There’s a feeling of spring in the air and that, along with the brighter sun that seems to shine directly on all the finger-marks, dust and clutter, makes it a good time to get stuck in to a bit of spring cleaning.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the prospect, here are some tips to help you get started. If you are time poor (and most of us are), prioritise the tasks and go for the big ticket items that are really bothering you.
That little bit of spice mix, freezer burnt leftover dinner, last few nuts and dribble of sauce in the bottom of the bottle are cluttering up your kitchen. Collect them all together and see if you can make a meal with them, or, if they are unusable, throw them out.
Give the front of the cupboards, drawers, fridge, oven and skirting boards a wipe paying attention around the handles. Lift or move the items in drawers and vacuum up all the crumbs not forgetting the right ones at the back.
The empty toilet roll that someone has thrown in the cupboard, nearly empty toothpaste tubes and worn out facecloths all need to be thrown out! Collect up your hardly used beauty products and list them on Trade Me – you will be astonished at how much you might get for them.
Wipe the heater, fan grill, skirtings’ and switches. Give the toothbrush holder, towel rails, rubbish bin, and scales a good clean. Remove and clean the toilet seats and hinges.
The plastic strip on the bottom of the shower door can be removed and cleaned or even replaced for a fresh new look.
If you have a shower curtain throw it in the washing machine or if it’s heavy plastic take it down and give it a good scrub. If it’s beyond hope, treat yourself to a new one.
If you have a glass shower door, there is likely to be a soap and residue build up. There are multiple products on the market to help remove this. Buy a good quality window blade and encourage all your family members to use it every time they shower – it helps reduce future build up.
Now is also a good time for the drain in the shower to be cleaned. This is an ideal job to delegate!
3. Heat pumps
Flip open the heat pump cover and remove the filter. Take it outside and give it a good brush and vacuum and wipe the fins and exterior of the unit If you haven’t had your heat pump serviced in the last few years now is a good time to arrange that – this will ensure your heat pump is running efficiently.
Check the outside unit is clear of cobwebs, plants and leaves and ensure the drain is not blocked.
4. Kids rooms
Spring is a great time to review your child’s wardrobe. It’s likely they have grown out of, stained, or torn, a number of items, particularly from last summer.
Review their bookcase and remove any books they have grown out of. These could be boxed up for the next children or given away. Collect up all the toys and put them with all their others (see 8. below).
If there are special sentimental items you can’t bear to part with, start a Special Box for your child.
8. Kids toys
It’s so easy when having a quick tidy up to not put away all the bits of a toy together so now is the time for a reunification!
Tip all the toy boxes and toys into one big pile (you will not require any little helpers for this job!) and then sort them into their families. Throw all the odd bits away and bag or box up the rest. The clear plastic zip bags new linen comes in are ideal for this as you can see what’s in there. Put some toys away and then you can rotate them in the future.
6. The paper pile
We all have one! Old school notices, junk mail, notes, bills, lists and kids art work all pile up in the corner or drawer. Sort in to action, file or rubbish piles. Cancel paper bills with your bank and power company.
7. The junk drawer(s)
We all need a junk drawer – but now is a great time to have a good clean out of yours. Tip everything out on the bench and sort into piles – trying to make the rubbish pile the biggest. Return as much as you can to its proper place.
Replace the usual dash around with the vacuum cleaner with a thorough going over. Move the furniture, take the cushions off the couch (have a rubbish bin handy when you do this!) and get stuck in to all the corners and along the skirting boards.
9. Your wardrobe and drawers
There are many books and articles advising on how to spring clean your wardrobe but all agree on the following. If you haven’t worn it for a year or more, get rid of it. If it no longer fits, get rid of it. If it fits but you don’t feel good in it, get rid of it. If it’s stained or has a hole and that breaks your heart as it’s a favourite, but really it’s not suitable for anywhere, get rid of it! Be sure to include necklaces, scarves, underwear, shoes and your summer clothes in this.
Wash and store all your winter woolies and layers away (hopefully you won’t be needing them).
A favourite Kidspot tip is to iron and hang as much as you can so it’s ready for use – you are more likely not keep buying if you have a regular supply of favourites ready to go.
Clean windows really do make the house feel fresh. Forget all the sprays, chemicals and detergents and just get yourself a really good quality professional blade.
For the exterior, hose the windows, wipe with a wet microfibre cloth then dry with the blade. Wipe around the frames with a clean microfibre cloth and Voila! (although really dirty windows might require a second effort). For the inside, repeat without the hosing step.