Have you felt it yet?! Have you noticed the lighter mornings, the change in light, the snowdrops and crocuses?! Winter still undoubtedly reigns, but more signs of Spring are appearing everyday and I can feel the change in energy inside my bones, you know?!
The new light always makes me itchy for a Spring clean, and as we are about to have another baby, my need for a clean, decluttered and calm space has never been stronger. But. This doesn't always coincide with my desire to actually, you know, clean. I actually sort of....hate it. I have friends who find it meditative and calming, and others who just resign themselves to it and get on with it, but I basically make Dave do it whenever possible. I do however like tidying, and find it much more satisfying. I will opt to clear surfaces before I even think about picking up a cloth to clean them. It sounds a bit strange but when my house is tidy, my mind feels tidy. This year we actually hired a cleaner which you can read more about in this post- it was the best decision. But we haven't always had a cleaner and we still have to clean in between visits too, so I thought I'd put some tips down about how this cleaning-phobe makes cleaning an actually pleasurable experience. Or at least a bit more pleasurable anyway. Really.
Tidy up first
Clearing surfaces makes it so much quicker to clean. Chuck out any unwanted junk, properly sort paperwork (don't just straighten the pile or move it around), put toys and kid stuff back in its place, recycle magazines etc etc. I have a separate post about decluttering coming up, but it makes cleaning so much easier.
Use lovely cleaning tools.
I have slowly been upgrading my cleaning tools over the last few years, and it has helped me to rethink how I approach cleaning and housework. I realise that sounds a little strange, but I have found that every day life is a little more pleasurable when the mundane objects you encounter every day are beautiful. When you have to sweep up crushed food stuffs of unidentifiable age from the floor, the frustration is somewhat countered by using a brush and crumb tray that looks and feels good to use. Thanks to one of my favourite shops, Objects of Use I recently finally replaced the broom I've had for years with a beautiful Swedish broom, and my dustpan and brush too. This shop makes me weak at the knees- all the useful utilitarian objects, made beautifully, and to last. Plus, I mean, lets talk priorities, this stuff looks really really pretty hung on my wall!
Listen to podcasts or really good music
When I can, I put one of my favourite podcasts on, or listen to my favourite music. This really makes a difference to my resentment levels when I need to clean! Podcasts in particular have the added benefit of teaching me something new whilst i'm cleaning or tidying and this somehow makes all the difference in how long it feels like it takes. I listen to creative business podcasts like Make It Happen, Being Boss or Explore Your Enthusiasm
Use lovely products
The other thing which I think makes a difference, is to use lovely products that smell good and for me personally, aren't full of chemicals. (I know this is down to preference ultimately). I think buying those products would give the same thrill, but I make my own products which means I can scent them how I want (I tend to go quite heavy on the essential oils), and I'm assured there are no nasty chemicals lurking inside either. It's much cheaper too, and comes with a sense of extra satisfaction when one does finally tackle the mountainous washing basket.
Frankie-Rose and I recently made up batches of my homemade cleaning recipes in anticipation of the extra washing, and I thought it would be nice to share them here, which I'll do in another post.
Objects of Use and I have teamed together to create a wonderful giveaway to help you with your Spring Cleaning this year.
Objects of Use have provided a linen scrim, box of soap flakes, round vegetable brush, hand brush, branch branch to front of frame and wooden pegs.
I have included a small jar of my homemade washing powder, the branch brush to the centre of the frame (from Hen and Hammock) and a couple of bars of pure vegetable soap flakes.
To enter, head over to Instagram and share your Spring Cleaning/clearing plans and tag both @objectsofuse and @hanbullivant. You can use either your own image or regram the one above. We'll draw the winner in a week! Open to UK residents only, and Instagram has in no way endorsed the giveaway.