You know the saying ‘Tidy kitchen, tidy mind’. This goes for not only the kitchen but all of the rooms in your house. When you have clutter-free space, you instantly feel calmer and more relaxed, and by having less clutter, it becomes easier to tidy up every day.
It is important to be mindful when clearing out your unwanted belongings as it will just add to an ever-increasing landfill problem. When doing a clear out, make 4 piles; Bin, recycle, give away and put away.
The bin is for anything that cannot be recycled and is broken or very used, however, this should be a last resort.
Clothes and shoes can be recycled by various retailer-run recycling programmes or at your clothes and shoes local recycling bin. Broken items of furniture or damaged electrical appliances can be taken to your local recycling centre. If you are unsure where your local recycling centre or bin is, head to www.recyclenow.com, where they have a useful search tool to find out what types of items you can recycle and where.
Before throwing anything out, ask yourself if you could make anything new from the item. Upcycling is a great way to turn unwanted items into something tailored to your style. Whether that be a dress that you’d like to sew into a top or a cupboard that needs some updating. This is not only an eco-friendly way of adding new life to old items, but it can also be a lot of fun and you can learn a new skill along the way.
If you are unsure about upcycling, there are plenty of inspirational and educational videos on home DIY’s on YouTube to avoid any mistakes.
Anything that you don’t use that isn’t faulty or too damaged can go in this pile. When making this pile, think about who you want to give or sell it to.
Charity shops are always after new clothes to sell and they will happily take your unwanted belongings. You can take your clothes to your local charity shop or a charity shop in particular that you’d like to support once they are open on the 12th of April. You can also deliver your items to a charity of your choice free of postage charge. Charities such as British Heart Foundation are asking you to use their freepost service and other charities have asked you to hold on to your items until the shops can re-open.
Somebody in your family or a close friend might take it off your hands and put it to good use, it’s always worth asking them.
If it is in good condition, you could sell it on various 2nd hand shopping sites such as; eBay, Vinted, Depop, Gumtree or Shpock. Make sure the images are clear, the description is honest and don’t forget about the postage and packaging costs.
And finally, anything you still need but not for a few months can go into storage. To make things easier for your future self, put the items into a reusable heavy-duty plastic box/ bag or a large cardboard box and write exactly what is inside. You may think you have a great memory, but a few months will pass, and you will have completely forgotten what’s inside!
Putting the things, you use frequently away correctly is just as important. Now that you have cleared your unwanted belongings, try to put things back in an organised manner. Bring items you use frequently to the front, so they are easily accessible and try to hide messy items. Depending on the items, often you can organise and hide messy belongings by using different types of storage items.
Built-in storage, desk organisers, cable organisers, storage-friendly furniture, decorative baskets and different sized storage boxes are just some examples of storage to keep your house looking tidy.
Now that the clutter has been tackled, it’s time to get cleaning.
You may think you need a different cleaning product for every different surface in your house but despite what Mrs Hinch says, constantly buying plastic bottles is not good for the planet and it also adds unnecessary clutter. Stick to one multi-surface cleaner and cloth for the whole house and only buy purpose-made products when you need them.
Even better still, you can purchase reusable glass bottles to avoid plastic and opt for products such as, multi-purpose refill sachets by Ocean Saver or concentrated disinfectant such as Zoflora which you only need to use a small amount at one time. Once you have used up all of your other cleaning products and correctly recycled the bottles, you will have a clean and tidy cupboard under the sink.
If you are really struggling to find some motivation to clean, put some upbeat music on, or attempt to clean whilst you’re waiting for the dinner to cook in the oven. More often than not, you will be surprised how quickly things can be cleaned when there is a time limit.
Dusting should be done frequently, and it really helps if your space is clear of clutter to get the job done quicker. Along with dusting, a thorough vacuum around the whole house will help to lift the carpets and get rid of dust and dirt.
Along with your all-purpose spray, use the natural properties of lemons to your advantage.
Wipe away any bad smells from the fridge with a slice of lemon and give it a thorough clean getting rid of any bacteria with the all-purpose cleaner. Take all of the contents out of the fridge, if you have a large fridge, take out sections at a time to avoid the food getting warm. I would recommend doing this just before a food shop as there will be less food in the fridge.
When cleaning the inside of the microwave, cut up a lemon and put it in a bowl of water, set the microwave to 2 minutes or until the water is boiling and the glass is steamed up then leave the water in the microwave to cool down. Once it’s cool, take it out and give the inside and outside a wipe and it should now smell lemony fresh!
Check the label and follow the correct washing guidelines to ensure you don’t damage the item. Having clean fabrics around the house will not only kill any odour and bacteria but it will also give off a nice smell.
The oven is the one household appliance that we all dread to clean as there are hard-to-reach areas and they get very greasy. Depending on your oven, there will be an instructions manual on how to clean it, so we recommend following this to ensure the best results for your oven. Once you finished cleaning the main oven and hobs, don’t forget about the extractor fan. There is often a detachable element that enables you to clean it thoroughly.
After you have tackled the house, don’t forget to give your car a little spring clean too!
With these tips and suggestions, we hope to make this year’s spring clean a little easier for you whilst helping you to think more eco-friendlier.