When temperatures start to rise and the long-awaited sunshine finally makes an appearance, the last thing many of us want is to be stuck indoors cleaning, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you get your home looking great with the least effort.
Tidy home, tidy mind
The physical health benefits of keeping a clean house might be obvious – less germs and getting active with the vacuum cleaner for example – but tidy surroundings can also have positive effects mentally too.
Studies have shown people living in orderly homes have lower stress levels. Reducing excessive “visual noise” also removes distractions, increasing productivity and promoting a better night’s sleep.
These ten steps to achieving neat rooms should take no more than 30-60 minutes each, offering maximum effect with minimum exertion.
10 hacks for successfully completing a spring clean
1. Give everything a home
The key to keeping everywhere clutter free is to give everything a “home” – that way when you have finished using something it is simple to put it back where it belongs, cutting down the time you have to spend tidying up every week.
Sideboards are ideal storage options as they look great, hide a multitude of sins and can be used in lots of different settings from hallways to living rooms, dining rooms to landings.
The Memphis White Sideboard with Open Shelves is a versatile storage option working well in a dining room, bedroom, hallway or office setting.
2. Clear surfaces
Make sure the only things sitting on surfaces are items you have deliberately put there, such as thoughtfully-placed accessories or stylish storage containers.
Avoid stacks of magazines, keys tossed on the side or a pile of unopened post, for example, by adding some magazine files to your bookshelf or an attractive bowl in the hallway to empty pockets into.
3. Beautiful bookshelves
A shelving unit can either be a thing of beauty or a dumping zone but making sure yours falls into the first category is actually fairly simple.
Start from scratch by completely emptying your shelves. Next, only put back the books you really want to keep – books you frequently refer to or re-read or beautiful hardbacks with sentimental value. Scruffy paperbacks and that pile of fiction you’ve never got around to reading really need to go.
Finally, add one or two accessories like family photos or tasteful souvenirs.
The District 8 shelving unit is the perfect piece to display your pared-down book collection. Made from 100% recycled materials, primarily from Japanese weaving looms, it's a real talking point and will inspire you to keep it clutter-free.
4. Take a food audit
As the weekly shop gets put away, the unloved items head to the back, never to be seen again.
This spring, pull out absolutely everything from the cupboards, then throw away anything past its use-by date and donate anything still in date but you’re not going to use it.
Make use of the extra space you’ve made storing any items cluttering your work surfaces. For example, if you don’t have toast every day, consider putting the toaster away. Likewise if your spice rack isn’t the most attractive, think about whether that really needs to be on display.
Clear work surfaces offer you more space to cook, are easier to keep clean and look a lot less messy.
5. Clutter-free console
There is one area of the home which can constantly look a mess and that’s your entertainment centre.
A quick fix is to invest in a beautiful yet functional TV console. The right piece of furniture will hide away untidy wires and clutter like TV remotes, DVDs and gaming equipment, and make a great focal point too.
The Phantom Oak TV Unit offers flexible storage within and clean, uncluttered lines without.
6. Capsule wardrobe
A simple fix for keeping the bedroom tidy is to create a capsule wardrobe which will free up cupboard space and avoid the ever-growing pile of discarded clothes.
Keep items practical for your lifestyle, that you feel good wearing and that fit well. Get rid of the rest. Aim for 30-50 pieces of clothing which can be mixed and matched for different looks.
7. Tranquil bathroom
For anyone who enjoys a relaxing soak in the tub, you will probably be familiar with how an untidy bathroom can ruin the atmosphere.
Consider the eco-option of soap and shampoo bars which reduce the clutter created by plastic bottles. Fold towels in neat stacks on a shelving unit or tuck them away in a cabinet if they aren’t up to display standards.
8. Tuck away the toys
To prevent toys taking over, instead of having all of your children’s things available at once, try the toy rotation technique. Choose a selection that is accessible and store the rest away. After a month choose a different selection to put out. Keep doing this on rotation and it will give you less to tidy away every day.
9. Glorious gardens
Now is the time to get your garden looking its best, to be enjoyed all spring and summer long. It doesn’t have to be a huge job, simply raking leaves, giving the lawn a mow and showing your outdoor furniture some love will make everything feel a lot tidier.
The Sophie Teak Dining Set in yellow is a glorious way to brighten up the garden. Its contemporary look not only offers style but is a doddle to keep clean too.
10. Bring the outdoors in
Spring weather can be unpredictable so for those days when you’re better off indoors, bringing some greenery in can really freshen up the interior.
In your newly decluttered spaces, adding a trailing plant to a bookshelf or a dramatic Giant Bird of Paradise to an unloved corner of the room will add the finishing touch to your tidy home.
If you aim to tackle just one job at a time it will make your spring clean less daunting but still means you can enjoy a clean, calm and clutter-free interior.