Spring Cleaning – Make the most of your Home Space

This article will give you a room by room guide to maximise your home’s true potential. By spending some time now clearing out clutter and getting organised you will save time in the long run, time you can use to enjoy your home with family and friends. U Store It offers storage space that can take as little as a few boxes to a truck load, so whether it’s clearing out books to make room on the shelves or having somewhere to store your ski gear once the season has passed, U Store It can help you create space while allowing you to keep hold of your favourite possessions.

 

Where to Start Your Home Spring Clean?

Step 1: Analysis of Areas

Grab a notepad and pencil. Take 30 minutes to mentally survey each room, make sure to include your garden and shed. Jot down the problem areas in each room, the items to list are parts of the room that really bug you, or that your family finds really hard to keep tidy.

Tip: Make sure to open all storage compartments such as wardrobes, cupboards, bathroom storage, medicine cabinets, under stairs etc… We don’t always see the disorder in these areas until we open them to try and find stuff.

Step 2: Ask yourself why?

For each problem area in a room, figure out why the clutter and mess it happening. Often the answer is very simple and it’s because people who are using the room are not putting stuff back properly, but sometimes there may be multiple reasons why an area of your home is continually untidy.

For example:

Why are winter coats piled up at the bottom of the staircase? You should store seasonal winter coats out of sight but you may also need some extra coat storage in your hallway.

Continue this process for each of the problems in the room, writing down each of the reasons for each problem in your notepad and do this for each room. When you have listed all of the problem areas then move onto Step 3.

Step 3: Finding Solutions

Now it’s time to find ways to fix these problems. Think about behaviours, habits and solutions to make all the mess disappear. Can the problem be resolved with simply additional storage space or is it peoples behavioural habits that need to change, or is it a combination of both. Keep in mind that the best organizing system of shelves, hooks or storage containers does no good if it is not utilized.

Step 4: Action

If when you went through your home you had only a few problem areas, then you can probably implement all of your changes immediately. Begin by making a list of equipment needed from your list of solutions (Step 3). Buy what’s needed and make a start. It is worth noting that while a straightforward solution of putting up some shelves may be the answer for some problems the behavioural changes needed to keeping a room tidy may require some motivational skills for long lasting results.

Evaluate yourself and those who live in the home on a daily basis until each room suddenly seems to have removed itself as the source of your frustration.

If you have substantially more work to do, do not expect that you will be able to instantly do all the changes you wish, especially if your solutions require a big budget to complete. Focus on one room at a time and over time you will be get every room complete.

 Living-room:

  1. Start with a 15 minute Living-room clean-up. This will clear the clutter and give you room for the actual spring clean-up. Leave the floors, we will do this later.
  2. Get all the areas up high, curtain poles, air vents, ceilings (cobwebs) etc…
  3. Dust and clean all pictures and mirrors, never spray water or cleanser onto the frame. The liquid and seep in behind the glass and damage the picture. Instead, use a lightly wet cloth to wipe the frame.
  4. Take down curtains and blinds to wash or have cleaned, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Clean windowsills and corners. Wash windows (inside and outside), this will bring in a huge amount of natural light to the room.
  5. Dust and clean out couches and chairs: Use a vacuum cleaner with attachments to clean out couch crevices. Clean slipovers, accent pillows, etc… You can use a spot cleaner to if your couch is in need of a light clean. Test in a hidden area first. For a deeper clean you may want to hire a professional.
  6. Dust down and clean all lampshades and any ornaments.
  7. Remove books from the bookshelves and dust down the books plus the shelves.
  8. Dust down all electrical AV equipment like TV, DVD, and Speakers etc…
  9. Clean Carpets, Rugs and Wooden flooring, if your carpets and rugs are heavily soiled it may be wise to call a professional, if they are only lightly soiled then spot treatment may be all that is required.
  10. Clean Doormats, Inside and Outside doorways. This will help prevent dirt transferring from outside to inside.

Tips:

  1. Partner up with a friend or relative, many hands make light work.
  2. Buy all the supplies you need before you start, this will save time once you start.
  3. Listen to music, this will help the time pass quickly and create a nice atmosphere.

 

Kitchen:

  1. Start with a 15 minute Kitchen Clean-up. This will clear the dirty dishes and clutter, and give you room to do a full spring clean. Leave cleaning the floors until the end.
  2. Dust and clean from the top down, so start with any ceiling cobwebs and move down to things like curtain poles, vents, pictures and blinds.
  3. Kitchen units (exterior) and splash-back tiles, these will need particular attention to remove grease, grime and spilled food.
  4. Dust and clean the extractor fan, depending on the type of fan you have you may be able to remove the filter and wash it with either oil soap or plenty of washing up liquid in hot water.
  5. Take down curtains and blinds to wash or have cleaned, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Clean windowsills and corners. Wash windows (inside and outside), this will bring in a huge amount of natural light to the room.
  6. Apply oven cleaner to the oven. Tip: leave a window open avoid the overpowering smell.
  7. Clean the Refrigerator; ideally do this when you are low on food. Bin any out of date food and items that you bought and never used. Put stuff to keep on the counter. Take out each of the refrigerator shelves and drawers. Wash them down, being careful with glass units. Wipe down the entire inside of the refrigerator and freezer before replacing shelves and food.
  8. Clean all small appliances like the toaster, blender and microwave. Tip: when cleaning the microwave, try bring a water filled bowl with a freshly cut lemon to boiling in the microwave, the steam will loosen any food stains.
  9. Run the dishwasher empty, first empty out the food trap at the bottom of the machine, then fill the machine with dishwasher salt, rinse aid and add a tablet.
  10. Open up each of your kitchen presses, this is an ideal time to take stock of what you have and what you actually need. You could install drawer dividers to better organise your kitchen drawers.
  11. Hoover the floor and then mop, remember to clean kicker boards of any scuff marks.

Tips:

  1. Partner up with a friend or relative, many hands make light work.
  2. Buy all the supplies you need before you start, this will save time once you start.
  3. Listen to music, this will help the time pass quickly and create a nice atmosphere.

 

Dining Room:

  1. Start with a 10 minute Dining-room Clean-up. This will clear the dirty dishes and clutter, and give you room to do a full spring clean. Leave cleaning the floors until the end.
  2. Dust and clean from the top down, so start with any ceiling cobwebs and move down to things like curtain poles, vents, pictures and blinds.
  3. Dust and clean all pictures and mirrors never spray water or cleanser onto the frame. The liquid and seep in behind the glass and damage the picture. Instead, use a lightly wet cloth to wipe the frame.
  4. Dust down and clean all lampshades and any ornaments.
  5. Take down curtains and blinds to wash or have cleaned, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Clean windowsills and corners. Wash windows (inside and outside), this will bring in a huge amount of natural light to the room.
  6. Dust down any sideboards, and remove all items from each drawer. Be careful as you may store your best dining set in these drawers.
  7. Polish the dining table, chairs, and any other furniture thoroughly.
  8. Hoover and mop the floors (depending on floor type).

Tips:

  1. This room will probably be one of the easier rooms to complete. With many homes now living in an open kitchen/dining room, our dining rooms are only used on special occasions. Save this room for a day when you don’t have a lot of time or pair it with another small task.
  2. Listen to music, this will help the time pass quickly and create a nice atmosphere.

 

Bathrooms:

  1. Start with a 15 minute bathroom clean-up. This will get rid of any laundry and empty waste bins. Leave the floors until the end.
  2. Dust and clean from the top down, so start with any ceiling cobwebs and move down to things like curtain poles, vents, pictures and blinds.
  3. Dust and clean all pictures and mirrors never spray water or cleanser onto the frame. The liquid and seep in behind the glass and damage the picture. Instead, use a lightly wet cloth to wipe the frame.
  4. Wash down the shower and tub, don’t forget to clean the fixtures. Tip: use a freshly cut lemon on stainless steel to remove any water marks.
  5. Remove any mildew around tiles or windows by using a mildew remover or a steam cleaner.
  6. Wash inside and outside of medicine cabinets, linen cabinets etc.
  7. Wash down the sinks and fixtures. Tip: use an earbud to get into tight areas around shower doors.
  8. Use sink un-blocker to unblock your shower tray and sinks, leave for 30 minutes before running the water.
  9. Hoover and mop the floors.

 

Tips:

  1. Make sure to leave the window open to allow for goods ventilation.
  2. Listen to music, this will help the time pass quickly and create a nice atmosphere.
  3. Buy all the supplies you need before you start, this will save time once you start.

 

Bedrooms:

  1. Start with a 15 minute bedroom clean-up. This will get rid of any laundry and empty waste bins. Leave the floors until the end.
  2. Dust and clean from the top down, so start with any ceiling cobwebs and move down to things like curtain poles, vents, pictures and blinds.
  3. Dust and clean all pictures and mirrors never spray water or cleanser onto the frame. The liquid and seep in behind the glass and damage the picture. Instead, use a lightly wet cloth to wipe the frame.
  4. Wash all bed linen, mattress pads, pillows etc…
  5. Hoover and flip your mattress to provide even wear. Clean out under your bed. Dress bed with clean bedding.
  6. Dust down and clean all lampshades and any ornaments.
  7. Dust down all dressers, chests and side units. Clean any mirrors.
  8. Hoover and mop the floors (depending on floor type).
  9. Open all wardrobe doors and clothing drawers, this is a time to separate your winter from your spring/summer clothing. Items like coats, heavy jumpers, hats and gloves should be moved to some place out of the way. Tip: use vacuum bags, cardboard boxes or plastic containers to safely store these items. Renting a small storage unit at U Store It www.ustoreit.ie will free up some valuable space and at very affordable rates.
  10. Be careful with the use of mothballs. Many children and pets are naturally attracted to them with deadly consequences. A safer option is to use cedar blocks or cedar lined storage.
  11. Install an extra hanging rail in your wardrobe, this will double your storage capacity.

Tips:

  1. Listen to music, this will help the time pass quickly and create a nice atmosphere.
  2. Create extra space by renting a storage unit with U Store It, visit www.ustoreit.ie or Freephone 1800 786 734.

If you have managed to give each room in your home a good spring clean, congratulations. Now all that’s left is to enjoy your home, you will surely get a great sense of achievement from all your hard work.

For more helpful articles on how make the most of your home check-out the Ustoreit blog