Spring is in the air and it’s time for that annual ritual – giving rooms a good clean and polish.
If the prospect fills you with gloom, and you’re tempted to ignore this chore, be aware that welcome sunshine pouring through the windows can shine a harsh light on pockets of dust, dingy paintwork and grubby surfaces.
Luckily, modern cleaning products and tools can make light, speedy work of the process, compared to the weeks our grandmothers used to take beating rugs, scrubbing and scouring and rehanging drapes.
‘A top-to-bottom, thorough clean won’t just make a home look more appealing, it can also boost your spirits and make you feel more energised, as rooms will feel more airy and spacious,’ says Simon Glanville, managing director of specialist storage company, STORE.
‘Use the opportunity to take a good look at spaces and, if need be, de-clutter, which isn’t about throwing everything away.
‘Rather, it’s about losing what’s useless and ugly in order to have space for things that are useful and beautiful.’
Before you begin your super spring sort-out, check out these expert tips on making it easy, and smart kit that will make even the most reluctant yearn to blitz away. Smart strategy: ‘To get over that mental block that prevents you actually starting, break the task into bite-sized pieces. Allocate 20 minutes each day to tackling just one area,’ suggests Glanville.
‘Always start with the bedrooms and work your way down, and never tackle more than one room at a time, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed.’ Top kit: Ensure you have all the kit to hand as you move around your home. Designer Sebastian Conran’s produced a sleek Universal Expert range, including a steel Storage Caddy, £44, from West Elm. John Lewis has a smart Whitewash Wood Crate, £35, which could be ideal for a utility room. Top treat: Reward yourself for your efforts with fun and useful items. Animal String and Scissor Holders, featuring animal designs, £25 each, are available from Graham & Green. Hidden horrors: Dust mites love to lurk in duvets and carpets, and these can cause problems for those with allergies, says David Begley, cleanologist at Johnson Cleaners.
‘Often, duvets are overlooked but they should really be cleaned twice a year,’ he advises.
‘Most domestic washing machines are too small to clean a duvet effectively and professional laundering is more likely to kill off dust mites and the allergens produced by them. This is particularly important for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments.’ Top kit: If carpets have stubborn stains, a Rug Doctor professional cleaning machine starts from £20 a day from Johnsons Cleaners. Wooden floors need regular sweeping; an Iris Hantverk Tall Dustpan & Brush Set, £55, John Lewis, will make the job easier. Top treat: Make a kitchen zing with colour with bright yellow Kenwood appliances. A Kmix Kitchen Machine, reduced to £279, and Hand Mixer, £64, Isme. Pretty up a utility area with Dunelm’s pink cleaning utensils, including a Raspberry Spectrum Collection Dustpan and Brush, £2.09, and a pink Slim 3 Tier Indoor Airer, £9.99.