Interiors: Tips for pain-free spring cleaning
PUBLISHED: 12:10 25 April 2015
Be honest, are you really itching to flick the dusters, beat a trail with a broom, and generally blitz your home? Take heart if the answer’s ‘no’, because only a virtuous third of us perform the traditional spring cleaning ritual, according to research by Mintel.
That presumably means the rest of us are suffering from spring-cleanitis, a little-known allergy to rolling up your sleeves and getting down to the task.
But all that dust and muck that’s gathered over winter is cruelly highlighted once the sun comes out.
Thankfully, TV presenter and property expert Amanda Lamb has an infinitely more positive solution.
“Instead of focusing on cleaning the whole house - which can feel daunting - I first regard this time of year as a perfect opportunity to refine what’s in rooms, and generally re-evaluate my home,” says the 42-year-old mum-of-two.
“I take stock of possessions, sort out those which can be stored away to free up space, and also de-clutter. Once that’s done, it instantly transforms a space, and has the added bonus of making me feel less stressed and more relaxed. And makes me ready and willing to start working out a spring clean plan,” adds Lamb.
Follow Lamb’s tips for a pain-free spring clean...
“Clear out a food cupboard and get rid of anything past a sell-by date, thoroughly clean shelves, and put in new lining sheets,” says Lamb.
“Divider compartments in drawers stop contents ending up jumbled and hard to find and minimises clutter building-up.”
Room treats: A Brabantia Orla Kiely Retro Bin, from £95, John Lewis, proves utility items can still be smart. I also love George Home’s colourful retro-style collection, especially a ‘Freshly Baked’ Hanging Sign, £3; Jones Lemonade Bottle Wall Clock, £12; and cheery Rise & Shine Mugs, £5 for set of four, all available from Asda stores and online.
“Corners attract clutter and make rooms feel overcrowded and unloved, giving a general impression of mess and disorganisation. Clear them and empty surfaces of knick-knacks, books and accessories,” says Lamb.
“With a couple of large boxes handy, gather everything into the middle of the room. Items you’re keeping can be popped into one box, while those to give or throw away can go in the other.
“If a corner’s always used as a dumping ground, equip it with a storage unit so at least it looks tidier. Before you put everything back, consider refreshing a display with new items - not all your collections have to be out at the same time - to give a room a lift. ‘Less is more’ is usually the golden rule, and small groups of treasures look more striking.”
“Free space in a wardrobe or chest by having a cull and putting winter clothes in store. To get rid of unwanted clothes - my cut-off point is if they’ve not left the hanger for two seasons. I have a ‘grab and go’ day; I lay them out and invite family and friends to take what they like, and then give the rest to charity.”
Lamb also recommends vacuum-cleaning mattresses and renewing pillows. “Hold a pillow in the middle in the palm of your hand and if it flops to one side, it’s time to throw it out,” she says. Unruly bedlinen storage could be tamed with her other tip - fold matching sets and put them inside their corresponding pillowcase.