13 shortcuts that will save you time and make your house shine.

We’ve all spent a huge amount of time in our homes over the last year and so they’ve taken a hammering. It’s time then to think about a deep clean, turning your attention to every nook, cranny and surface. Take back control of your home, mops and dusters to the ready: put dust to shame.

Before embarking on a spring clean, head to Lakeland home of kitchenware and homeware, to ensure you have all the cleaning tools and products to do the job properly. Chances are you’ve seen a useful gadget to use about the house and it’s likely to be found on Lakeland’s easy-to-use website.

This family-owned business, which was founded in the early 60s, has led the way in organising our homes. From the plastic freezer bags and foil containers that were one of the company’s first products, it is now a global force for utensils, preserving essentials, innovative cookware and so much more.

Declutter


You may have embarked on a major clear out in your home in 2020, attacking cupboards and drawers, recycling and throwing out things you no longer need or that are just plain tired. It’s surprising though, how quickly you can refill empty spaces and so, it’s perhaps time to have another declutter. There is a sense of satisfaction once your clutter is more manageable and under control.

Remember Marie Kondo’s words when decluttering. Only keep the things you really love, the possessions that spark joy. She believes that having a tidy home will improve your life, so it’s worth a go.

We are big fans of The Home Edit, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, who show you how to make every organised space a colour coded work of art and worthy of an Instagram post. See their Netflix series for inspiration.

Put method into organising your belongings: invest in clear storage containers and boxes.Whether you’re sorting out a cupboard in the bathroom or utilising space under beds, there’s a suitable container that will keep items dust free and clean.



Room-by-room guide


Organisation is key when spring cleaning your home. If you have your belongings under control, the task is not so daunting, nor time consuming. Of course, having the best tools and products to hand, makes the job easier so be sure to follow our recommendations.

We recommend working from the inside to out, tackling your storage spaces first, post declutter. Once wiped down and vacuumed, make the effort to line drawers and cupboards. Old offcuts of wallpaper or wrapping paper work well. Only then once you’ve completed this task, should you move on to the surfaces in your home.

We suggest starting with bedrooms and bathrooms, before moving onto the parts of your home that get the heaviest use.

Bedrooms

Having organised cupboards and drawers, turn your attention to walls and windows, wiping down and cleaning. Vacuum curtains and blinds, wipe lampshades. Flip your mattress, a job you should do every six months. Wash pillows: most can be washed in a domestic washing machine. Valances, bed covers should be cleaned too. If you’ve got carpet or a rug in your bedroom, consider shampooing it.



Bathrooms

Check your bathroom cabinet and throw out products that have passed their use by date. Use this time to clean make up brushes too. Now tackle the bigger things, bath, shower, basin and loo. Give tiles a good wipe down and clean the grouting. If you’ve got a shower curtain, replace it with something bright and colourful.



Living room / dining room

Start with the soft furnishings, hoovering the sofa and armchairs, curtains or blinds. Remove cushion covers, throws and wash. Lampshades should be wiped down. The TV is a dust magnet is best cleaned using a micro-fibre cloth which attracts the dirt. Remote controls should get the same treatment and finish off by sanitising. Shampoo rugs and carpets. Polish wooden furniture and glass.



Playroom

Wash plastic toys in soap and water. Organise into categories and tidy books onto shelves. Kids respond to organisation and they’ll play with renewed enthusiasm. Try to keep everything tidy moving forward.


3 Grey & Green Storage Baskets



Home office

Whether you’ve got a standalone room or just a desk, it’s important to keep this in order. It makes working so much easier and your brain will be more efficient. Invest in shelves, desk tidies, pencil pots and what’s more, it’ll make everything look so much nicer. Don’t forget to give keyboards a good spruce. It’s surprising, and rather horrific, the dust and crumbs that collect around the keys, especially as many of us are having lunch al desko these days.

Don’t forget to organise cables from computers, printers, phone chargers.

Paperwork: if you’ve collected a mass of it and haven’t had to look at it in a long while, chuck it out. The same goes for magazines.



Kitchen

The kitchen is probably the most labour intensive area when spring cleaning your home, as you’ve got just about everything and the kitchen sink to consider. Using the starting from within method, do the grotty jobs first, like cleaning the oven, microwave, fridge and freezer. Use the time to discard old tins, jars and packets, food that’s been in the freezer so long you can’t remember what it is. Defrost both the fridge and freezer and then wipe down thoroughly before switching back on.

Try to keep worktops free from clutter. The addition of a small shelf could change the dynamics of the way in which your kitchen works. Think about ways to work more efficiently when cooking or getting a cup of tea. Are the tea bags stored close to the kettle, that sort of thing.

And only then once you’ve got the above sorted, attack the kitchen with the best cleaning products and tools for the job and make it gleam.



Hallway

Make sure you have sufficient hanging space and storage for coats, jackets and shoes. If not, invest in coat hooks and shoe racks. Don’t forget to give the door mat a good bash outside to remove dust and dirt.



Garage

You’re lucky if you‘ve got a garage but on the other hand, they are great places to dump things you don’t need in your house. Be brave and throw out things you haven’t used in a while. Invest in some utility shelving for tools or sports equipment. Once everything is tidied away and off the floor, it won’t take long to sweep and clean the floor and wipe down surfaces.



Spring cleaning tips


Don’t forget to replace batteries in smoke alarms. Clean light fixtures and replace light bulbs where necessary. Wipe down doors, including outer doors and sanitise door handles, windows, handles and light switches. Replace the filter in kitchen extractors. Also clean behind radiators too, you never know what you might find.



Spring cleaning hacks



Buy a Lazy Susan

Lazy Susans are useful on shelves in cupboards and fridges, giving you easy access all round.


OXO Good Grips Not-So-Lazy Susan Turntable


Use lemon to clean stainless steel taps

Cut a lemon in half and run around tap bases to remove hard water stains.

Steam clean your microwave

Fill a bowl with half a pint of water and add two tablespoons of wine vinegar. Put on full power for five minutes and then wipe down sides and remove food stains.

Clean windows on a cloudy day

The glass will drive slower without sun and should be streak free.

Your dishwasher can wash more than dishes

Not just restricted to the daily detritus of washing up from meals, you can use the dishwasher to clean a number of other things, from dog bowls, ceramic plant pots, plastic kids’ toys, refrigerator shelves to showerheads.

Drying laundry

There's no need to rely on sunshine to dry your washes. Get fresh laundry from washing machine back to cupboards and drawers quickly with an electric airer. They are very efficient, costing less than 6p per hour to run and are made from lightweight aluminium.


Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer


Washing machine

Make sure your machine is clean on the inside. Put a slug of white wine vinegar and baking soda directly into the drum and put on an empty wash at a high temperature. It'll soon sparkle.

Drains

Do the spring clean properly and give your drains a once over as well.Enzyme Cleaning Sticks work a treat. Just drop one into the plughole and let the natural enzymes do the rest.

Spring cleaning advice


The internet is awash with advice on how to clean your home. Sophie Hinchcliffe, aka Mrs Hinch, has made a career out of housework, her books being on Amazon’s bestselling list, Hinch Yourself Happy: All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink.

And once you’ve got the job done, put your feet up and take the time to enjoy your gleaming home.

February 2021

Created in partnership with Lakeland

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