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NOW CLOSED Currys want to know Mumsnetters' top spring cleaning tips. Post your best here and be in with a chance of winning a £100 Currys PC World gift card(155 Posts)
Spring's almost here
apparently and many of us feel the urge to clear away the winter cobwebs and give the house a proper deep clean (or even just flick a duster round).
With this in mind Currys would like to find out Mumsnetters' top tips for spring cleaning. This could be motivation, how to find the time, what the benefits are, or tips relating to the products (or services of others) that you use at this time of year.
Currys say "We have a great line of products that we think make Spring Cleaning a breeze - we'd love to know your top tips, and what makes it easy for you?"
So what are your top spring cleaning tips?
Currys will be choosing their favourite 10 tips added on this thread to feature on the Currys pages on Mumsnet and possibly elsewhere. This page will also feature competitions over the next few weeks so make sure to check it out and enter!
Everyone who adds their tips to this thread will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning a £100 Currys PC World gift card.
Thanks and good luck,
De clutter like mad. Less stuff owned is less to clean
Throw open the windows, it always makes the house smell fresher. Start at the tops of rooms and work down. Vacuum dust off tile grout before cleaning tiles to keep the grout white.
If there's bright sunshine in the room then close the blinds quick........... The dust just disappears!
Start with the bathroom. There shouldn't be too much clutter in there so it is quite an easy room to clean properly. I always find I have more motivation once I've started. If I try to start in the living room then I get frustrated, start in teh bathroom then in half an hour I'm feeling much better about it with a shiny clean room.
Or for an easy option, sell the kids. Less mess to clear up. You might need to sell the husband too. Package him up with the children as a bundle with babysitter included, you'll get more for them that way.
To get rid of those cloudy white marks glasses get from the dishwasher soak them in warm white vinegar or scrub with toothpaste.
Also to clean those old fashioned radiators tape a duster (or cut up bit of old babygro) to a ruler, spray with surface cleaner and poke it down the back and in between the radiator columns.
If you can't find motivation to do it all in one go, pick one or two things a day and do those. Seeing the finished result will spur you on and give you motivation to do more!
We have a 1 year rule.
Anything not used for a year (be it a jacket, dvd or bread machine) goes to the Charity Shop or tip.
Stops the clutter building too much & means I had a reason to throw away the hiking boots DH last wore when he was 14 & doing his Duke of Edinburgh award
Wait for a day of good weather so you can air the house and dump everything outside, as well as dry every you've washed in the sunshine.
Methodically work from top to bottom in the house.
Bloody love spring cleaning!
Don't try to declutter toys with the kids around. They'll always find a reason to keep that broken £1 toy that's been sat in a corner, untouched, since Christmas.
Don't start cleaning until you have everything you might need to hand. Cloths, cleaning products, bin bags, hoover etc all on the same floor as you. If you have to be going up and down the stairs, you'll get tired and distracted far quicker. Agree about doing the big spring clean when there's nobody there to stop you chucking the junk out as well.
My Vax carpet cleaner is my favourite thing at the moment. It's a brilliant way to spend an afternoon, boggling at the amount of filth in the carpets you'd been ignoring all winter.
Arm the toddler with a feather duster and inform them that the game is to tickle everything in the room. Then give them the small hand-held hoover and tell them to catch all the dust on the floor.
After that, give them a microfibre cloth and tell them to find the sparkles in the bathroom by rubbing the magic cloth on all the surfaces. Then they get to play the sock-matching game.
Supervise all this from the sofa.
Invite the inlaws down
(a visit from them makes me pull my finger out).
Live like a minimalist. Done.
My simple motto for a tidy organised home is, "if in doubt, throw it out".
Start with the loft (or other storage area). Chuck out/recycle/charity shop anything you no longer need - be ruthless! Then go through the rest of the house and move anything that you don't need immediately to the loft. Be ruthless again, don't store anything you aren't fairly certain you'll use again, or want to keep for sentimental reasons.
It's much easier to clean up when there's less junk hanging around.
I prefer to do little and often, rather than blitz it all in one go. So, vacuum well-used areas daily, sweep the kitchen floor daily, fling a duster around if you have a spare 2 mins.
Ditto, unless its a years old favourite toy, throw it if its broken or has missing pieces.
Clean one room really well everyday and keep on top of general chores. For example, today I have hoovered everywhere and the sitting room is getting a through clean. Yesterday it was the kitchen, tomorrow the hallway, stairs and landing, then the following 3 days will be bedrooms, then the dining room. The bathroom gets bits done whilst the dc are having baths. One room a day=easy. Oh, unless you are my DH and then clutter just gets carried from one room to another.
Those cheap toothbrushes in supermarkets (4 for 20p) are perfect for cleaning around the kitchen sink, taps etc.
Stick the cd player on so I can dance whilst cleaning so making it fun and exercise at the same time.
borrowing my mums steam cleaner makes me want to clean everything as its so addictive.
Soda crystals are your friend for grease in the kitchen and bathroom. You can get a liquid soda crystals spray in Robert Dyas type shops. Just spray on, leave a few minutes, and wipe off. Excellent for the cooker and around it!
Vinegar takes frying smell. Mix vinegar in with washing up liquid (1/2 cup for a big bowl) and wipe down. Keep a small dish of vinegar near the cooker, it soaks up the smells.
lower your standards.
this can be done year on year, until you never have to clean again.
Save old toothbrushes and bath puffs as they are great for cleaning taps, baths and sinks.
Use baby oil on the sink/soap holder to stop those annoying soap bits sticking.
Use a damp cloth rather than duster and polish for chemical free cleaning.
I also vacuum walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs
Decluttering is top of my list. We just have too much stuff and most of it doesn't get used from one year to the next. I really really really must do something about it all this year.
Hot soapy water and microfibre cloths will clean almost anything.
It is also amazing what you can wash in the dishwasher or in a tied pillow case in the washing machine.
Pay someone else to clean the oven.
Declutter is the main thing for me. I have boxes and boxes of stuff that needs sorting out. Toys and books can only be done when 4yo DD is out, or else it all has to stay. I am good at putting small clothes in binbags, but then also very good at letting the bags sit on the floor for months rather than give them away!
Put stuff in small boxes or bags that you can carry to the charity shop. I also put stuff out for the BHF that collect from the door, but only for them as most of the others just give a small amount to charity, whereas BHF actually sell the items in their shops and send you a letter saying how much it raised.
I buy wipes for everything now, buy them when they are on offer and it works out cheap. Easy to clean and then throw away.
oh yeah, soda crystals are excellent! I love them for removing burnt on food in saucepans. Just fill the plan with water, add a couple of table spoons of soda crystals and boil for a few mins. You should see the food lifting away in the water. Let it sit for until the water goes cold, then wash as normal.
Open the windows, i've got mine open today for one of the first times this year and my house already feels brighter. Also on a day like today I like to put the washing out to dry, I hate having clothes drying all over the house.
A tip I found from the Fly Lady was to start in one corner of a room and to not move on until you've finished. Previously i'd just move stuff from one part of the room to another and still not seem to get a lot done!
Ebay!! Declutter, get rid of all the excess "stuff" around the house, and make some money at the same time - what's not to love?!
Also second the tip further up the thread about what you can wash in the dishwasher - makes cleaning bins, scummy bath toys, hob parts, etc sooo much easier!
Do spring cleaning on a sunny day because then you see the months of dust and unattended cobwebs!
Do spring cleaning room by room, from top to bottom (better that way round) and have a set pattern of approach, starting with a thorough clear out of stuff for charity shop/E-Bay, followed by moving all furniture to the centre of the room (having stripped off all loose covers/bedding), and a full-on skirting board to ceiling approach. When you've finished make sure you get all the carpets cleaned and the windows too.
And don't forget that spring cleaning extends to the garden and garage/potting shed too.
And the best tip of all is to listen to some personally uplifting music - so you dance around (and get a work-out) as you are cleaning! It just makes it so much more enjoyable and the time goes by really quickly!
^Invite the inlaws down
(a visit from them makes me pull my finger out).^
Open the windows and De clutter
Leave The Bastard
(if he is a bastard)
then you'll have a nice new place, and only your own mess to worry about
Use wet wipes for everything. They are great for dusting surfaces especially as they are damp and collect the dust. A quick wipe on skirting boards and hand rails on satin and gloss paint works great too. And Mr muscle window cleaner - nothing has ever come close. Tis brilliant.
Forgot to say that of course a spring clean in the 21st Century should extend to technology too. Ensuring that all anti-virus software is up to date, emptying your mail box (and setting up folders as appropriate if there are emails you need/want to keep), getting rid of unnecessary downloads, defragmenting the computer as appropriate. Get rid of unused/unwanted technology via Curry's/PC World too, so they are disposed of properly rather than dumping them in the bin so they end up in land-fill!
Cleaning my windows really gets me in the mood for spring cleaning.
Throw open the windows and hang the washing outside. All that sunny fresh air gives me mop-enrrgy.
I use old baby muslins as cleaning cloths - they are huge, hard wearing and easy to bung in the washing machine for next time.
I love my steam cleaner, especially as DP sees it as a 'gadget' so loves to see what he can use it on.
I get DC to play the tickle game with the feather duster.
It's a bit of a radical solution, but since my DH was made redundant, I've found the house to be remarkably tidier than it was when we were both working. Its like some pixie of tidyness visits us. Now losing half of your monthly income in return for the hoovering being done may not be for everyone, but its working here. <grits teeth and finds silver lining to shit situation>
In other news...
Always sort your colours when washing as it keeps clothes looking new for longer.
Unblock the bathroom plug hole with Hair remover.
Always spend 10 mins each evening putting toys away. 10 mins a day stops it getting out of hand and its so much nicer to come down in the morning and not tread on sodding lego while half asleep.
On big spring clean day everyone gets a box with their names on. 10 mins to go round collecting things they want to keep. Anything not in the box gets binned.
Windows open for as long as poss.
Borrow the in laws steam cleaner. A revelation in the bathroom amd on the kitchen tiles.
Sunshine showing up all the dust and crud is my motivation to get cleaning. Somehow it's all invisible in the depths of winter!
I don't use gadgets for cleaning but love my Enjo cloths - pristine cleaning using cold water. What's not to love (apart from the £££ )
Doing the windows increases the sunshine and puts a rocket up the cleaning motivation, or lack of!
When you clean the windows, do the inside with horizontal actions and the outside vertically. Then when you realise you've left smears everywhere you know which side they're on.
If I am struggling with motivation I give myself 20 mins to see how much I can get done in a certain room, It gets me going with a job and makes it less of a chore if I think of things in 20 minute blocks.
Microfibre cleaning cloths, can clean glass, walls, tiles, tables, everything. All with a bit of water.
Saves me so much cleaning time and removes the need for chemical cleaners.
Fold matching sheet and duvet cover sets into the matching pillowcase, so when you change bedding, each "set" is neatly bagged up and you don't have to rifle through all the bedding searching for it.
Shine sinks with old newspaper. It makes them more shiny, though I don't know why.
Put some good music on - it always makes me clean more efficiently and energetically. As upbeat and loud as possible.
If the job is enormous
not my home at all oh no! Start with a small cupboard get that organised and then move on. Feeling all virtuous that you have started and completed one task.
Don't try and do too much all at once you WILL run out of steam
If you like checklists maybe write
Do a little bit every day! Don't try and tackle too much at once or you will feel overwhelmed and put off by the mammoth task! (Or at least, you will if you are anything like me! )
De clutter. Dust. Hoover. Mop. Wipe. And repeat!
One room at a time!
I loathe cleaning, & am unfortunately a hoarder! It's not a good combination!
If you have a young child or children, but each of them a helium balloon, tie a long piece of ribbon to it, cover with a damp cloth or muslin and send l.os round the house trailing the balloons to catch the cobwebs in hard to reach corners... The one with the most wins. Can be a very enjoyable game and the little ones have a shiny balloon to keep afterwards too!
Baby wipes are fantastic for cleaning lots of surfaces. They cut through anything grimey,greasy, yucky. Whatever chemical is in thrre definitely works - have always been weary on using them on kids since...
I know not of this spring cleaning of which you speak.
But dh and I are on a major decluttering spree, and are enjoying the ebay results!
To get a sparkling bathroom, clean with detol and washing up liquid, dry with old towels/ready to be washed towels then spray some cheap polish in the sinks/taps and wipe again with towels, super shiny!!!
no one is allowed in afterwards
I clean my carpets once or twice a week, with my Bissel cleaner, instead of using the recommended cleaning liquid, I use biological washing liquid (usually supermarket own brand which smells really nice)
I am with whoever said "invite the PIL". Except that it doesn't have to be the PIL. Any visitors will work for me, but I am apparently incapable of doing anything without a hard, immovable deadline .
Rather than let the jobs build up to a huge amount, keep on top of the routine cleaning by adopting a one-and-done approach. For example, leave a cloth in the bathroom and quickly wipe around the bath or shower each day when you have used it. We keep a small vacuum cleaner upstairs as well as our main one downstairs so that if a quick vacuum around is needed, you don't need to wait until next time you have got the vacuum cleaner upstairs, you can just do it there and then. Try ironing just a couple of items of clothing each evening to stop the ironing pile growing to the size of mount everest (also only iron items that REALLY need an iron - everything else really doesn't matter that much).
By staying on top of those pesky little chores, you will free up enough time for a big spring clean when you need it. Otherwise we used to find that the time we had set aside for decluttering and a big spring clean, would be spent just catching up on all those little chores and we'd run out of time or be too exhausted to do a proper spring clean.
Make it a fun challenge for the kids to get involved in. They can do a fabulous job of cleaning skirting boards and dado rails with old pairs of socks. Even polishing using old socks on their hands is fun.
Encourage them to do their own decluttering. A good time for this is just before their birthday or christmas to make room for their new toys.
Oh and don't forget to spring clean the car. My poor car gets rather overlooked so a really thorough clean inside and out is really appreciated.
I do housework little and often, while waiting for something to cook, or when on the phone. I try to keep everything in its place and encourage the dcs to do the same, if it looks tidy, you're half way there! Everything tidy before we all leave the house on a morning, and same again before bed. Always feels better coming home/getting up to a tidy, organised house. And I madly clean before going on holiday, so its lovely to come back home to!
Get a feather duster. Great for doing the skirting boards as well as the cobwebs and picture frames.
And open up the bag of vacuum cleaner attachments. I found the edger, and my carpets looked amazing.
Aways tidy first before trying to clean.
If you can't find a home for something consider whether you need it.
When having a clear out have 3 boxes/bags to hand. 1 box for keeps, 1 box for bin and 1 box for the charity shop. Once you are reduced down to 1 box - go through it again! It is tempting to hold on to stuff.
Choose easy storage - we have Trofast stuff for the kids toys. It's so easy to pull out one tub and fill it, then move onto the next one and so on.
Sort through the kids clothes every few months and get rid of the stuff they've outgrown so drawers aren't overflowing. Do the same with your own clothes but perhaps less often.
Work your way round a room with a bin bag and a box for stuff that needs moved to another room.
Once it's tidy/sorted it doesn't take long to whizz round with a duster and the hoover.
If you dont use it donate it to charity
Yeah, invite people round so you have to do the clean of shame.
If the grout between your bathroom tiles is discoloured or a bit mildew-ridden then don a pair of rubber gloves and apply some thick bleach to the grout using an old sponge, then scrub away with an old toothbrush and before long it will look like new! You can rinse the bleach off at the end with the shower head. I'll be doing this at the weekend, bizarrely I'm quite looking forward to it I love the before and after effect!
That is the grout will look like new, not the toothbrush!
I watch/listen to downloaded BBC progs on my tablet as I clean up the house - makes me stick to the task for longer and even scout around for another thing to clean because the programme hasn't finished yet
Clean your cleaner! Vacuums get blocked by dust so if you can remove the filter and give it a good scrub, or replace the filter you'll get improved suction.
A damp rubber glove removes pet hairs from fabrics. Simply wear the glove, run under the tap then rub where the pet hair is and it should clump together ready to be removed.
I always send everyone away if I want to clean properly. It's much easier to clean the house without a load of other people in the way. (unless they're old enough to help).
Get your OH cleaning alongside you, not just your kids. It goes a lot faster if you each take a half of your home and divide up the chores. Sets a good example to the kids too.
File your paperwork away as soon as you get it. Or dedicate an afternoon to sorting it if it's a bit mixed up and all over the house. Saves you from going bonkers when you can't find your last MOT certificate and the car tax was due yesterday.
Don't forget the garden, if there is a garden. Weeding a dandelion bush is a lot harder than it looks.
Kathi Lipp's three-box/two-bag system for decluttering - boxes are Other Room, This Room, Donate and bags are Trash and Recycling. Take one room at a time with this system, putting things into the appropriate boxes and bags. Dust/clean/hoover empty space as needed. Take care of Trash, Recycling and Donate accordingly. Put back things in the This Room box. Remember to actually find homes for the things in the Other Room box that belong in other rooms (instead of jamming the box in a closet like I did ).
My top tip is to clean a room when you're in it, i.e. when I'm cleaning the bath after my daughter has been in it in the evening, I clean the whole bathroom.
My second tip is keep cleaning materials close to hand if possible. I always have a pack of antibacterial wipes tucked away in the bathroom and downstairs loo.
Declutter as you go along instead of letting it build up and becoming an impossible task. Throw junk mail in the recycling straight away. If you don't need to keep something, get rid of it straight away instead of stowing it away to deal with another day.
Along the same line as invite the in laws, I invite my mother from the US. She who lectures about how could I not possible own x/y/z cleaning implement?!?!
Last time it was a Swiffer mop thing. So I've ordered one to hand her when she gets here on the 30th.
Set yourself a time to do an room and go flat out to get it clean and tidy. then go and have a cup of tea/catch up on Mumsnet before doing the same to another room.
Train your kids (and DH if not already) to help. Many hands make light work and all that.
Do not expect to have a tidy home if you don't have a place for everything. You will drive yourself bonkers.
If you are buying lots of storage YOU HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF.
Put some essential oil on a cotton wool ball and put it in your hoover bag. It will make your house smell nice as you hoover.
Don't have carpets. They are Satan's work.
Do some cleaning everyday. This will make a huge difference in even the most neglected of homes. Just start.
Buy a cheap cooking timer and set it for 20mins. That is how long you have to do a room. Anything left can wait till tomorrow. Within a week you will notice the difference. Within a month it will be a small part of your daily routine that changes your life. (unless you really don't care about mess which is fine by me too )
Keep a small box of cleaning stuff upstairs and downstairs. That way you will always have what you need to hand. Its amazing what you can get done in five minutes whilst you are waiting for the kids to get out of the loo, the kettle to boil, the bath to run etc.
If you really HATE cleaning even five minutes a day is better than nothing. Trying to tackle a years worth of neglect in one day will depress and defeat you. Life is too short for that old nonsense.
Bag up any shapeless, worn or unloved clothes and get them to the charity shop. Keep surfaces clear - always easy to run a duster or damp cloth over a debris-free surface. Load the dishwasher after every meal, don't let it all stack up on the side into an intimidating mountain of mess.....
Sometimes it pays to get the professionals in.
I have a man cleaning my stairs and landing carpet now. I can never get it properly clean, and it is a great incentive to scuba the walls and bannister tomorrow for a swanky clean hallway.
Clean almost everything with baby wipes
Use a shower/window squeegee to get LOADS of pet hair off carpets, flooring and upholstery.
I find it easier if I get dh to take the kids out somewhere so I can get cleaning done much quicker without all the little ones under my feet
We have a "birthday" for our house (coinciding with the date we moved in) when all of us (young dc's included) declutter, polish, mop, air the rooms, change to the spring/summer duvets and then bake a lovely lemony cake for our lovely house with candles for each year we've been here. I have a box of special decorations for the occasion too, a lovely Easter-y theme of little chicks, eggs, bunny rabbits (not live, you understand) which the kids love putting out as a party piece when everything is done. And I buy a beautiful spring scented air freshener plug-in for the kitchen. Gets everyone in a much better mood for the warmer weather!
Buy a very cheap towel from the £ shop. (cheap are better because they are thinner) Wash it first or it won't be absorbent.
Cut it into squares about 6 inches big.
Keep a stack in the bathroom.
You have a ready supply of re-usable cleaning clothes
When everyone has finished in the bathroom in the morning you can use one to wipe the bath, do the sink and then give the loo a once over.
Chuck it in laundry for a hot wash.
Borrow your in laws dog/invite somebody with a dog round after meals to clear up after your little ones attempt to feed himself. Way more effective than a vacuum cleaner and your DC will amuse himself with said dog whilst you wash up etc
Throw away any clothes you haven't worn in a year and anything that doesn't fit or make you feel amazing.
Find a bin bag worth of stuff to chuck/donate from each room. Is easier to clean if your house isn't full of stuff.
My top tip re: spring cleaning would be
DON'T DO IT
My second tip would be
If you really feel you have to, get someone in to do the big things like carpet cleaning and oven cleaning
Baby wipes are excellent for cleaning leather suites. Eraser blocks (jml and home bargains do them) really do get rid of mucky marks off walls !!!
Clean mirrors and light fittings the rooms look much brighter.
Fresh air is fab and makes everything feel fresher, so air dry laundry, open the windows and breathe.
Karcher window vac is amazing now the sun is shining showing the grime. Crystal clean in no time at all.
Finally agreeing With many others- de clutter your life.
I have started spring cleaning today.
1. Asked the cleaner to do some extra hours over the Easter holidays
2. Bought a Karcher window vacuum cleaner thingy
Declutter like mad - aim to fill a box or bag of stuff from each room
Assemble a cleaning box - I have one that is a carrying box/stool. Polish, rubber gloves, cleaning clothes, Windowlene, kitchen roll, dusters etc in it. Take it with you from room to room.
Clean the bathroom last - do it while the bath is running - obviously clean the bath first, then it doesn't matter how grubby you get because you can jump in the bath. It also means you have something to look forward to while you are cleaning.
Use a dry mop for cleaning up loose dirt off hard floor before mopping, saves much more time than hoovering.
Erm... And go round each room with a bin bag rather than picking things up to take to the bin, your more likely to chuck out what you don't need that way.
Keep wipes in every room. Whenever something needs cleaning, then it's really convenient to do. You can also just do a little cleaning here and there whenever there's a moment. It's amazing how much you can do just by doing a few minutes of cleaning here and there. It also makes the chore feel less onerous.
Buy a hand held vacuum. I wish someone had told me how fab they are. Very easy now to clear up those biscuit crumbs or dog hair.
A long handled dustpan and brush will save no end of backache, especially when dc start to be weaned and there's a lot of food thrown onto the floor. And continue to be useful as they get older and still manage to drop food on the floor...
If you have a weird cleaning problem (how to get a stain or smell out of something, how to remove the pot full of Vicks from a 3yr's hair when it has been used to improvise hair gel by the aforementioned 3yr old, how to make your washing machine stop smelling and so much more!) then ask on Mumsnet - there's always somebody who has been there and done that before you who can tell you what works, what doesn't or at least offer up some in companionable support if there really is no hope!
When you are on the phone, walk round with a damp E cloth or a cleaning wipe such as flash wipes and wipe all those sticky marks off, skirting, switches, around the handles of doors etc, amazing how much you get done!
HG mould remover from Lakeland is brilliant for grotty grouting.
As well as opening the windows and giving everything a good air, dabbing fabric conditioner on kitchen roll and wiping it over radiators and (switched off, cooled) lightbulbs helps give your home a nice scent.
"clean while" is the best tip - e.g. Tidy surfaces in the kitchen while the kettle boils etc.
Make decluttering your first step. Sell or donate everything you can.
Make a list of jobs that need doing in each room. Tick off each job as you do it.
If im going to watch tv or do nothing all evening i make myself do 5 small jobs first then reward my self with tv and chocolate!
Open your windows every day, not just when you're spring cleaning. It's the best way to get rid of excess moisture in the house and smells and makes it harder for dust mites to survive.
Use the hoover brush attachment to go round the bit of the wall that meets the ceiling and get rid of any surviving spiders' webs from autumn.
Mix white vinegar with washing up liquid and water in a spray bottle and use as a degreaser and polish.
Clean smelly drains and loos by pouring down lots of washing up liquid and the contents of a full boiling kettle, from as high as you safely can. It softens the, erm, blockage and lubricates the pipes.
Start by shutting any roaming toddlers into the nearest cupboard. This will halve the time it takes to do the cleaning.
Do I win?
Get a rechargeable light weight vaccuum cleaner, like a carpet wizzard from Lakeland, it picks up food, cat litter, crumbs anything and wet stuff too, great for under the breakfast table, washable collection bit, much easier than getting out the heavy Sebo.
For a big spring clean decluttering is the key, it's impossible to clean around piles of old junk. Throw out anything unused/unneeded and then the whole room will feel larger cleaner and brighter.
For generally cleaning my tip is a hand held vacuum, I love mine.
Declutter by switching everything to a digital format. Those musical and dvd electronic files don't take up space, they don't need dusting and your four year old daughter can't crack the cases with her metal-tipped tap shoes!
If you get bogged down in lots of paperwork - stuff sent home from school, hospital appointments, etc - take a picture of it on your phone. (Check that you can actually read the text on the picture when you've taken it, to make sure that it's not blurred or too tiny!)
That way you'll always have the relevant information that you need with you - even if you can't find the actually piece of paper because it is lurking in a big pile of other papers that you need to file or throw away.
It's very handy for things like the list of everything going on in a term at school.
It's also good for taking pictures of your computer screen when you purchase something if you need to pick it up - then you'll always have the reference with you instead of needing to print out another page to add to the clutter.
Make sure everything has a place to go, if it doesn't get rid of it.
Buy a shredder and a paper wallet, get a big bag and go through any piles of paperwork lying around. Anything you need to keep goes in the paper wallet; everything else either goes into the bin bag for recycling or through the shredder.
Sort through your shoes and clothes. Realistically, anything you haven't worn during the past year won't be worn again so put anything like that into two piles: one for the charity shop and one for eBay.
Wait until the children are out and then gather up all their toys. Take out the toys they play with all the time and put the rest into the loft/garage/cupboard. If they ask for one of the put-away toys during the two weeks then take it out. Everything left at the end of the two weeks can be binned, donated or sold.
Hoover out fluff from tumble dryer after manually removing the bulk. It only takes a small amount to start a fire so better safe than sorry.
I hate that Karcher window thingy -total waste if money- windows streaked dreadfully
Concentrate on one room each day for a week.
If you struggle to get motivated, set yourself an alarm or timer for 15/20 minutes and clean as much as you possibly can in that time then stop and take a break. Do the same later that day or the next day!
Put some washing detergent powder in your sinks with hot water to blast off tough stains from food/rust etc
Get dh to take the dc out!
Start with the floors in each room and work upwards
Make the beds first! A made bed makes the whole room feel more manageable
Start from the top of your house and work your down but leave the bathroom and kitchen until last. Have two bin bags per main room... Rubbish bag and charity bag and fill them. Take the opportunity to go through all your kitchen cupboards and throw out expired food and clean them and dry them thoroughly before replacing the good food. Don't forget to do the same to the fridge.
Finally I like to do a bit of furniture rearranging... As I'm moving furniture anyway to clean it, underneath it etc... I may as well rearrange. Makes me feel quite happy because things not only look clean, they also look different.
If it's not valuable, useful or sentimental bin it.
Start with cupboards and drawers, empty everything out and declutter, aim only to put back half of what you took out.
Don't dust blinds........don't buy the bloody things in the first place!
Get an oven cleaning company in every six months or replace the oven. I have never cleaned my oven and I don't feel I am missing out
Buy a miele cat and dog and teach DH how to use it, use hoover to cobweb, why bother wiping cobwebs round the wall.
Apply bleach to sponge and clean tiles, leave it on for a few hrs then rinse, brilliant white grout with no effort.
Aim to spend as little time as possible and then reward liberally with day out, new shoes or weekend away!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
When your toddler starts crawling strap micro fiber pads to knees and stomach then let them loose on your wooden flooring
After a big clean pick a day per week for each room to keep on top of it eg Monday = kitchen etc
If you hate cleaning the bathroom - as I do - set the timer for 10 minutes, open the window first and use the brilliant products from Lakeland to get cleaning. There's something that cleans and protects chrome so the room is left shiny and gleaming. You soon get into a routine and, although it's NOT fun, you feel good afterwards
When dusting the skirtings or tops of doors I use a spray gun to spray water first in a gentle mist. It catches the dust and stops it flying away and landing somewhere else, so you can just wipe it away.
Treat your house as if you're a professional cleaner setting eyes on it for the first time. Start at the front door and walk around with a pen and pad. What needs doing? Spot cleaning light switches, jammy finger prints on door frames, cobwebs you haven't noticed before, piles of shoes that need sorting in the hallway? No matter what the job (big or small) write it all down. Set yourself up for the day with a good breakfast, make a packed lunch and flask of tea/coffee and have a set and timed lunch break. Open the windows even if its freezing cold. You'll work faster and the house will air. Get a wine bottle carrier or a cheap basket from the poundshop and make up a cleaning kit. Dusters, cloths, binbags, brushes, sprays, bleach etc. Carry it with you so you don't waste time searching for stuff. Do bedrooms first, landing, hallway, living area then kitchen and bathroom. I need to shower immediately after cleaning the bathroom so I always do this last.
I keep a small handheld vacuum upstairs for daily cleaning the bathroom, toilet and shower room. It allows me to quickly clean up bits of hair and paper that drop daily, and leave these rooms looking clean without having to get the big hoover all the way up the stairs. It also works well for cleaning between the bannisters!
Bicarb!!!works wonders on everything
When you've taken your make up off with wipes then use the mucky wipe to clean the taps and sink. It leaves them nice and shiny.
awks I do that! I thought it was just me
I do it too - sink and then a wipe over the loo.
If ds has been very splashy in the bath (or indeed dh has failed to shut the shower screen properly), I skid round the bathroom on a small towel to soak up the water and clean the tiles at the same time
Glass of wine in one hand, roll of black sacks in the other!!
An old toothbrush for all the arkward bits, white vinegar for taps, baby oil for stainless steel, anything smelling lemony and fresh.
Use Vinegar for descaling in the bathroom and kitchen - very effective and smells much nicer than chemical descaler. Outside of windows are very easy to clean immediately after a rain storm - simply squeegee them!
Buy a window scraper - like the ones that window cleaners use - and whizz over the shower screen and tiles after every shower. It's the limescale that make the tiles and glass appear dirty, so wiping it away means you never have to scrub the shower again (almost!)
Sing a song, it won't take you long, clear the clutter, from the ceiling to the gutter, the one I would pick, is the Dyson Hoover as it's quick!
An old bath puff is great for cleaning the tiled shower cubicle, bath and sink especially in a hard water area.
Use white vinegar in a spray bottle to clean windows and mirrors.
I'm not really a 'product' person when it comes to cleaning but I've just bought some Zoflora and am enjoying using it, a drop in some water in a spray bottle etc (see this thread
I get the music turned up loud and find it helps motivate me to keep going.
Don't bother with shop bought cleaners for shower cubicles etc- just get the white vinegar out and it'll take half the time.
Also- don't get bogged down. Only take on what you're capable of doing. Otherwise it's easy to get disheartened and give up.
1.Put a bowl of water in the microwave for five minutes on high and the inside wipes clean easily.
2.Keep a nailbrush in the shower and go over the tiles whilst you are in to stop scum building up.
3.Put a disinfectant wipe at the bottom of your bin so it stays smelling fresh.
4.Anti-static cloths are amazing. Polish everything without a smear.
5. No time to clean, spray furniture polish in the corners of the room to give the impression of hard work.
6.Tidy as you go, takes no time to put something away after using, takes ages to put lots of things away.
7.Use drawer tidy's in all your kitchen drawers to separate items and keep it organised.
8.Put talcum powder on cream carpets before hoovering for nice smell and whiter/creamier appearance.
Send everyone out for the morning, put your mp3 player on, choose an upbeat album and sing along - getting a clean house at the end will just be a bonus!
ok i work full time so i get my kids up at 7.30 then im dressed by 7.45 whilst they are still eating their breakfast so my tip is whilst they are eating and when they are getting ready have a quick tidy round - bleach down toilet, wipe kitchen surfaces, make beds, and put any washing if there is enuf in the washing machine.
My kids dont like to wash with soap and water so we have baby wipes in the bathroom for them to use after brushing their teeth, mums rule is when you have used your baby wipe when walking to the bin with it if you see any dirt wipe it!! this can be in the bathroom or the rail on the stairs or anywhere, i find they love telling me where they have cleaned on the way to the bin!!
I also find using the hoover in the morning when they are tired stresses them out so i wait till we come in from school or work then tell them to get a snack before dinner and whilst they are getting it have a quick 5 minute hoover.
hope my tips are of some help!! as im a working mum i dont have much time for cleaning but with the things i do have a very clean house! xxx
My tip is to spring clean one room or when the room is full of stuff then just part of a room at a time so it doesn't feel overwhelming. I tend to start by putting "junk" in bags which I then go through one at a time (often when the children are in bed and I can watch the tv at the same time) which makes de-cluttering less of a tedious chore. I hate thowing things out if they have some use so most things go to friends, neighbour and charities. I try to focus upon how much better I'll feel once everything I no longer need has gone to someone else who actually wants my things.
my top tip is give a fresh coat of paint to areas like the hall stairs and landing. it makes you clear everything out of the way and get all cobwebs and just brightens the place up and that motivates me to venture further into the other rooms.
my other mission currently is to fill the bins (recycling what can be and black bin for what can't) to the brim every fortnight. it is a time of clearing out all of the accumulated junk and clutter that has amassed.
the point of 'filling the bins' is to make me really venture into the barns and everywhere to get stuff out that doesn't need to be there. lots of crap in my barns and under the stairs etc that needs sorting.
Take clutter to charity shop.
Whisk round surfaces with nice smelling polish/cleaner.
Place vase of spring flowers on newly decluttered, sparkling surface.
Coming rather late to this thread - I LOVE tictacsir's house birthday idea. Ours is in September so I have time to prepare a lovely autumnal themed party
As for my own tip... If you have loads of CDs or DVDs, buy storage folders like this. It stops young DCs removing CDs and throwing them all over the floor, creating mess, and frees up the most amazing amount of shelf space
you can then fill with more crap
Clean the windows, makes everywhere look cleaner & brighter!
Start the week before Christmas, get your kids to decide which toys they want to pass to children who aren't as lucky as them so they can make way for new toys, get your DP in the loft and empty out everything, go through it and throw away/recycle/donate anything that's not been used for 2 years.
Then when spring comes, go through all your winter clothes and anything that was not worn, goes to charity shops and everything else gets ironed and vacuum packed away.
Hang out all your duvets and pillows and let your kids beat them with a tennis racket, cricket bat, anything - gets all the dead skin out.
I use Dettol wipes to clean the toilet. A cloth rinsed in hot water to polish and dry with kitchen roll. Fill my sink with hot water and soda crystals - gets rid of scum.
I use babywipes to clean the stainless steel cooker, it gets rid of greasy smears instantly... they also work on my toddlers bottom just as well :-)
I have always been a BIG FAN of White Distilled Vinegar for cleaning almost anything.
I use it almost everywhere and its really cheap to buy too. (pennies in most supermarkets)
I use it in my kettle to remove limescale - just fill your kettle with water and add about 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar.
Let it stand overnight, then rinse well -I usually fill it about 3/4 times with clean water the next morning before you use it.
And it's a lot cheaper than a descale product.
Scissors - Wipe over the blades of your scissors when they become sticky/dirty with a cloth that has been dipped in neat vinegar, then you just wipe dry with another cloth.
I also wipe down tiles in the kitchen/bathroom with it, glassware to bring a great shine. Mirrors ....love vinegar.
The only thing my kids hate is the smell, so I have to rinse everything really well.`
I prefer to do my spring cleaning on a nice sunny day, while the windows are open.
I start off with washing the curtains. Bring the duvet and pillows, carpets out and leave them there for couple of hours or longer to have a natural antibacterial effect.
Separate my children's clothes which became smaller and the toys not suitable for them any more and give them to charity or sell.
I move the not very heavy furnitures to have a thorough hoovering (I use my Filter queen majestic); wipe all over, walls, top of the furnitures.
Clean the windows with some vinegar mixed water as I have allergy from other chemical sprays and it really works.
top tip... don't wait for spring
Delegate! To the children, your partner, your Mum and if all else fails, a professional.
Don't sit down after breakfast/dropping the kid's at school. Stick some music on, get the windows open and follow the list that you wrote the night before.
Phone merry maids and get them to do a spring clean.
Throw open the windows and put all fabrics through the wash to dry in the sunshine.
When you've cleaned the tops of kitchen cupboards, place a layer of newspaper or wrapping paper there, which you simply replace the following year - no more cleaning. If you store seldom used items there, wrap in clingfilm first. It's not noticeable and when you come to use it, you whip off the clingfilm and have a clean pan/ teapot etc to use.
I too prefer to do a spring clean when it's actually spring and warm enough to open windows.
Put some music on if that helps.
Everything in it's place. If it doesn't have a place, find one!
Once surfaces are clear, dust with damp e cloth and then vacuum.
William Morris said if something is not beautiful or useful it shouldn't be in a house (something like that!). I use this to help me to judge whether to chuck something or not.
Dust while you're on the phone - if my mum's in a talkative mood I can get the banisters and moulded bits of doors and kitchen units done during one call.
I bought some groovy patterned dusters etc to motivate me. It even worked!
always start from the back of the house and work your way through from there, no point starting at the front by the time you get half way through you will be dragging allsorts through what you have already done x
as a woman and clearly being an entirely different species......(I hate these questions My best tip is to have my hubby do it for me
Pay someone else to do it. Enjoy having a clean house and knowing that you're helping the economy too.
I have to set myself a time limit otherwise I get too distracted from any jobs. So I blitz a room in the allotted timeframe, I find that I am so motivated to get the room done that it is easier this way. I only do a max. of 3 rooms in a day.
My main nagging point/handy hint to the family is not to dump things all over the house - at least put them in the right room, this makes the cleaning process much easier!
Work through one room at a time
Thanks everyone for taking part, The winner is bebejones! Congratulations - Keep an eye on your inbox.
Take a look at the Currys pages to see if your top tip made it into the final 10!
You don't need any posh potions....white vinegar works on EVERYTHING! It's amazing at descaling the kettle and removing all the scale on the shower door!
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