Reached peak boredom yet?
We’re all guilty of avoiding the big spring clean, and not to sound corny, but there really is no time like the present. With nowhere to go and no one to see, we literally have no excuses to keep putting it off – and no, finishing that series on Netflix definitely doesn’t constitute as a valid reason. Before you get cracking, check out Secret Manchester’s top tips for effectively spring cleaning your home and your mind during the quarantine.
1. Start by decluttering
Spotted clothes on the floor that you don’t actually like anymore? Now’s the time to part ways. Start your spring clean by getting rid of things you don’t want or need anymore – and be ruthless with it. Say goodbye to hoarded carrier bags, throw out old clothes that you haven’t worn in a while, and even rummage through the cupboards for old pans that have seen better days. There’s a ton of clothing and shoe recycling centres around the UK, and apps such as Depop are perfect for selling on unwanted items for a bit of extra pocket money.
Not only should you re-evaluate worn items, but things that take up a lot of room, too. If you live in a small apartment, there’s nothing worse than having to leave things in the hallway or bedroom. It’s healthy to reassess whether you actually need these items, or whether they’d be appreciated more in a new home. Tidy house tidy mind, after all.
2. Do a room at a time
For the most effective spring clean, try not to cram it all into one day. Take your time, clear out your home just one room at a time. Not only will this allow you to stay occupied for a few days, but it’ll also give you more time to focus on the hidden corners of every room, as well as give you time to check out all the cool stuff you find along the way. Additionally, spending that extra time in one particular space will allow you to be extra thorough, and ensure you don’t miss anything along the way.
3. Create a system that’s easy to keep tidy
If you keep finding the same things worming their way into a messy pile every single week, then it’s probably time to re-evaluate how you store things. Invest in some storage boxes or find space in drawers where you can easily put these things when you’re finished with them. Everything should have a ‘home’, and that home isn’t the middle of your bedroom floor… Or ‘the chair’ for that matter.
Budget stores such as IKEA and Wilko have a ton of storage solutions for those who are lacking in space, with foldable boxes, cute baskets and tall, seagrass style baskets that are great for sticking with your general “aesthetic”.
4. Don’t forget about the nooks and crannies
While it might be tempting, try not to skip the neglected parts of the house when spring cleaning. There’s a ton of things we often forget need cleaning, such as sweeping brushes, hoovers, windows, rugs, cupboards, ovens, microwaves and fridges (to name a few).
If you’re planning a deep clean, it’s worth adding all of these things to your list for maximum shininess and fulfilment. Plus, nobody likes a mouldy microwave.
5. Lemons are your best friend
You might think of lemons as just a nice little garnish for your G&T, but they’re actually so much more than that. Who knew? Forget the £1 sanitiser sat in the cupboard, because lemons often top them all thanks to their acidity. Rub them against chopping boards to quickly remove stains, use them to create your own cheap cleaning solution and literally clean everything and anything with them. Not only do they prove surprisingly effective, but they also smell pretty damn good, too. Once you’ve finished your big clean, pop a lemon wedge in the sink for freshness and one in your glass of gin for flavour.
6. Declutter your phone
Thought you’d finished your spring clean? Not quite. Don’t stop at just your physical surroundings. Have a digital declutter, too. Say goodbye to unused apps and old photos that no longer make you feel good. We’re all guilty of hoarding images from as far back as the dank meme era, and it’s likely half of them don’t serve their purpose anymore. If you can’t bring yourself to part with the majority of your camera roll, store them on an online drive (such as Dropbox or Google Drive), or simply check through for any duplicates that you can delete. Once you’ve completed that, it’s time to tackle to contacts. Sorry ‘Tinder Joe’, but you gotta go.
7. Meditate in your newly clean space
Now onto the mind. While a clean, tidy space can definitely help maintain your wellbeing, it’s important to make time for it, too. Once your home looking sparkling, it’s time to declutter the mind and boost your mood. Check out some online Yoga sessions or use a meditation app, such as Headspace, to rid yourself of any negative feelings and reach a relaxed state – perfect for enjoying your newly refreshed surroundings. A piece of ‘daily zen’ will not only have you feeling pretty great for the day ahead, but also kickstart your motivation for keeping your place looking spick and span while you’re spending more time there.
8. Add a scent to your home
One thing that we can all agree on: it’s not a big clean without lighting a candle at the end of it. And while it feels amazing to put your feet up after a successful day gutting your home, it’s also great to associate your place with a warming, signature scent. Use scented candles, diffusers or plug-in scents to keep your home smelling beautiful, especially in the kitchen and living areas where the stench of food can easily take over the space. It’ll make walking into your house after a long day feel 50% more satisfying.