So the season of spring is upon us and that can only mean one thing… time to clean up and refresh our tired and cluttered home and gardens that have suffered the wrath of Christmas and Winter! I don’t know about you but I find myself dreading the big ol’ overhaul of my house and garden so I thought it entirely necessary to enlist the assistance of a few leading brands to show me the way through the trauma; I have actually found that I am now rocking my spring clean and declutter and enjoying it, weirdly… so these are my helpful tips to help you rock your own spring clean.
Ok so after Christmas we are all left feeling like our homes have been invaded by Santa bringing the entire contents of Toys R Us to our living spaces and there are piles and piles of unused toys and accessories and toiletries… lets face it there is a definite ‘Christmas Clutter’ that lingers until the spring am I right? Christmas Clutter is now a thing; Ive made it a thing.
I find the easiest way to take said Christmas Clutter is to take it room by room. I usually start with the living area as it is the main room that guests will see and you and your family will feel naturally more able to relax in a tidy living area.
So I make piles (please bear in mind that it will undoubtedly look so much more of a mess before you see the light at the end of the clutter tunnel) Four piles to be precise; a pile of things to keep, things to sell, things to chuck and things to take upstairs.
Continue on this fashion for every room and soon you will have a concise lot of items to keep, sell or chuck.
When it comes to selling our unwanted possessions there are several ways of doing it; I find the best way is to do a car boot sale. If you are feeling like you have a few items you would rather sell for more that punters pay at car booties then there is Ebay or buy and sell groups on Facebook which I have used before. If you are left with and random items then just take them to a charity shop.
This time of year sees everyone taking their unwanted possessions to the tip so take the advantage of the mediocre weather (as if its too nice you would probably rather be doing something far more appealing!) and do a tip run.
Ok, so you’ve got rid of the unwanted clutter and now is the time to clean before popping everything back or refreshing your space. If you are anything like me your head will be spinning with the plethora of products on the market. I have genuinely never found one that works for me; I tend to just buy the supermarket own brand or whatever is on offer!
I was sent a box of cleaning goodies to try from Astonish, a cruelty free, British brand of cleaning products for all aspects of the home and also your car. I had actually never heard of them before but recognised the logo when I received the products and both my Mother and my partners Mother mentioned they owned and used Astonish products regularly!
I was intrigued by the ‘cruelty free’ claim and to be honest that was the main reason I agreed to collaborate with them as I thought that was really inspirational. The pride themselves on being ‘kind to people (we love making cleaning tasks quicker & easier for you) and kind to animals’ and achieve this by not only not testing any of their products on animals but also not using any ingredients that are animal derived. Astonishing (sorry… couldnt resist!)
They are therefore approved by Cruelty Free International, Vegan and Vegetarian Society approved.
In terms of cleaning ability, I was dubious as didn’t think they would have the harshness that it might take to do a good cleaning job but I was totally surprised. In the bathroom especially I was really shocked at the sparkle that came off of my taps and the mould and mildew spray has definitely kept damp at bay as I haven’t had to use it again since I was first sent it! (We have a small, not very well ventilated and not entirely tiled bathroom so mould does spot on the walls but the shower occasionally; love renting…)
It smells pretty lush too; no harsh chemical aromas that sully linger after a thorough clean.
Refresh your space
After the labours of love involved in cleaning your abode, have a look at possibly refreshing your space by rearranging furniture (Ive been told that rubbing ice cubes over the marks left behind by furniture on carpets does wonders!), investing in some ingenious storage solutions and hanging those pictures or canvasses (or getting some to brighten up your space if you daunt have any!)
So I would totally recommend either IKEA or STORE for storage solutions for your home. There are some really great storage ideas out there for refreshing your space and decluttering things; personally Im not a fan of lots of things being ‘on show’ or lots of things on the floor so love a big ol’ unit with drawers and shelves to keep everything contained!
If you aren’t a dab hand with a hammer and nails (or if you have run out spaces to hang, your walls are not nail friendly like some of ours or like us your renting and can’t make too many holes!) I highly recommend Command products. I had seen them advertised before and when they offered to send me some products to try out I was definitely up for giving them a go as we have some questionable wall spaces that we really wanted to fill.
In our living area there is a door that, quite pointlessly, cuts through to the hallway but is painted shut. So there is just a huge white painted door behind our vinyl sound system that looked, quite frankly, hideous and we have been meaning to try and attempt to cover it with something ever since we first moved in.
The Command picture hanging kit was so simple and easy to use, even for my partner who is, verging on being an ‘instruction phobe’ and I think it looks pretty lush to be honest! Really strong hold too…
Over the Winter months our gardens begin to look a little worse for ware bless them, so first things first grab a large garden waste bag and tackle all the old browning debris with a funky pair of gloves (Mine are from Lidl, who currently have their gardening week on at the moment actually)
We tend to be avoiders of the tip over Christmas and yet accumulate a lot of empty bottles (alcoholic mainly of course… how else does one get through the Winter?!) so just do a huge sweep of the garden and get back to a clean slate to work with here.
Its prime gardening time so plant some fresh and colourful bulbs, trim the lawn for the firs time since last summer, trim those hedges and prune those bushes.
Get your garden in BBQ mode.
Then… after all that hard work my friends… grab a huge glass of wine, kick back and enjoy your fresh crib!
*This is a collaborative post. I was sent products for review but all opinions are my own.