During the winter months we tend to huddle indoors around the fire or the TV. As spring approaches, change things around a little and move some seating near the windows. This will allow you to enjoy views of the new leaves and flowers as they emerge.
Think about how each piece of furniture adds to your use of the room. If anything doesn’t fulfil its intended purpose, you could find a better place for it, or consider recycling or selling it on.
As you take everything out to clean your kitchen cupboards and drawers, don’t put it back until you’ve decluttered. Evaluate the gadgets you keep at the back of deep cupboards and decide which ones you really want to keep. Also, go through your store cupboard and throw away anything that’s out of date.
Reorganise your items before you put them away, and allocate specific areas for similar goods. For example, you could put all your baking ingredients on one shelf and main meal components on another. Ensure frequently used gadgets are easily accessible.
A kitchen can easily look messy when clutter hot spots start to build up. Re-evaluate your storage and think of ways it could work better. How about fixing a wire rack to the inside of a door near your sink so you can store the washing-up liquid and cloths out of sight, but close to hand? Free up some space by moving some items from a base unit to a different spot, in order to squeeze in some recycling bins.
What piles up in your living room – magazines, toys, DVDs? Before you think about storage, look at ways you could declutter. Take this opportunity to evaluate the things you truly appreciate, and either move or recycle the others.
Once you’ve streamlined your possessions, invest in some suitable storage. This could be a magazine rack, a more efficient DVD rack, or floor-level toy drawers. Your living area should now be easier to clean, and the space will have room to breathe.
Before you freshen up your bedroom, be sure to pull everything away from the walls. Deal with items that have ended up under your bed – accidentally or otherwise! A bedroom is best kept as clear as possible to provide a restful space, so be ruthless when dealing with items stored under the bed or on top of the wardrobe. Underbed storage should be sturdy, easy to clean and simple to move. Try to avoid the temptation to just stash away things that you can’t bring yourself to part with yet.
If you’re packing away your winter throws and blankets, make sure they’re clean before you put them away. Have a look around the room to see what else is looking dusty or wintry, and either clean it or think about giving it away to charity.
Keep things fresh by popping a cedar block or lavender in the box or cupboard they’re being stored away in.
If you’re fortunate enough to have space for a separate utility room, it’s likely this room works pretty hard for you. Sports kits, muddy pets, DIY tools and wellies will all bring in mud, dust and leaves, and result in a chaotic room if not managed properly.
As you begin a deep clean, consider if you have enough suitable storage to corral all the different things that pass through this room. Sturdy plastic boxes that are easy to clean can be placed inside cupboards. Strong hooks on the wall, or back of doors are great for keeping coats, dog leads and kit bags off the floor and other surfaces, while wicker baskets can be used for dirty laundry.
If you’re planning a good floor scrub as part of your spring clean, assess all the items that currently reside on your floor. All these things will get in the way of your regular cleaning routines, so they must earn their right to be there. A good plan is to keep anything that’s used on a daily basis in the same spot. Anything used less frequently or that has ended up there unintentionally should ideally be found somewhere else to live.
If you have the luxury of a real fireplace, you’ll be well aware of the dust and mess it creates. As spring arrives and you’re using the fire less, think about how you store fuel, both inside and out. A log basket and small bucket for kindling and matches can help keep these items tidy indoors. And a well-organised log stack outside will help to keep you happy on a wet windy night next winter – so invest the time now while you remember!
To prepare for spring – re-imagine your fire as a backdrop to some lush plants, or maybe add some twinkly fairy lights to brighten up the fireplace without the need to light a fire. Don’t forget the chimney, and book your annual appointment with the chimney sweep.