Nothing raises the spirits more than the sight of bright green leaves appearing on the trees. Their vibrancy announces the arrival of what will hopefully be another sun-filled summer ahead. So with a good dose of optimism, it’s time to shake off those winter blues. And what better way to do this than to bring a bit of sunshine into your home with a good old spring clean. Here are nine tips for how to successfully tackle a spring clean in your home.
Tip 1: The 7-up challenge
The first place to start is to clear out all of the stuff that has been accumulating over the years. Place a box in an out-of-the-way place, behind a door or in a corner, and start to fill it with the items you don’t need, don’t love, or just aren’t sure about. This will help you rate each item out of 10 and those that get lower than 7 go in the box. Only those with a rating of 7 or upwards get to stay. Once you have filled the box, or indeed boxes, let it/them sit for a week so you become fully detached, and then you’ll know whether to toss it, donate it or give it away.
Tip 2: Earn some extra Euros
Once you’ve identified what bits and pieces who don’t want, think about putting them up on a site such as Done Deal or Buy and sell – your unwanted things could actually be a way of making a few extra Euro. Try e-bay or Buy and Sell. If you figure no one will want to pay for you cast-offs then look no further than www.freecycle.net . You’ll be amazed at what people would love to get their hands on.
Tip 3: Get organised
Now that you have removed all your unwanted items, you need to stop more unwanted stuff coming into the house. To help you control what comes into your home, create a space by the front door where you can drop your stuff and sort your post when you come home. A console table with a bowl for keys and tray for mail , a mirror, hooks for coats and hats, and most importantly a waste basket will help you to control the flow of items coming into the house. A no junk mail sign is highly recommended if you don’t have one already.
Tip 4: Clear the decks
This is something that I can’t stress enough. Try to get as much of your stuff up off your floors as possible. Most homes – big or small — have lot of vertical space left unused, so add some shelves or storage options that take advantage of those high walls and keep the floors clear. This is particularly effective in utility spaces, things like ironing boards, brushes, mops and clothes drying apparatus can all by hung up on the wall or backs of doors freeing up valuable floor space.
Tip 5: Find a place for everything
Now that you have tackled the clutter, you need to put some order on the things that are left. Creating designated storage solutions for your items is far more effective than creating lots of all-purpose store cupboards where things get put without any real thought. It will mean that you know where to put things and most importantly where to find them. This is especially good practice for storing children’s things. Make sure their things are accessible and it might even encourage them to put things away.
Tip 6: Refresh something old
Tired of that dark wood dining table or chest of drawers? Why not get repaint it? This is something that you can do yourself, making it a really cost effective option to replacing a large piece of furniture. As long as it is solid timber it should be easy to paint.
Tip 7: Reorganise your shelves
We all have stuff, books, photos, vases, bits and pieces that we picked up on our travels and often they are simply placed on a shelf without much thought. However, with a little planning and sorting, your shelves can be a striking display that give your room that bolt of impact it’s crying out for. This is a great way to create impact without spending anything at all. Group similar shaped or textured items together, uneven numbers work best such as 3’s and 5’s. Things that are the same shape and size can be displayed in a row side-by-side. Place heavy items on the lower shelves to avoid a top heavy look.
Tip 8: The power of paint
Bring some colour into your home, throughout the Design Doctors series we used paint to completely transform rooms, we use dark colours to make large spaces feel more intimate and also make small spaces feel larger. And don’t be afraid to try something completely different. What is really interesting is that the schemes where we can actually convince clients to move outside their comfort zone are the ones which are the most successful and the ones where the clients are happiest and feel really proud of themselves for trying something new. Be brave, it will really pay off.
Tip 9: Fill those bare walls
Nothing adds the finishing touches to a room like hanging art or pictures on the walls. Whether it’s a collection of family photos or a statement piece of art, dressing the walls is so important. When hanging a collection, be it photos or pictures, don’t be afraid to mix and match, For example, group a collection of family photos in colour and black & white but make sure the frame colour is the same, or mix your frames but make sure that all the photos are either colour or black and white – the trick is top to keep one constant.
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Have you given your home a Spring clean? Share your tips and tricks for banishing clutter in the comments below.