It’s that time of year when windows fly open, cupboards are attacked with dusters and even the microwave is blitzed. Yes, spring cleaning is here! This is a tradition that goes way back. But where does it come from?
Spring cleaning is linked to different religious and cultural origins from the celebration of the Persian new year in spring to Christian’s cleaning the church altar for Passover. Cleaning homes in spring, usually March and April time, quite often took place in countries which had cold and wet climates. During winter, homes became coated in layers of soot from fires and oil lamps. Spring was the perfect time to open windows on warmer days and clean away the soot. In recent years celebrity experts have offered us advice on how to spring clean our homes effectively and thoroughly. Even Marie Kondo, the famous expert on decluttering, has made spring cleaning into an art of beauty and joy.
As more of us have been spending time in the home, perhaps even trying to survive working from home, it has become more important than ever to look after our living space. So now it’s time to inspire you with 5 useful tips to freshen your home.
1. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Did you know there are plenty of items in your home you can use for cleaning? Lemons are antibacterial so little surprised they are used in many household cleaners. There’s baking soda, vinegar, even olive oil, which is great for shining stainless-steel appliances. The good thing about freshening up your home with natural ingredients is that they do not contain harmful chemicals and are cost effective.
If you don’t want to go down the home-made natural route, how about considering introducing some of the eco-friendly products already on the market? Interestingly, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) can be used to clean your entire house! It tackles odours, it can even unblock your kitchen sink and remove stains from almost everything including your favourite mugs.
2. Freshen your kitchen bin
A thorough spring clean usually includes the entire house. Most people concentrate on windows, cupboards, floors, walls, kitchen appliances and surfaces. Try not to forget smaller, ordinary, everyday objects like your kitchen bin. Bins can have an unpleasant smell so don't forget to give them a regular rinse. Sprinkle the bottom of the bin with some baking soda which is excellent for absorbing nasty smells. Add a few slices of lemon on the base too which will make the bin smell fresher. You can even wipe the lid and handle over with the cut side of a lemon as it has antibacterial properties which keeps all surfaces clean and hygienic.
3. Donate to Charity
Decluttering has many positives. It gives you more space. Also, it gives you the opportunity to replace items you no longer want or use. You can always replace these with ones you will find a purpose for. Experts have linked a decluttered home to health benefits such as, reducing stress. Also, as many accidents happen in our homes, it could help to prevent injuries.
Decluttering does not mean a minimalist way of life, it just means you get to keep the things you want. By donating unused or old objects to a charity you are helping to raise funds for their cause and create a safe, healthy home for yourself.
4. Freshen Pet Spaces
As much as cats and dogs may object to their bedding and favourite toys being washed, they cannot escape the big spring clean! It’s usually a good idea to check their toys. Ripped open toys may require washing or mending or even disposing of. You can easily wash their bowls and hard toys in the dishwasher. Use a pet neutraliser spray for the bedding and any soft furnishings they may (or may not be) permitted to sit on. Baking soda, water and a touch of white vinegar in a spray bottle is ideal to use to get rid of any stale odours. It works well as a urine neutraliser on floors and carpets too if ever you need it. Once your pet space is clean and fresh, just think of all the fun they will have messing it up again!
5. Add Greenery
Plants are perfect for freshening up your home. They improve the air quality indoors and look fresh and attractive. Plants can brighten any room, the kitchen, bathroom and living areas including a study or office if you work from home. Experts have linked indoor plants with increased creativity, they can boost moods, reduce stress and eliminate pollutants. One study linked indoor plants to reduced blood pressure and headaches. Why not introduce a window-ledge herb garden in your home? You will not only benefit health wise but be able to use them for cooking and baking. There’s also the wonderful aroma from fresh herbs to fill your home every day.
A clean home has many health benefits. It can prevent us from becoming ill, help strengthen our immune system and reduce stress and depression. With these 5 useful tips on how to freshen your home, spring cleaning just got better!