We asked parents about the never-ending job of cleaning, their top tips and suggestions on how to get motivated. The party turned up tips for every type of housekeeping philosophy, which we’ve separated into sections below.
And as @PippaD pointed out, the benefits of spring cleaning aren’t just a tidier house – it can also give you a more ordered state of mind after the cobwebs of cold weather.
There were so many fabulous suggestions that we couldn’t include them all here. But here are a smattering to help you with the practical (and psychological) task of getting your home shipshape.
Quick cleaning strategies
@Aresidence: One room at a time. Gives you a sense of completion before moving on.
@neviepiecakes: Declutter a small area each day eg. a shelf or makeup bag. Off
to do mine now!
@Aresidence: Dress up as Fifties housewives, drink G&Ts and listen to Nina Simone. Worked when I was a student…
@Lauren122484: Making it a goal to throw away 100 things today!
@momonawire01 Reward yourself when you’ve finished the house, it’s blooming hard work!
How to more easily clean you family home
@Bobbity666: Get the kids involved – good cleaning habits start young and they love to help dust…
sler If kids’ bedrooms have gone beyond them, put a hoop on the floor and ask them to tidy up one hoop at a time
@michelletwinmum Definitely use the 1-in and 1-out rule. My kids have all learnt this & it makes them think before buying more rubbish!
Natural & easy spring cleaning hacks
@smilinglikesuns: Vinegar can be used (1 part vinegar – 1 part water) as a disenfectant on countertops, bathrooms and floors
@jd_artofwhimsy A great spot remover for fabrics: 1 tbsp borax, 1 c hot water, a few drops eucalyptus oil. Mix & let cool.Works on most stains!
@organisedmum: Use newspaper to dry washed windows or mirrors to prevent smearing
@clareandtribe: If u burn a saucepan 1/4 fill with water add a sprinkling of washing powder and simmer for a while
@MostlyYummy: Use a sock as a duster on your hand on the bannisters and handrails on the stairs. So much easier and quicker.
@clareandtribe Use half a lemon to wipe over chopping boards and knives after chopping garlic
@perfectweekends Tip: Keep an old toothbrush to get into those difficult areas behind taps & around plug holes.
@Mummiafelice Use white vinegar to clean mirrors and glass. No streaks and dead cheap- not brown though or it will smell like a chippy! lol
@Ali_Davies Dust with a damp cloth. Picks up dust without it flying everywhere. Saves using chemicals so saves money too
@Melaina25 Half a lemon dipped in kosher salt is great for polishing and cleaning copper pots!
@adnamaenajyhp use a hairdryer to blast dust off venetian blinds – saves loads of time
@Beckicklesie: Lemon is really good for bringing up shine! Use it on your brass or anything that’s missing it’s gleam
@wendymcd83: Use babywipes to clean leather sofas.
@Mummiafelice If you pull out leather sofa to clean and find the kids have scribbled on it – try hairspray(on an inconspicuous place first)
@Mummiafelice WD-40 can get crayon off of walls! Just rinse it well afterwards with a cloth!
@clareandtribe Lightly spray some furniture polish on inside of light shade – as bulb heats will emit smell 🙂
@violetposy: To clean the microwave quickly, pop bowl of water with half a lemon in it – put on for a couple of minutes then wipe clean.
@jd_artofwhimsy: A great spot remover for fabrics: 1 tbsp borax, 1 c hot water, a few drops eucalyptus oil. Mix & let cool. Works on most stains!
@Beckicklesie: As well as making your windows shiny, vinegar in the toilet bowl will help remove stubborn marks
@Bobbity666: if you have asthma sufferers in your household open the windows when hoovering to help alleviate the dust
@clareandtribe: Drop 4 Alka Seltzer tablets into loo and leave for 1 hour brush and flush = sparkling loo
@adnamaenajyhp: Wrap a mop head with an old sock to reach cobwebs – dunk in soapy water first!
@TeamLeila: Give dado/picture rails and sideboardy things a vac before you wipe them to avoid more dust flying in the air
@LilacNic: A few drops of essential oil on your lightbulbs will give off a lovely scent when you switch the lights on
Secret places people miss while spring cleaning
@melissatalago: Wash filters in stove extractor before they get oogey – mine go in dishwasher
@TheMichaelMoran: It’s worth blowing all the accumulated dust out of computer fans with air-duster. It’s good for crumb-laden keyboards too
@michelletwinmum Don’t forget to take your curtain and nets down to wash too
@donowt: If you have a dog, vacuum the dog, not the floor – stops hairs at source (Dyson make a special attachment)
@Bobbity666: don’t forget to clean your skirting boards when cleaning – looks so much better if you do
@Blatherskite_MN: Run your washing machine empty at 90 every now and again to make sure it’s clean
@Bobbity666: Clean the leaves of plants using a cotton wall ball soaked in milk – you’ll be amazed at the dirt and dust it removes
@BrigiCarter: Vacuum your sofa properly and underneath the seat cushions too – you’ll be amazed at amount of crumbs that accumulate there
How to get rid of mice and other pests
@jhowze Friend has just texted me a mouse tip – peppermint oil. Apparently they hate the smell. Sprinkle round doors, cracks etc
@Rentokil: TIP: good housekeeping helps prevent flies & fleas as it deprives larvae of the organic matter they feed on
@Cat_Hill: I always clean under the fridge to make sure I’m not attracting cockroaches eeew
@mummypreneur: mouse-in-loft trapping tip. Place a v deep container with lettuce leaf at bottom [plastic swing bin] under beam. mouse trapped
@Bobbity666: Hoovering your mattress helps keep down the amount of dust mites
@BrigiCarter: Don’t leave breadcrumbs on your kitchen worksurfaces or on the floor – always clear away…otherwise they may just attract ants
@deBugged: Open windows to let carpet beetles out.They pupate in March then fly towards the light in search of nectar (NB: @deBugged is the Twitter name for the blog of Rentokil, our party sponsor)
Lazy cleaning tips
@Beckicklesie Air your house – wait for a breezy spring day, open the windows and doors and let nature do its business
@cosmicgirlie Don’t stress about it. Seriously. I have 2 Smalls who trash my lounge with toys every day. Sometimes you have to accept mess.
@Bobbity666: Dogs are great for cleaning up food messes after kids meals
@pinkyaks: Get a cleaner/choose to live in squalor
@kohsamuirosie Call mother up — she knows how to roll her sleeves and get the job done!
What are your cleaning tips and hacks that make house cleaning easy?
Picture: Alesa Dam via Flickr