Spring normally brings the opportunity for a good clear out and spring clean, but this year, it’s even more important than ever. Not only have we been stuck at home through a long winter, we’ve been stuck at home for pretty much the entire last year! Many of us haven’t had anyone outside our household see any further than the front doorstep since March 2020.
If the year stuck at home hasn’t spurred you into a cleaning frenzy – for us, it’s gone the opposite way! – it’s time to give your house a refresh ready for visitors when the world starts to open up again after spring.
Take a look at your home through fresh eyes – what do you notice? Small piles of clutter that have become bigger and more unmanageable over time; dust that’s gathered on unused surfaces; sticky handprints on windows from kids stuck inside for months on end; and dents in sofa cushions where our “home office” has slowly taken residence.
Here are our top quick and easy tips on getting your home looking and feeling visitor-ready:
Open the Windows
The advice throughout the pandemic has been to open windows regularly to help flush out the virus, but we’re recommending it here for another reason: to freshen up stale rooms and breathe some life back into your home. A bit of fresh air works wonders, and might blow a bit of dust away too so you don’t need to spend quite so long with the feather duster!
Clear the Clutter
Step two is to be ruthless – think Marie Kondo, does it bring you joy? Start with the rooms that visitors will be most likely to come into: the living area, downstairs bathrooms and kitchen. Grab any and all clutter that doesn’t need to be there and move it out. For the time being, this might just be to another room of the house, but you might as well fill up the charity shop bags while you’re at it.
To keep on top of this clutter build-up, particularly if you’re reluctant to get rid of items or you still need them around, invest in a few pretty baskets and storage boxes. A wicker basket with your extra blankets sat beside the sofa doesn’t only look neat and tidy, it looks deliberately styled!
Once the clutter is out of the way, you’ll probably spot dust in places you didn’t think it could get to! Again, stick to the main rooms that visitors are likely to see and go round with a cloth or feather duster giving everything a good wipe over. This needs only take 5 minutes per room. We recommend putting on your favourite song and having a bit of a dance while dusting – by the time the song’s finished, the room will be too!
Disinfect door handles
If you’re short on time or still not feeling motivated to do a proper deep clean, at the very least, grab a spray disinfectant and a cloth and give door handles and regular touch points a quick clean. You can leave the “real” cleaning for another time!
Plump up sofa cushions
For the first time in over a year, you might have someone else sat on your sofa – but it’s now moulded to your shape! Grab every cushion and throw off your sofa and give them a good beating. If you notice it’s a bit grubby underneath the cushions, a quick vacuum and spritz of fabric freshener will work wonders.
If you have more specialist cushions or throws such as our sheepskins, James Waylett at Jacobs & Dalton has some advice: “Sheepskin cushions and throws look absolutely fantastic when they arrive, but over time they can get a little flat or matted if not carefully looked after. To get yours back to tiptop condition, we recommend using a slicker or pet brush to gently tease out the wool. If you’ve spotted any marks or stains, these can be spot-treated with a damp cloth.”
Give the bathroom some attention
While the real deep cleaning can wait, your bathroom as a highly trafficked area needs a little more attention. After all the regular cleaning, give everything an extra scrub to get it nice and shiny, then finish off with a freshly washed hand towel.
Lockdown has been hard on all of us, so whether you’ve banned biscuits from the house or they’ve mysteriously disappeared, now is the time to check that you have a selection to offer guests, along with hot and cold drinks. You might also want to check that, after a year of just using your favourite mugs, your other mugs are all looking okay – no chips or ingrained tea stains.
Wipe down the front door
Now it’s time to think about the last few small jobs you can do in the hours before your guests arrive. The front door might be looking a little grubby, particularly after the winter weather, so simply grab a cloth and give it a quick wipe down – no need to be fancy here! Any front-facing windows might also need a quick scrub with water and vinegar (for ease!) to complete the look.
Freshen up with flowers
To give your home a bright, welcoming feel and to add decor where you might be missing some, fresh flowers will always do the trick. They also have the added benefit of adding a fresh scent to your home. If you’d prefer to skip the flowers, a reed diffuser will also do the trick.
Finally, if you’ve got a bit of spare time, get your apron out and whip up a batch of cookies or loaf of bread! Not only will your house smell amazing and you’ll have something to offer guests, it’s also a great way to clear your mind and focus on something else if you’re feeling a little bit nervous about having people inside your home again.