We're ready to bid farewell to winter, and welcome in spring, and what better way to do that than by giving our homes a thorough clean?
But before you put on the rubber gloves, beware of these cleaning errors, which most of us have no idea we're making.
Read our checklist and clean to your heart's content!
be careful where you store your household items
It’s great to rethink your storage on a big spring clean project. And the best way to start is by making sure your existing storage isn’t actually doing more harm than good – there are a few mistakes you might be making...
Did you know that medicine shouldn’t be kept in the bathroom*? Apparently the shower steam and bright lighting can cause damage to medication. And toothbrushes shouldn't be kept in a cabinet - the little germs on your brush love a warm environment. Air dry them, instead.
But perhaps the most useful thing to know is that wine shouldn't be kept in the kitchen! There are too many temperature changes in the kitchen and it's best to keep the bottles out of direct sunlight. The cupboard underneath the stairs would be ideal.
Find out more with our 7 storage mistakes you don’t know you’re making.
DON’T start cleaning without the right equipment
Calm down eager beavers, we know you’re raring to get scrubbing, but before you start your big spring clean make sure you have all the essentials.
First of all, make sure you have a decent vacuum cleaner. The best ones come with different attachments which are perfect for hoovering up pet hair (the wand attachment), and dusting (brush attachment).
For a proper dust, you need to invest in some microfibre cloths - instead of pushing dust around and onto the floor, these clever cloths actually grab and remove the dust. Genius.
don't scrub at stains
If you're trying to clean a fresh stain, like a red wine spillage, don't scrub at it. Use a dry towel to soak up as much of the moisture as possible, then douse the mark with fizzy or cold water, before blotting again with another dry towel. Keep repeating until no more colour comes off on the towel. Only then try using a stain remover, if the mark just won't go away. And don't waste your time pouring white wine on a red wine stain – it's a waste of good wine!
DON’T forget to separate seasonal storage
A spring clean is your ideal chance to pack away bulky winter clothing, bedding and shoes. Don’t waste valuable space with items you won’t be using for the next six months. Invest in some storage boxes and you'll be feeling feng shui in no time.
Make use of unused space by installing high shelves and keeping your off-season clobber in attractive baskets and boxes. These are great for giving your room a pop of colour or adding a sense of cosiness. And if you want a total hideaway, don’t forget to make every centimetre under you bed count with vacuum bags and slim storage boxes.
Don’t add in mothballs to your winter warmers – they smell odd and aren’t great for material. Experts recommend cedar, lavender sachets and even lemon peel rinds.
DON'T keep unneeded paperwork
Do the ‘two F’s’ test: If you can’t file it (bills, bank statements) or frame it (art work) – BIN IT.
To get started on the mammoth task of decluttering your home of paperwork you need to start by bringing it all into one place. You should keep the last 12 month’s worth of bills, statements and accounts. And the most recent insurance contracts, but anything older can normally be shredded. The exception is tax as you need to keep the last five years in case of an audit.
File away anything you are keeping in an easy to access place. You can get an attractive file folder or a filing cabinet. Anything that still needs action, keep out in plain sight. A note board in the kitchen or study is a great way to get organised.
DON’T forget your windows
Once you've cleaned and decluttered your home, chances are that your eyes will be more drawn to streaky, dirty windows.
It’s amazing what some gleamingly clear panes can do for a satisfying spring clean. And there really is an art to getting it right. Or wrong. For instance, did you know that you should never start a window cleaning project if it’s sunny? Direct sunlight will mean your soapy water and cleaning sprays dry too quickly and will leave serious streaks.
*Taken from Health Day.