Spring is a time for renewal and as the temperatures and light levels rise so do our spirits. We feel the urge to throw open the windows and get everything sorted after the long, dark winter days of accumulating stuff. This ritualized behaviour, which we call Spring cleaning, is locked into our psyche but perhaps the desire to clean and tidy is even stronger this year after being in hibernation as a nation for such a longtime .

 

New beginnings 

Sorting things out, having everything squeaky clean and in the right place can be an uplifting experience. Nevertheless it is often hard to see just where to start. Perhaps one thing to realise is that Spring lasts for several months so you don’t have to get it done all in one day, or one weekend or even one week. Spring cleaning can be an ongoing project.

 

When life gives you lemons

Make a plan of attack, either room by room or activity by activity. For instance, one day you might do the windows, another the wood surfaces and another the floors. Move around the house sorting out drawers and then do the cupboards. Go out and buy your self some really nice cleaning materials that you will enjoy using, ones with nice scents or maybe organically based environmentally friendly products. Buy some essential oils and try a little mixology to create your own non-toxic cleaning products from kitchen staples like lemons, vinegar, baking soda, mayonnaise, and aluminum foil for silver. However never mix manufactured cleaning products as they can give off serious toxic fumes. Vodka is a wonderful cleaning agent for mould, mildew, jewellery and to refresh fabrics and after you are done if there’s any left you can make yourself a relaxing Moscow Mule or make a refreshing lemonade.

 

Sweep to the beat

Make a great playlist, wear some head phones and have some fun. The music will keep you working to a beat. Stretch up to dust those hard to reach parts, squat down to clean those skirting boards. Work up a sweat polishing the tables and counter tops. You get the idea, all that lifting, furniture moving, sweeping and mopping is great exercise burning calories and toning muscles.

 

Take it away

Box up the items you don’t want and take them to the charity store (when they’re open once more) – they will be delighted. Or even better try a little recycling… rip up old towels or teeshirts to make soft dusters, staple together the backs of junk mail letters to make note pads, save and clean out old tins to make pots for seeds. Better still try a little up-cycling for size. Fit an old suitcase with legs to create a funky footstool that you can store things in, make stylish chair seat pads from pairs of old jeans patched together… and very on trend right now is to stitch cushion covers from your old sweaters, buttons zippers ’n’all!

 

Chalk it up to experience

Chalk paint is very popular these days and you can paint all manner of furniture to give it new life. Paint up some old dining room chairs and use them around a table outside for a great boho look, the same with bird cages, old bikes and children’s prams which make wonderful garden planters. Up-cyling not only transforms your old stuff but it creates an interesting and eclectic look to your home.

 

A place for everything and everything in its place

The key to a tidy house is to have plenty of places to put things. Look for items with a double function. An ottoman with a lid, a bench that opens to store shoes, a hallway console which folds out to a table, a display cabinet with hidden storage for out of season knick-knacks at the bottom, or just a new coffee table with shelves underneath. Think about having space-saving fitted wardrobes that can store a whole lot of clothes, or shelf units that can both store and display your items. A good TV unit can hide media equipment, cables, remotes and all manner of living room clutter as can a great kitchen hutch or multi-function sideboard. Pick stylish furniture with the storage benefits in mind… you will never regret it.

 

New beginnings

A good part of Spring renewal and rebirth in you home is to give it a new look. Changing all the furniture obviously is off the table for most of us but there are small changes that you can make that will have maximum impact. New curtains and window treatments and new rugs will refresh the room bringing in exciting new colours and textures. New art work will also help define the personality of the space and well as creating a talking point. Something as simple as new scatter cushions on your lounge seating will make the whole collection look and feel ‘new’. Lamps, vases and ornaments will add to the ‘vibe’ and change up the look in a matter of moments. Scented candles and air fresheners will add to the ambience. Mix rough with smooth, bold with delicate and light with dark to create an interest that engages all the senses. And now the weather s finally on the up, don’t forget your outdoor spaces too, maybe this year is the year you treat yourself to a garden lounger for one or two lazy sunny afternoons?

 

And when all this is done you can relax and enjoy smooth opening drawers, uncluttered cupboards and everything where it should be. Your house will feel light, fresh and clean and you can get in the mood for enjoying the summer ahead.

 

Bonne chance!