Come Spring, there are few things we enjoy more than a good declutter. As well as being productive, cleaning can be therapeutic, and might just help to lessen those stress levels (what could be nicer than curling up on the sofa in a spotless, clutter-free living space?).
Read on for our top tips on spring cleaning the sustainable way – from donating clothes to refreshing tired items yourself…
That slightly-bobbled sweater might have been sitting in your wardrobe for a while – but it may prove a firm favourite with a new owner! Unless truly knackered (dismiss any items with holes, untreatable stains or tears), group together any unwanted garments, ready to gift to a local charity shop when possible (or the donation bank at your local store).
If you're lucky enough to have a garden – or a patio, balcony or terrace for that matter – now is the time to get outside and enjoy it. And if you need to get rid of any food waste, don't just bin it. You can re-grow veg by planting things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce hearts – while old coffee granules, tea bags, fruit and vegetable peelings and apple cores can be used as compost.
On a similar note, if you're about to throw away a (used) supermarket potted herb, hold fire! Try repotting it, by teasing apart the herbs and replanting in several containers with fresh soil. Find a sunny windowsill, and watch them bloom…
MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING SOLUTIONS
Preparing for a cleaning spree? Don't reach for the bleach just yet… You can (very easily) create your own super-effective cleaning solutions, using a handful of store cupboard ingredients. We all know that vinegar is a brilliantly effective cleaning agent – as is bicarbonate of soda.
Lemon juice cuts through grease, limescale and scum – and all-natural essential oils can be used to add a little fragrance (we love clean-smelling citrus fruits, like grapefruit). Think before throwing out empty plastic and glass bottles, as these make perfect vessels for your diy kitchen cleaner…
Those well-worn ripped jeans may have more to give than you realise… Use denim iron-on patches to conceal any holes, or grab a bottle of dye to refresh faded patches. If they're totally falling apart below the knee, why not transform them into cut-off shorts?
As for those grubby-looking t-shirts, embrace the tie-dye trend – you really can't go wrong. An afternoon of artsy fun, and a new-t-shirt to show for it… sounds like a win!
CLOTHES SWAP PARTIES
When the time comes to see friends and family again, why not celebrate with a 'clothes swap party'? You can catch up with loved ones and declutter, all in one full swoop. Round up a few of your friends and ask them to bring a handful of items they no longer wear.
Provide drinks and snacks, and let the clothes swapping fun commence! Any items leftover can go to the local charity shop.