Time to get to work

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Can you believe January is over? No, us neither. But it’s February and that means one of two things. Either the spring sun light will soon be shining its unforgiving light through those streaky windows and onto every surface in the house; or the snow will be reflecting and intensifying the winter sun light into unforgiving beams shining through those streaky windows and onto every surface in the house. Whichever, it’s time to think about spring cleaning, because there is absolutely nothing fabulous or lovely about dirt.

On the other hand though, cleaning itself doesn’t really count as fabulous or lovely either. You probably won’t be surprised that we have some tips for getting the stuff done as quickly and efficiently as possible so that we can all get on with more interesting things. (Have you seen the lovely new homeware in Anthropologie?)

First of all, you really don’t need a massive amount of cleaning products in the cupboard, but make sure that you keep a few where they are needed. For instance, keep antibacterial wipes and bleach in each bathroom so when you see something that needs a clean, you can do it straightaway. Oh, and if you have more than one floor in your home, find a corner in a cupboard on each for a duster, polish and spare bin bags and that way you won’t waste time carrying things up and down stairs.

On the subject of cleaning products… here is a little secret. You know when you stand in front of a whole display of them and they whisper ‘Buy us! All of us! You can take us home, leave us in the cupboard under the sink and our very presence there will not only magically clean your house with no effort on your part, but also give you the key to everlasting happiness’? It’s not true. Really. You can trust us on this. You’ll only be disappointed. (Look at it this way – if it were true don’t you think we would have shared by now?) There is one gadget we love though (and it’s just the thing for those streaky windows we mentioned earlier): this baby, the Karcher Window Vac:


It sucks up water without leaving streaks, so to clean glass all you have to do is wipe it with warm water and a drop of washing up liquid using a micro fibre cloth, then suck up the water. As well as windows, you can use it on mirrors, glass doors, glazed picture frames and tiled walls. You can buy a special cleaning concentrate and a spray bottle with a microfibre head but see above! You really don’t need them!

Now windows don’t need cleaning often, but somethings do and the best advice for those is: have a routine. Do a proper clean of each room once a week and then all it will need on the other days is a few minutes tidying up and wiping down. That way you set an easy target for each day, feel virtuous when you achieve it and – this is the important bit – still have time for other things!

However, one thing we think should be left to the professionals is oven cleaning. Whatever the latest product is, it takes ages, smells foul, involves scary chemicals and the results never seem to look really clean. Most of the oven cleaning companies operate on a franchise basis so it’s worth getting local recommendations as the service from one company to another can vary between areas.

Now that’s sorted, have you seen this jug from Anthropologie? Isn’t it gorgeous?


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