Springtime may still be quite a way off, but it’s never too soon to do a bit of spring cleaning. Think of it this way: a little sprucing and de-cluttering now will save you having to do it all in one go when the good weather finally arrives. And besides, when it’s cold, grey and rainy out there, it can be highly rewarding to get some chores done while you’re stuck inside. Below, we give you some ideas for refreshing your home depending on how much time you have. No matter how long you’ve got – whether it’s just half an hour or a whole day – you can make a big difference to your home by doing some small, satisfying jobs.
What to do if you’ve got…
Little jobs can make a big difference – like removing crumbs from the toaster, wiping down surfaces (especially corners and crannies that usually get missed), and putting your tea towels on a hot wash.
Freshen up your microwave by placing a little water and a halved lemon into a bowl, then putting it in the microwave, power on high, for 3 minutes. Leave the door closed for 5 more minutes, then wipe round the inside of the microwave. The steam will have softened any dried-on spots of food, and the lemon should leave it smelling clean and fresh.
If you’ve got a little more time, tackle your mirrors, windows and shower doors. Vinegar is a great, cheap cleaning product for glass, and you’ve probably already got some in the cupboard. Dilute it well, then wipe over surfaces with scrunched-up newspaper for a smear-free finish. If you’re on a roll and the weather’s reasonably fine, clean the outside of your windows too, where you can (take care on ladders, of course). The satisfaction of looking out of clear, streak-free windows makes it totally worth it.
Once your windows and mirrors are gleaming, have a go at windowsills, ledges, shelves and furniture – anywhere that collects dust and dirt. Wipe over kitchen cabinet doors to get rid of fingerprints, and clean all door handles – metal handles in particular come up really nicely with a good polish.
½ a day – 2 days
You can make a real difference to your kitchen in less than a couple of days if you replace your cabinet doors. If you’re looking for modern, low-maintenance kitchen doors, consider a high gloss design. Sleek, shiny and easy to wipe clean, gloss-finish doors are both practical and stylish. If you favour a more traditional look, woodgrain doors are timeless, and give your kitchen a warm, welcoming feel.
Before your new doors are delivered, take the opportunity to go through your cupboards and get rid of anything broken or past its use-by date. Clean up any mess, like leaky bottles of sauce and split bags of rice or pasta, and remember to recycle what you can. In most places it’s fairly easy to recycle glass, cardboard and certain types of plastic packaging – use this handy recycling locator if you’re not sure about the facilities in your area.
With some help from our video guides, and perhaps a willing family member or friend, you can easily replace your kitchen doors in less than 2 days – which will give your cooking and dining space a whole new look for a fraction of the cost of a full renovation. You can also download our free guide to replacing your kitchen doors, which takes you through the whole process, step by step, from measuring your current doors and drawer-fronts to fitting doors for integrated appliances.
No matter how much time you’ve got, it’s possible to make a real difference to your home – with a good, thorough clean and some new cabinet doors, you can have a kitchen that feels brand-new in a matter of hours.