make a "keep" and "get rid of" pile to donate items. Get your bin bags ready with labels so that when they're in the bag you don't take them back out. Commit to that decision, close it and move on. It sounds so basic, but that's where it often falls apart for people,' says Lizzie.
Once you've worked out what you're passing with, make sure you commit. Clearing the clutter is about so much more than a clean home; you'll find it will clear your mind, lift your energy and boost your levels of productivity, too.
Go on, why not get your clean on...