Although it may not yet feel like spring, the calendar reassures that it is in fact late March and we now don’t have too many days left until the glorious British summer.
At this time of year as the days lengthen, the clocks change, and daffodils do their best to poke through the latest fall of snow, many people start to think about spring cleaning.
The History of Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning, as a term, has a surprisingly long history that dates back several thousand years. Although, there is not one solid origin a number of cultures and religions carry our spring cleaning.
Many people believe that the origins of spring cleaning can be traced back to the Iranian Nowruz, the Persian New Year. This falls on the first day of spring and Iranians to this day carry out “khooneh tekouni” which means ‘shaking the house’. During this time everything is thoroughly cleaned including curtains and furniture.
Spring cleaning may also be linked back to the Jewish springtime festival of Passover. Before the festival begins, Jews are meant to rid their homes of ‘chametz’ or unleavened foodstuffs. They achieve this through thorough spring cleaning.
Top Spring Cleaning Tips
So, you’re all ready to start your cleaning, marigolds on and a feather duster in hand! But where should you actually begin and what areas of your home should you focus on?
Spring cleaning is about cleaning the areas that perhaps get forgotten the rest of the year. It might be things like washing the curtains, cleaning under the bed or dusting your bookshelves. Obviously, every house is different, and only you will know what areas get neglected a little through the year.
Tip 1 – Get Organised
Make a list of what you want to focus on and the cleaning products you’ll need to complete the job. Always start from the top and work down, whether you’re cleaning a single room of the whole house.
Tip 2 – Let There Be Light
Spring is the time of year when that strange glowing ball in the sky reappears that we haven’t seen since October! To make the most of the extra daylight in your home clean windows, inside and out, are a must.
For tips on cleaning the inside of your windows check out our blog ‘Window cleaning hacks – 5 top tips for spotless windows’.
For spotless windows on the outside of your home, we recommend contacting your local friendly window cleaners. Although this is a task you could tackle yourself, window cleaners have specialist equipment that allows them to do a quick and very effective job for an affordable price.
Tip 3 – It’s Time To Be Ruthless
The most difficult and time-consuming aspect of cleaning is working around and moving clutter. Most modern homes, especially those with children, have lots and lots and lots of stuff. A large proportion of which we probably don’t need.
Spring cleaning is a great time to have a thorough clear-out and de-clutter your home.
Don’t decide to tackle the whole house in a day but instead focus on one room, or perhaps one section of a room, (depending on the size of the issue) at a time.
Grab three bags, boxes or other sort of large container. You’ll want to split your clutter into three piles. One, your ‘Keep’ pile, Two, your ‘Charity’ pile and Three, your ‘Chuck It’ pile.
The key to successful de-cluttering is to be realistic about what you ‘actually’ need and get rid of what you don’t.
Tip 4 – Top Down
When cleaning a room start with the ceilings and walls first as dust, dirt and cobwebs will inevitably fall onto the surfaces below.
Start by using the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and lightly work over the surfaces.
Next, with a lightly damp cloth, microfiber clothes work best, gently rub the walls and ceiling. Finally, for any stubborn marks, use a dilute washing-up liquid solution and wipe again with your cloth. It’s always best to check on a small, hidden patch of wall first to make sure the surface isn’t damaged.
Tip 5 – Clean Your Grout
Most homes will have at least one room with tiles and therefore grout. When fresh grout is laid, it looks great, but it can very quickly turn grubby and dirty, especially in rooms with heavy usage such as the kitchen.
There are specific grout cleaning products and tools available, but a DIY solution and stiff-bristled brush or toothbrush often work just as well. Whatever you use, always test on a hidden bit of floor first to ensure there is no damage.
To create a simple grout cleaning solution mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water to create a paste. Apply this paste to your grout with your finger.
Next, make a solution of 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar and add it to a spray bottle. Spray the baking soda paste you’ve applied to the grout with the vinegar solution. You’ll quickly see the solution start to bubble which means it’s working.
Wait a few minutes for the bubbling to finish and use your stiff brush to scrub the grout.
Finally, mop the floor with fresh water to remove the baking soda and vinegar residue.