Spring-cleaning

10 Amazing Spring Cleaning Hints And Tips

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.

February 26, 2015

Sustainable Ways To Clean Out Your Closet

We often don’t realize the clothing we have accumulated over the years – and just how much of it we don’t wear – until our closets explode and we’re buried among handbags from 1997. But instead of throwing it in the trash, here are some cool ways to clean out your closet, and get a little bit back.

Host a Market Stall or Lawn Sale

Find your local market and register for a stall. Before you do this you will need to consider few things:

  • Spare change. You will need to start your day with some of your own extra $$$.
  • Wet weather. Even if it’s dry, if it has been raining you’ll want to place a plastic sheet on the ground. If it showers, you might also want to take a cover to protect your goods.
  • Tables and display. It’s ideal to have some fold-up tables and racks to make viewing and sifting through your items easy for customers. Don’t forget to take a chair for yourself!
  • In my experience, it is usually the cheap accessories that go first. People often can’t be bothered to try on clothing – even if you have a place for them to do that – and most will be looking for a quick bargain.
  • Change rooms. You might want to consider creating a small change room – even by hanging a few sheets for privacy. This brings us to…
  • A mirror. Most people will want to check themselves out before purchasing that mini skirt.
  • Pricing. Remember, if people wanted to pay top dollar, they wouldn’t be shopping second-hand. If you have valuable vintage or designer items, you might be better listing them online where it is more likely someone will recognise their worth.

Host a “Clothes Swap” Party

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right? Hold a small party and get your girlfriends to bring over all their unwanted clothes. You can each take turns in raiding each other’s wardrobes, ridding yourselves of a those “what was I thinking” items, and picking up something new in the process. Add some wine and it’s a party!

Host a Mending Party

I’ve known some people to host “mending parties” – essentially like a sewing circle with fewer grandparents, although you could always invite them too! Gather your friends and bring those items of clothing with missing buttons or unstitched hemlines, and patch them up. If you’re a clueless seamstress, it’s great to get advice and share supplies with your buddies, and will give you that extra motivation to spruce up those old but timeless items.

Donate to Charity
Why toss out your old clothes when there are so many people who could benefit from them? You and I both know that there are perfectly good – some unworn – items of clothing in our closets, that we just don’t want anymore. Spare yourself the guilt trip and give them to your local thrift store. Do a good deed and give selflessly.

Image via suzannemauro.com

August 3, 2014

Clutter Crazy: How to Declutter (and Save Your Sanity)

Clutter is one of those things that drives me absolutely mental, and I know I’m not alone. Not to say that I live in a show home. I more live in a state of bearable chaos until I snap and have the urge to make everything as pretty as possible.

But one thing I’ve learnt is that making things pretty is so much harder with clutter around. It doesn’t matter if I know I’ve just mopped and dusted and attained hospital-grade cleanliness, if it all ends up with stuff of top of it I’ll have a special type of freak-out. And having had such a freak-out recently while giving my apartment a spring cleaning-style overhaul, I thought I’d share the tips that I learnt the hard way. 

One thing at a time, sweet Jesus 
A quote from my Nan that would’ve saved me a whole heap of stress had I listened. When decluttering it’s tempting to get excited at the prospect of having a show home and attacking every draw, cupboard and hiding place with a furore – which is how I began. After one night at Ikea the boyfriend and I decided to get cracking and as I started stripping out the laundry, he attacked the living room. Next thing I know it’s 10.30pm on a Wednesday night, we’re both knackered and seemingly everything we own has ended up on the floor. This was a stressful situation: there was no space, we had to do acrobatics to get into the kitchen and my dreams of a perfect home were trampled beneath piles of books, DVDs, linen and everything else.

So start small – pick a room, or a cupboard. Empty it, clean it and get rid of what you don’t need, while putting the survivors back in an organised fashion. It’s amazing what a relief such small changes can bring.

Get a system
There’s a phrase to keep in mind when decluttering: ‘If it’s not useful, beautiful or extremely sentimental, don’t keep it’. This is a super handy rule of thumb when you’re staring down at a draw of old nail polish, broken trinkets and random bits of faff that so easily accumulate, I’m convinced they’re breeding.

The same goes with clearing out your wardrobe – if you haven’t worn it in a year, odds are you won’t.

Ditch the guilt
One thing that can often be an obstacle when doing a clear-up is the sense of guilt that you’re wasting money or being reckless. So rather than just filling a wheelie bin with all stuff that’s no longer useful to you, donate it someone who could really benefit from it. Places like Good Sammy’s and the Salvos take everything from books to cookware, bedding and clothes. This way, you’re giving new life to something that may have just sat neglected otherwise. Women’s shelters and charity shops often do drives to support people in need in your community, so by doing a clear-out, you could really help others.

Or if there are a few of you having a clear-up and your bestie would murder you for getting rid of that dress she’s coveted for years, grab some bubbly and have a swap night with friends – odds are you’ll find some steals, so you’ll be updating your wardrobe while cleaning it out – ultimate win-win.

Decluttering and spring cleaning (even in summer, or autumn…you get it) also has benefits far beyond leaving you with a pretty pad. Studies have shown that getting organised in your home can give you increased motivation, a clearer mind and additional energy, all while reducing the stress and anxiety that can come from clutter. So for a happy home, and head, get your gloves on.

Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.

Are you a clean freak? A happy hoarder? Or a spring cleaner, like Kate? Tell us in the comments!

January 16, 2014

Spring Clean your Wardrobe


Spring Clean your wardrobe

It’s a new season so it’s time for a closet clearout. Follow our ‘wardrobe wipeout’ tips so you can make room for those new clothes.

We have all hung onto clothes for some reason or another. Either it is emotional and we just can[t give it up or we think it may come back in fashion? Okay, we’re not telling you to chuck out things you love and still wear. We’re trying to help you get rid of clothes that are and were fashion faux pas. You know, that mini skirt you bought last year you swore you would live in all summer and you still haven’t worn it. Here is our ‘keep list’ guide:

KEEP

Pashmina: We love them. Yes, they were very 1999 but you can still get mileage out of these divine, warm and snugly wraps. If you bought the real McCoy then they can be used as a blanket on a plane flight, a throw over your couch or just for wrapping around yourself when you’re cold.

Sequinned (anything): This look was huge in 2000. We were wearing sparkly tops with jeans, skirts you name it. But sparkle clothing is great for eveningwear and it never dates. Keep a hold of these items.

Denim: Anything denim is back, it is a classic. Those indigo bootleg jeans are worth holding onto. Denim jackets can be worn with anything. Even if the style is a little dated, just add a few brooches to jazz it up.

Puffy Sleeves: Keep this item as they have just arrived on our fashion shelves so you will still get quite a bit of wear out of this number. They still look great with jeans and tight fitted work skirts.

White T-shirt: You can’t have enough of these. Short or long a great staple to any wardrobe.

Military: These trend items are revived every minute so don’t let these go. We’ll give you a tip: the military look is back next season.

CHUCK

Jeans with feather, leather: Remember Gucci? This look was out the minute it hit the catwalks. Just cause Tom Ford declared them to be cook doesn’t mean your copy jeans are a go-go. Get rid of them now!

Corsages/ribbons/flowers: This is too “Sex in the City” and very dated. Don’t pin another flower or corsage on your outfit again. Chuck now!

Logo clothing: Anything with a logo scrawled across the front.

The Baguette Bag: If you were luckier enough to score a Fendi Baguette then don’t throw this gem out. Keep it aside. However if you bought a copy Baguette get it out of your house now.

Rock Chick Look: Anything studded, ripped or splattered with graffiti type writing has to leave pronto.

April 9, 2002