Let’s face it, there’s never a better time than the beginning of the New Year to declutter, tidy, and most of all, clean all the nooks and crannies in your home.
Out with the old in with the new!
Not only does a good clean out give you the chance to get rid of all the unwanted items you’ve been hoarding since last year, but it will put you in good stead for the year ahead.
Trisha Schofield, from the Good Housekeeping's Institute, said: "January is a good time to start cleaning – out with the old in with the new! It’s also good because once you have cleared away the Christmas decorations you can clean everywhere before you put your ornaments and pictures back."
But sometimes, no matter how hard you polish, wipe or dust, troublesome spots like limescale by your bathroom tap, your wooden floors by the front door, or your black granite worktops, just won’t stay clean.
So to help you out this January, we've enlisted the help of Trisha who has put together some handy tips on how to make your home sparkle.
1. Tackle one room at once
By focusing on just one room at a time, you'll be able to put all your energy into the job at hand. This could be the kitchen, for example. Clear out all the cupboards, chuck out any out of date food and be sure to clean your fridge. Trisha said: "Bicarbonate of soda is a good deodoriser. For example, smelly fridges."
Be sure to wash all the floors too, as it's often an area for stray bits of food to collect. For your hard surfaces, you could try Cif Wood Floor Cleaning Liquid, which is ideal for varnished wood and laminate floors.
You'll feel like you've achieved something by the time you step back and marvel at all your hard work. And once one space in the house is clutter and dust-free, you'll feel like a weight's been lifted off your shoulders - meaning you'll be more than ready to move onto other problem areas.
2. rid limescale
Want a dazzling dishwasher? Tackle limescale build-up by running a cup of Asda Distilled Malt Vinegar, through an empty machine on a normal cycle. Clean spray arms with water and washing-up liquid. Crave a sparkling microwave? Trisha told us: "Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a bowl with some water and zap for 3 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, remove the bowl and wipe down the microwave. Easy."
3. Rope in the rest of the family to help
Cleaning shouldn’t just be your responsibility. Make sure you get all the family involved and by that, yes, we do mean the kids too! We all know far too well that the reason kids don’t like doing chores is the same reason adults don’t like doing them - because household tasks are generally boring.
However, you could make them a tiny bit more appealing to your little ones. For example, you could have a sticker chart where for every chore they complete, they get one of their favourite stickers. Or why not get them their own rubber gloves and apron to put on when they're doing the washing up?
4. Get rid of stains ASAP
The longer you leave stains to set, the harder they will be to get out. Red wine has to be one of the toughest stains to remove, but with a few tricks of the trade, you can get that spillage out.
Trisha said: "Don’t sprinkle salt – this is a myth. It will actually set the stain. If the cover is removable, take it off and spray the stain with hairspray. Leave it for a few minutes then wash at the highest temperature for the fabric. Leave to dry fully before replacing the cover and voilà – the stain should be gone."
5. Clear clutter regularly
Because who really needs an abundance of bobby pins anyways? Now you're in the routine of cleaning and decluttering your home, make sure you stay on top of it! Trisha said: "If you haven’t used an item for over a year then be ruthless and chuck it. Start at the top of the house and work your way down; same within each room."
6. Make sure you have a really efficient vacuum cleaner
A workman is only as good as his tools and what use is your vacuum if you have to go over the same spot you've already hoovered three times? Make less work for yourself and invest in a good vacuum cleaner. Trisha said: "Tackle the ceiling, coving, picture rails first. Dust first and vacuum last."
7. Pull together a caddy of essential cleaning items
This can include items such as dusters, polish, washing up liquid, e-cloths, old toothbrush, multi-purpose spray, bleach. This way, whenever you need to do a quick clean, you'll have all the essentials to hand.
Trisha said: "E-cloth or microfibre cloths can be used for cleaning without using detergents. Viakal is great for removing limescale from shower screens."