Windy Washing Day. Laundry box from Premier Housewares at Wayfair.co.uk
This weekend was spent on a spring clean. When I say clean, I really mean clear out. We’ve cleared out half a roomful of stuff we don’t need from the house, so now we can start to clean some corners that haven’t been so easy to access for a while.
I read a really interesting article about living minimally at the weekend, and I am hoping this will give us more time to spend together as a family, and less time looking for stuff. We’re not huge or problem hoarders, but we’re lucky to have spare rooms where stuff gets put and forgotten, we’re busy, and like any family, we find kids outgrow stuff so quickly.
I work from home, I can’t stand the place being crowded. Little things make a big difference. An example, it sounds silly, but I am much preferring looking at this new laundry tin on the window sill, instead of a big box of powder. Clean windows from the inside make a big difference too of course.
I hate washing, some days I curse each family members socks, but now spring is here I am beginning to see it in a new way. Little things make chores more enjoyable, (like taking photos rather than doing the chores).
I won’t lie, clear outs are always an emotional process and progress seemed slow at first, but by the end of the weekend I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Clearing has moved on to cleaning… so I thought I would share some wisdoms from a weekend spent spring cleaning, and I also have four fabulous prizes if you are planning a spring clean.
Spring Cleaning Secrets
Get everyone on board
It’s miserable when you feel like no one else is helping, so find ways to make it fun and get the people you live with on board.
Crank up the stereo, dress up in silly clothes, buy a bag of Maltesters, have a Gin and Tonic while you clean, plan a few meals out, or take aways.
Break it up with walks in the fresh air to remind you that you don’t need ‘stuff’ to be happy. I found this bit really key!
Occupy the troops
If you have kids reward them for a realistic time spent helping sort their rooms, with a new DVD, magazine or toy that will keep them busy while you keep going. Explain you need some time and patience and that there will be rewards for helping. For my children 6 was a turning point in being able to part with things easily, especially if they could swap a bag with something new in the charity shop, before that rotating boxes of toys helped to keep me sane.
Get your kit organised
Think like a professional and keep all the products and cloths you need in one place. I love this Kitchen Craft Housekeeping cleaning caddy one of the prizes in the giveaway, it has a lovely vintage look about it and reminds me of working in a 5 star hotel housekeeping department, where you just have to crack on and get the job done. I hate chores in my house, but little things like this can bring more joy to the job. Same with things like peg bags, or washing powder caddies.
Stock up on cleaning products, Astonish make cruelty free, vegetarian society approved ones and have a box flu, for every room in the house, to giveaway.
The Vorwerk VC100 handheld vacuum cleaner quickly and easily sucks up anything from dry mud to pet hair from tricky nooks and crannies. It is exactly what we need for our old Victorian table full of cracks. And it is much lighter than your average handheld vacuum. I also have one to giveaway today.
Start with a drawer and line it
Decluttering gurus say to start with something small. Start with the drawer in the kitchen full of nonsense, or in the bedroom, your sock drawer. Throw out the things that need to go, be ruthless, and then why not line that drawer to encourage you to keep it pleasant? I love these Summer Hill drawer liners from Crabtree and Evelyn, they smell lovely too and they are part of the giveaway.
Having containers and baskets within cupboards helps to keep like with like, and makes cleaning up and moving condiments – or my favourite, moving breakfast things to and from the table – a breeze.
We labelled the pegs on the back of the kitchen door, and for weeks the stuff on them has stayed ordered. Amazing. You could get a proper labeller of course, but a sharpie works just as well, or sellotaped paper.
Have four bags/boxes
One for recycling, one for rubbish, one for ‘doesn’t belong in this room’, and one for charity. It really is that simple. Or in rooms lots of people use, have a basket for each member of the family, which you can put things in for them to sort out.
Always seal the bag to the charity shop
It’s too tempting for people to change their minds. Even better, take it straight to the boot of your car, so it doesn’t get unpacked or clutter up another room in the house.
Use a timer
If you really can’t face it, stick a timer on and promise to keep going for 10 minutes. You’ll probably find you are happy to keep going at the end, getting started is the tough bit.
People often think about storage the wrong way. 9 times out of 10, after a big clear out, you will find you have enough storage, can use what you have differently or need something very different indeed. Sorting gives you time to think about how you really use things. The tub chair at the end of our kitchen gets used as storage not seating, and a bench with storage, or a sideboard would be much better, rather than a new shelf for cook books I no longer use to gather dust.
One room at a time
We focussed on the kid’s rooms and three big cupboards over the break, it seemed not very much for a weekend, but it does feel like we have broken the back of the biggest problem areas. Anything is possible after tackling their rooms!
Eyes on the Prize
Try and visualise what you want your home to be like and how that will make you feel. The secret of people who can clean without procrastination is that they can clearly visualise how great the end result will be and how it will improve their circumstances in their mind before they begin.
To Enter the Spring Clean Secrets Giveaway
I have a fantastic Spring Clean bundle of these four items to giveaway.
1. This vintage style blue metal cleaning caddy from Kitchen Craft at WayfairUK is the perfect place to store your Astonish products.
2. Astonish cleaning products. They are cruelty free and Vegetarian society approved and Alexander Residence tested – as you can see from the photos, they definitely work! Set includes, kitchen cleaner, window and glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, mould and mildew remover and oven cleaner.
3. For fast clean ups the Vorwerk VC100 handheld vacuum cleaner quickly and easily sucks up anything from dry mud to pet hair, and the sleek, stylish design means it doesn’t have to be hidden away in the cupboard.
Made from a high quality, durable white gloss thermoformed plastic and weighing only 750g – the rough equivalent of two cans of Coke – it is optimally engineered so that the weight distribution is centered near the handle making it extremely light and easy to manoeuvre. RRP £149.00.
4. To keep your home smelling lovely, and the inside of your drawers looking pretty, some Crabtree and Evelyn Summer Hill drawer liners.
Just follow the rafflecopter instructions and check out the other giveaways too.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions
There is one prize of a set of Astonish products, a Cleaning Caddy from WayfairUK, Crabtree and Evelyn Summer Hill Drawer Liners and a Vorwerk VC100 handheld vacuum cleaner. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Wayfair and A Residence and Crabtree, Astonish and Vorwerk.
Closing date for entries is 31/5/2015.
One entry per person.
Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment.
Optional entry methods are to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and tweet on Twitter.
The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen.
The winner’s name will be available on request.
The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
This is a joint promotion between Wayfair and A Residence and Crabtree, Astonish and Vorwerk.
Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
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