Pieces of Lego are strewn; shoes are littered; food spilled; furniture stained. Clothing is scattered. Pens, pen lids, crayons and felt-tip pens sprinkle surfaces. Toys are disassembled; old batteries discarded; former favourite toys abandoned. Combs and hair clips accumulate in corners and on staircases; footprints mark shiny floors; scribbles, notes and doodles gather on tables, desks and chairs. Packets of biscuits are in with the fresh foods; milk is without purpose and outside the fridge; finger prints smudge cupboards, walls, doors and windows. It wasn’t always like this. Something changed. It’s the school holidays! The truth is that you may never achieve again the calm and harmony that prevailed throughout the pre-kids era, but that isn’t to say that at least a semblance of planning and regulation cannot be brought back into the home. So put a lid on the chaos, put that disaster away, and take heed of these top tips for tidying up and keeping it that way:
You may have already done the big spring clean in your own home, but what about your relatives? In particular, I’m thinking about your grandparents, parents, uncles and great aunts who may be less able to give their own home a thorough clean this year. When I heard about the #RiseToTheChallenge campaign on social media it really made me think – why not give a little something back to our relatives by helping them out with a mini-makeover? I packed up my dusters and headed straight out this weekend to see what cleaning up I could do for my family.
I wanted my little clean-up to be a surprise so I headed to the shops on Saturday morning before heading to mums to surprise her in the afternoon. I headed to Savers, The Range, Poundland, Superdrug and Sainburys to stock up on plenty of cruelty-free cleaning products and bagged them up as a treat for my mum. She’d recently expressed an interest in my cruelty-free quest and wanted to make the switch over to non-animal-tested products herself. As I’ve mentioned before, chucking out all your old products and replacing them with a whole new cupboard of cruelty-free alternatives just isn’t feasible – it’s wasteful and costs a lot. It’s better to replace each product as it runs out and make the change gradually.
Well, I wanted to give mum a head start (I’m just so pleased she wanted to get involved) and I wanted to take on the #RiseToTheChallenge project and spruce-up her home. Rather than taking all my own cruelty-free household products over to mums (I’ll blog about all my favourite cruelty-free cleaning brands soon, so watch this space!) I decided to pick up a few bottles and give them to mum as a treat, along with a thorough clean-up of her living room. If you’re interested, here are the CF cleaning products I found: Astonish (all around £1 – £1.99), Sainsburys (from just 40p for bleach!), Cussons (£1 for a huge washing up liquid) and Original Source handwash from Poundland. Just goes to show that being kind to animals doesn’t have to cost more – in fact, I’m pretty sure everything I bought costs much less than the branded version.
I don’t know about you, but when my house is untidy, I just can’t relax. I don’t mean that my home has to be in über-clean condition, but if there’s mess covering my surfaces, my mind feels just as messy and I really want to tidy up before I can get started on my work. Maybe I’m just procrastinating, (probably!) but life definitely feels easier and I’m considerably happier when everything has its place. Thankfully my lovely friend Anna Jones has shared an article with me about finding storage space out of thin-air; who knew I had so much spare space to stash my mess! Here’s her top tips for getting creative with storage space:
There’s nothing worse than living in a cramped, cluttered and overcrowded environment. Life’s hard enough without being able to come home and relax in your own space. However, by following just a few quick and easy space saving tips and a bit of elbow grease, you can transform your home into a spacious, palatial environment to rush back to.
To turn your home around, start looking at the space around you from a different point of view – get to know all the nooks and crannies above every door and at the back of every alcove. These are your nuggets of gold; your bonus storage spaces!
Now put them to good use… any space no matter how small can be used to tuck away those pesky items that clutter up your workspace. Understair and wall shelving can be used to tidy up all the bits and bobs you’ve collected over the years and help to create a colourful display out of all your treasured possessions.
If you have high ceilings try using just a few pins and string to secure those forever unfurling pieces of wrapping paper overhead, neatly packed away with easy access. A simple solution, but so effective!
If all else fails it’s time to make a cull! Don’t be afraid to get rid of those larger space hording items such as that dresser you inherited from your aunt that you never use (or ever really liked). There are numerous sites out there that can help you find a pretty penny for these items (try Ebay for a start!) and furniture transport companies can deliver them in one piece. Before you know it you’ll be rid of old Aunt Margaret’s dresser and have gained an extra square foot of space or two. Use the proceeds of your sales to opt for simple, functional yet stylish furniture. An excellent example is this floating shelf that provides an elegant solution to storage with a built-in bike rack – without pinching any precious floor space! How cool is this?!
Now sit back, put your feet up, pour a glass of wine and enjoy your craftily created haven of space… Thanks to Anna for sharing all these funky space-saving ideas. It’s inspired me to get on with my spring cleaning (a bit late, I know!) and I’ve ordered a click ‘n’ clean kit from Dunelm Mill, so I’ll wait for that to arrive before I start 😉
More interiors articles:
- Inspirations for a retro living room – the wallpaper is finally up! (cassiefairy.com)
- An old armchair rescued (cassiefairy.com)
- Inspirations for a retro living room: Soft Furnishings (cassiefairy.com)
- Interior design inspirations: Finn Juhl (cassiefairy.com)
- Have you ever seen anything as retro as this? (cassiefairy.com)