Step 1 – De-clutter
This is a tough one – you have to stay strong and be brutal – go through all your stuff and if you haven’t worn it/listened to it/watched it or used it in the last year then get rid of it.
Sounds harsh but it’s a pretty good rule.
For clothes – if you didn’t wear it last summer are you likely to wear it this summer? Probably not – if it’s in good nick sell it – there are plenty of ways to buy and sell clothes from the big boys online like ebay and Gumtree to ‘exchange’ shops and sites like The Dresser – a second hand designer clothes agency in London. Another alternative is to arrange a ‘swap party’ with your mates but don’t forget – you are supposed to be de-cluttering not replacing your stuff with other stuff – stay strong! If the above is too much hassle, drop it in at your local charity shop – someone will make a few pennies and it’s all for a good cause.
For old tech, music and DVDs there is most definitely money to be made. Again, there are the online sites like musicMagpie and Zapper but do your research – you may not necessarily get the best price on sites like this so do shop around first. On the high street (as well as online) are places like Cash Converters but again, you may not get the best price. When it comes to selling items like these you may be better off selling them individually and privately whether online or in a second-hand shop.
For bulky items like furniture, use sites like Preloved or Gumtree so you can specify ‘collection only’ to make it easy on yourself. Failing that, charities like the Red Cross and British Heart Foundation will come and collect or your local council will, but usually for a small fee.
If you’re not ready to part with some items permanently then storage is your answer. Boxman Self Storage make it so simple – no struggling down to the storage unit with armfuls of your worldly goods or picking your way through boxes to find that one particular item you’ve realised you can’t manage without, with Boxman they do all the hard graft for you. Simply order your waterproof boxes online and they will be delivered to your door when you choose. Pack your items, then book your collection and they’ll come and get your stuff. Plus – if you decide you may not be able to cope without a particular something, use your account with Boxman to upload and tag your items and if/when that time comes, you can simply search for it online and Boxman will bring it back to you!
Step 2 – Clean
So, now you have de-cluttered you can really get your hands dirty and begin spring cleaning.
Now, we all know cleaning is arduous and extremely boring…although it can be weirdly satisfying at the same time. TNT recommends you do your Spring cleaning over a period of time, not all at once – that’s just too depressing – traditionally March is the month for spring cleaning as the weather is that bit better meaning you can throw open the windows and get rid of all the dust and grime that has built up over the last year, so start now and aim to finish at the end of the month doing a room at a time.
There’s a ton of handy hints and tips online from step by step room by room guides to cheats around the house that can help make things a little bit easier for you. Clean from top to bottom, so start with dusting and end with vacuuming/mopping to ensure all your dust and dirt is at ground level ready to be sucked up. NB if mopping – don’t find yourself trapped on a dry island the opposite end to the doorway – start in the farthest corner and make your way to the doorway – it’s amazing how many people find themselves trapped!
Make the most of household items like the dishwasher & tumble dryer – the dishwasher is great for giving plastics & glass a really good clean – from glass light fittings to plastic toys – chuck them in the dishwasher and let it do the hard work for you.
Cleaning the oven is possibly the worst job in a spring clean so make it easy on yourself and call in the professionals. Companies like Nationwide UK Cleaning offer full oven cleans from £40 – it may seem a bit steep but when you are in the second hour of your oven clean and your flat smells like a chemical factory you may wish you’d spent the money!
And speaking of which, don’t spend a fortune on cleaning equipment – you don’t need a different spray/detergent for each and every surface – stick to a good multi-surface cleaner or take a look in the cupboard – many household items can double up as perfectly good cleaning products from lemons to white vinegar – you might be surprised.
If you really can’t face doing it yourself, there are plenty of companies out there who will come and do the dirty jobs for you, they usually offer a free, no obligation estimate so there’s no harm in checking it out.