Confessions of real Spring cleaning addicts

Photo credit: Aunt Owwee

There's nothing like a sunny morning in March to lift my spirits and put me in the mood for...cleaning. You didn't expect me to say that, now, did you? The mood for smiling, smooching or shopping, maybe. But cleaning? Sorry, readers, I really am partial to a bit of rubber glove action come the first sight of sunshine.

I adore a good clean out. There's more catharsis in the sorting of a misbehaving sock drawer, the cleaning of a Winter-worn window or the elimination of pooch hair behind the sofa than in any therapy session. And trust me, I've had loads.

A Spring clean can reignite the love between you and your home, plus give any visitor the impression you're the perfect mother, partner, daughter, all by simply rubbing the wax crayon off the fridge and reorganising the Tupperware. What's not to love?

I am absolutely not alone here. Or, at least, I'm not alone in feeling the Spring cleaning itch. Whether we get to scratch it is another thing, one that mostly comes down to how many hours in the day there are, and whether we have the right natural cleaning products to hand at the right time.

Here at BigGreenSmile.com, we're devoted to helping all wannabe Spring cleaners realise their dreams, and live happier more fruitful lives, abundant with love, joy and laughter (because that's what a washed out recycling bin will bring, yes?).

We've asked real folk - by that read friends and family - to tell us what Spring cleaning task they're just itching to do this year. And we’ve provided some tips and natural cleaning products to get the job done.

Victoria, 35, newly married, writes:

I've just moved in with my new husband. After over 10 years of bachelor life his housekeeping habits are, well, ahem. I am itching to sort out six drawers of his full of socks, hats and gloves. He has a lifetime's supply but still manages to wear ones with holes in....

We fix: Vic, you married this chap before checking his sock drawer?! Well, it's too late now. Our advice is to show no mercy to the threadbare or comedy item, send anything pre-1970 straight to the textile recycling bin and put the rest in the washing machine with a dose of natural laundry liquid. Hang on the line, pair up when dry and pop back in the drawers; two should be the max.

Earmark the remaining four drawers for your mammoth lingerie collection, and go find yourself something more exciting to do than washing your chap's socks!  Give the drawers a spruce up with some Method Wood Polish, which will spread the joy of almondy goodness every time you reach for your undies.


 

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC's

Andrea, 39, comedy writer, writes:

Absolutely top of my list is washing the windows (inside and out) especially now it's a) lighter in the mornings and b) sunny. Actually, no: just make that a) lighter in the mornings.

We fix: If it's more light you're after, try (a) a natural cleaning product like white vinegar or Bio’s Glass Cleaner, with a polishing cloth of scrunched up newspaper, (b) a daylight bulb, (c) live outside.



Lindsay, 45, nurse, writes:

It has to be clearing out the wardrobe. I so need to have Gok Wan help me send to charity those clothes that have been sitting there for over six months, or perhaps more honestly over two years.

We fix: You, me and half the UK population are desperate to clear out the wardrobe. The best solution for an over-stuffed wardrobe is to clear out once, buy fewer clothes and look after the ones you have better. Try keeping, say, Spring Summer pieces in your wardrobe, and Autumn Winter in storage in the loft. Rotate according to the season.

We like to store our clothes with a bar of Dr. Bronner's Lavender Organic Soap Bar wrapped in a handkerchief, which acts as a natural moth repellent (thanks to the lavender) and makes your clothes smell nice (thanks to the lavender).

Don't forget to give shoes a new lease of life by, wait for it, cleaning them! Novel idea, I know. Try Po-Zu Edible Shoe Cream


Christine, 71, full-time mum (mine!), writes:

Photo credit: newlivinghouston

Spring cleaning used to be washing all of the curtains, blankets and eiderdowns, cleaning the walls, carpets and cupboards!!   With modern products and appliances, plus no coal fires, we don't have that great need to spring clean like we did in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, thank goodness! However, it is really cathartic to have a clear out and throw away "stuff" you really don't need to keep; always recycling it of course. My spring cleaning task is to de-clutter the loft of all the stuff I've kept in case I find a need for it. This doesn't require products just a handy man who can climb up and down the ladders with awkward heavy boxes!

We fix: What do you mean? We love washing curtains, carpets, cupboards and that entire fandango. But if you’re not so keen to launder your curtains, you could just give them a little freshening up with the help of Eco Breeze Fabric Refresher. And while your handy man is working up a sweat taking your boxes down from the loft, why not browse the Eco Gifts For Him section and buy him a treat?



Matt, 37, graphic designer and dad, writes:

To reorganise the garden shed. It generally comes to the fore on a sunnier day when I go to get things out of there and it's a nightmare!  I never get around to it, as if it's a nice day I'd rather enjoy the sunshine.  Plus, having two kids of course.

We fix:  Now’s a great time for putting in some insect-friendly boxes while you’re sorting out your shed. Hang a bird box near the window and you can watch the birds while you’re working through the clutter. And don’t forget to layer on the natural sun care for when the lure of the sunshine gets too much.



Clare, 37, solicitor, writes:

It has to be cleaning the BBQ in anticipation for the first 2011 BBQ which can't be far away. The filter in the dishwasher and the washing machine tray are both good ones too. Oh, and cleaning the oven....

We fix: Now you mention it, it's exactly the moment to spring clean the dishwasher and washing machine. Zielonka Dishwasher Smell Killer should be on the list. Tackle the oven with the help of E-Cloth Hob and Oven Pack and set to work on the oven tray and barbeque with Michael’s Original Oven Tray and BBQ scraper, which uses the outer husk of a coconut as a dirt scraper. A good tip on the oven, once clean, is to line the bottom with tin foil, which can more readily be swapped once too mucky. Try If You Care 100% Recycled Heavy Duty Aluminium Foil.

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