You see, my boyfriend is Marie Kondo but more ruthless and less interested in ‘joy’.
Decluttering was on my list of New Year’s resolutions two years ago. Then again last year. Each year I only managed to go through a few shelves and drawers before giving up. It took forever, I felt like I was hardly making any progress and when I thought of how much work I still had to do, I wanted to run.
This year I haven’t picked any resolutions, but the desire to have a more spacious, clutter-free home is still there. So I’ve been trying out new strategies to overcome decluttering paralysis and they’re working!
I can recommend a couple of books on decluttering and organising your home that will inspire you: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo and Soulspace by Xorin Balbes.
I know what you’re thinking now. “But decluttering frustrates me, why would I want to read books about it?” At least, that’s exactly what I thought when I came across these books. Then a friend mentioned that her mum had read just 80 pages of Marie Kondo’s book and that was all she needed to find motivation and get her home oranised in no time. I thought I could probably cope with 80 pages, so I gave it a go.
At first, I was amused. The author was obsessed with tidying and I wanted to have nothing to do with it. Her methods were never going to work for me, we were too different. Then, when I was one third through the book, something shifted and I couldn’t wait to get stated!
Decluttering is more fun when you’re not doing it alone. If you have children, ask them to help and then you won’t have to spend your child-free time tidying up. Having kids around can make it difficult to discard any clothes (my kids seem to love the way I look in pretty much anything), but it gives you a boost of confidence!
If you don’t have kids, team up with a friend and make time for some decluttering parties. When you’re having a great time and interesting conversations, you’ll get everything done quickly and effortlessly.
Keep up the momentum
If your place is anything like mine, you won’t be able to complete your decluttering mission in one go. Don’t leave too much time between your decluttering sessions or the area you tidied up last time will get messy again and you’ll get discouraged. Instead, do as much as you can every day or at least a few times a week. You’ll be able to see that you’re making progress and you’ll find motivation to keep on going.
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With spring approaching, you might be thinking of cleaning your home in time for the better weather. While Googling ‘cleaners near me’ will bring up a range of professional domestic services that will certainly give you a helping hand, you might decide rolling up your sleeves is the best way to get the job started. So, if you’re not afraid of a bit of elbow grease, here are 10 amazing spring cleaning hints and tips to check out.
1. Disinfect your surface with lemon juice
Believe it or not, lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and is ideal for cleaning everything from work surfaces to stainless steel. Rub salt over one half of a lemon and you’ve even got yourself an organic abrasive that’ll remove tough marks and stains.
2. Add lemon juice to your laundry
You can also add a cup of lemon juice to your laundry as this will not only do a great job of whitening but it’ll leave your clothes smelling wonderfully fresh. It’s also much gentler on the skin than other products like chlorine bleach, so why not give it a go?
3. Deodorise the dishwasher with lemon juice
‘Lemon juice again?’ you may cry! Why indeed! It’s a wonderful natural cleaning agent that can be used all around the home, but if you want to deodorise your dishwasher try filling half a tea cup with lemon juice and placing it on the bottom rack. Run the rinse cycle and your dishwasher will be clean and fresh too.
4. Freshen up your carpets
Want to keep your carpets clean and fresh? Then sprinkle down some baking powder mixed with 10-20 drops of essential oils before hovering.
5. Steam clean using vinegar and water
If you want to steam clean your carpets without using any harsh cleaning chemical, try adding equal quantities of vinegar and water to your steam cleaner. This will help remove stubborn stains but if you don’t want your home to smell like a salad dressing, add several drops of essential oils too.
6. Get rid of smells from your fridge
To properly clean your fridge, take everything out and wipe it down with a concoction of washing up liquid and hot water. Rinse with a clean, damp rag before sprinkling down some bicarbonate of soda and leaving for 30 minutes. This will neutralise odours. Wipe away and put the food back in.
7. Polish your furniture with vinegar
Vinegar is not just for pouring over fish and chips. It’s also great for shining up old tables and polishing furniture, so why not try it out for yourself? Simply shake a few drops onto household objects and rub in using a dry cloth.
8. Unclog sinks with vinegar and baking soda
Did you know you can unblock drains using just baking soda and vinegar? To do this, simply put three heaped tablespoons of baking soda down the plughole followed by several glugs of white vinegar. Wait for the hissing to stop before washing through with hot water. The ferocious chemical reaction should clean your pipes and is a great way to get water flowing properly without calling out a plumber.
9. Fight oil with oil
Oil and water do not mix, so try fighting those annoying grease stains with a few drops of vegetable oil. Scrub using an abrasive sponge and you should find the mess comes away quite easily.
10. Clean your shower head with a toothbrush
One of the biggest enemies your bathroom faces is limescale. It can build up round taps and shower heads so try removing it using a squirt of lemon juice and a firm toothbrush. The bristles will help clean all those little holes helping water to flow more freely.
So there you have it, ten spring cleaning tips that will leave your home looking fab.
If you have carpets within your home, you know it can be a challenge to keep them clean every day, especially if you have kids or pets. Not only should you keep your carpets in good condition to maintain the overall cleanliness and appearance of your home, but also for health reasons.
According to the ACAAI, dust mites are the most common cause of allergy from house dust and tend to live in pillows, mattresses and carpeting. Although regular dry vacuuming will remove the layer of dust on the surface, dirt and grime still exists deeper within your carpet, and the only way to effectively remove it is to give your carpets a good wash on a regular basis. Below are just three of the many reasons why you should invest in a good carpet cleaner:
Carpet cleaners are excellent for removing stains. Accidental spills happen all the time, especially if you have young children, have cats and dogs or regularly hold parties. If the spillages are not cleaned up properly and immediately they will leave a sticky residue that attracts dirt and results in a stain. Consider investing in some cleaning supplies from Click Cleaning.
Whether it’s from red wine, mud from outside or a piece of chocolate, you should apply your cleaner directly onto the stain, leave it to soak in for about five minutes and lift it with the help of a hand brush and by giving it a vacuum. As well as removing the stain, you can also be rest assured that strong odours and allergy inducing pollutants will also be gone.
Ultimately, one of the main reasons to invest in a carpet cleaner is to save you a costly carpet replacement sooner than expected. When you invest in a good quality carpet, it should last you for many years. Keeping your carpets clean and healthy will prolong its lifespan and save you money in the long run. If you have multiple carpets within your home, both upstairs and down, regular maintenance will save you forking out for them all at once.
Deep cleaning the carpet
According to the Daily Mail, new research has found that millions of Britons could be at risk of life-threatening diseases from their filthy carpets. The survey revealed that around 40 per cent of Brits wear footwear inside and less than one in five clean the bottom of their shoes.
It also found that 28 per cent of the UK’s population has had a pet vomit on the floor and 24 per cent have endured a pet leaving their mess. With this in mind, it is absolutely essential you deep clean your carpet on a regular basis. In addition to health and hygiene benefits, deep cleaning your carpet with a good carpet cleaner will also provide other advantages including revitalising dull flat carpets and restoring them to their original beauty. A clean and fluffy carpet will help to create a fresh vibrant atmosphere in any room of your home.
With Christmas fast approaching it’s important to remember that when celebrating among family and friends, germs are a gift no one wants to receive. It is a time of sharing and high spirits, but these useful tips will help prevent unwanted germs arriving and let you have a happy and healthy Christmas.
1. Wash your hands
Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before preparing food. In the rush to get everything ready don’t forget to do this simple step to stop germs from spreading.
2. Clean all surfaces regularly
Food preparation areas as well as food consumption areas are very susceptible to germs as bacteria can build up faster than people think. Germs that cause food poisoning can linger for days in the sink. Craig Jones, from Australian microfiber cleaning company White Magic wwww.whitemagic.biz, says that the kitchen sponge can harbour more germs than a toilet seat, up to 10 million bacteria per square inch!
3. Avoid cross-contamination of your food
Using different utensils for meat and other foods will help stop germs spreading. Ensure all your foods are prepared properly as harmful bacteria can easily splash from raw meat onto bench tops, chopping boards and utensils. Using microfibre cloths also helps prevent the spread of bacteria, as the White Magic Kitchen Surfaces Cloth (RRP $9.95) contains nano silver in the fibres that kill bacteria in the cloth within 24-28hrs.
4. Look after your fridge
In the heat of summer your fridge is already working overtime, then we add all the extra meals for Christmas lunch. Be sure to check your fridge is at the right temperature (below 5°C) to stop germs from growing. Also, don’t pack the fridge too tightly, the food will be a lot healthier if there is cold air circulating in the fridge.
5. Fully defrost your meat
Make sure your turkey, chicken or even prawns are fully defrosted before cooking and separate all your meat from other foods in the fridge.
6. Cook thoroughly
Make sure everything is cooked thoroughly as uncooked meat harbours unwanted bacteria. For example, don’t get too excited about the Turkey and take it out before its cooked through. Turkey should not be pink at all and the juices that run out should be clear.
7. Don’t forget the veggies
Food safety at Christmas is not just about turkeys and prawns, it’s important to peel and wash your vegetables as necessary because soil can sometimes carry harmful bacteria. Washing with a vegetable brush, such as the Fruit and Vegetable Brush from White Magic (RRP $ 10.95), will quickly remove excess dirt and bacteria available at www.whitemagic.biz.
8. Look after your leftovers
Use leftovers safely. It’s horrible to waste food, especially at Christmas, so be sure to eat the leftovers within two days to avoid the spread of bacteria. Freeze any leftovers you know you can’t eat within two hours of cooking it.
9. Identify the contagious cousins
If a relative or friend shows up with the sniffles its best to avoid any physical contact, especially hugs and kisses, as this can cause infection and spread illness fast.
10. Have an eco-friendly christmas
Don’t overdo the chemicals as when cleaning with chemicals they will leave a residue – this residue may be harmful when consumed, come into contact with skin or eyes or when inhaled according to Asthma Australia. White Magic’s Microfibre Eco Cloths simply pick up the bacteria and then dispose the germs down the drain when the cloth is washed or laundered.
Worse than socks or deodourant, germs really can spoil your festive season, and remember if you happen to get sick this Christmas don’t be the one to regift!
For more information visit www.whitemagic.biz