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5 Spring Cleaning Tips for the Home Inspired by Marie Kondo

Date Published 28.05.2019
Topic Home Insurance

Marie Kondo Spring Cleaning Tips for your Home | AIG

Is your home in need of a good spring clean? Perhaps you’ve noticed how dusty your house now that the sun is shining in the windows, or maybe you’ve watched the Netflix show: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Either way, you’re not the only one feeling this way. Now is the perfect time to discover the life changing magic of tidying up - and we’ve got the tips to get you there.

It costs nothing to tidy and organise your home and the whole family can get involved. By the time you’ve finished your home storage will be efficient, you’ll be free of clutter and instead surrounded by the items that bring you joy. Let’s get started!

1. Give everything its place

The hall area of a home is usually a narrow, cluttered space in the home. Marie Kondo suggests giving every item its own place to declutter and utilise this space.

Storage tips for your hallway:

  • Install one coat hook per family member for hanging coats, hats, scarves etc. When winter passes and the heavy coats etc are no longer needed, store them in the wardrobe and replace them with summer alternatives to avoid overfilling the hooks.
  • Decide where bags are to be stored. Depending on space, install cubby hole units for holding baggage or else store bags elsewhere - in the bedroom, under the stairs etc.
  • Place a “No Junk Mail” sticker above your letter box. This stops junk from getting into your hallway in the first place.
  • Store post on a designated tray. This helps to avoid losing important post items.

When making changes to how you store items in your home, don’t forget your home security. Once completed, apply these tips to the other disorganised areas in your home.

Everything has a Place

2. Dispose of unnecessary papers

Save the trees! Are you still receiving bank statements and bills by post? If so, you’re probably being charged to receive them. Arrange for your utility bills to be sent by email to help stop papers building up in your home clogging up your drawers and table tops.

Of course, not all paper can be thrown out. Keep important documents, such as birth certs and passports, together in a designated storage box. This box will be your go to place when searching for anything important and you’ll save time and hassle by just knowing where it is. No more “where’s my passport gone?” or “has anyone seen my birth cert” - you’re welcome!

3. Declutter your home

This step is the foundation of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Marie advocates the Konmari Method - decluttering and organising your home by category, not location. She suggests beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, finally, sentimental items.

Start by gathering the contents of the category you’re working on and place them in the centre of the floor or bed. Then, hold each item in your hands to show its value and decide there and then if it “sparks joy” within you. If it does, you can keep the item and if it doesn’t, you must thank the item and then donate it or dispose of it.

Marie says: “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go”. This style of cleaning is philosophical: it’s both effective and mindful. The process will help you to appreciate what you have.

Prepare for Deep Cleans

4. Plan regular deep cleans

Get in to the routine of carrying out deep cleans on top of your day-to-day house cleaning. Aim to complete at least one deep clean every one to three months. Create a deep cleaning checklist for your home that includes the following steps:

  • Remove out of date items from the fridge and clean the shelves with warm soapy water and a microfiber cloth. Reorganise the freezer and de-ice if needed.
  • Clean your washing machine by running a cycle with ¾ cup of white vinegar in the detergent drawer
  • Remove and clean dishwasher racks, empty any waste and treat it with dishwasher cleaner
  • Clean kitchen appliances such as toaster, kettle, microwave, grill and oven
  • Dust and wipe ceiling corners, window sills and skirting boards
  • Dust areas such as the fireplace, books shelves, picture frames 
  • Move furniture to clean underneath and behind it 
  • Clean the front of any kitchen cabinets with hot water 
  • Wipe your windows clean with white vinegar and paper towels
  • Treat any carpets in the home

The more regular your deep cleans are, the less of a task they’ll become!

Tip: Don’t overspend on cleaning supplies. White vinegar, lemon juice and other household items can often be used as an all-purpose cleaner.

  • Rub half a lemon on your faucets to get rid of hard water marks and make them shine.
  • Clean your microwave by heating up the juice of half a lemon, half a cup of water and the lemon rinds for three minutes. Allow the steam to sit in the microwave for a further five minutes to loosen up any grime inside.
  • Clean stainless steel with bread soda and a wet sponge. Add salt for a more intense clean.
  • Spray some warmed white vinegar on your grill grates to loosen up residue and then scrub them with half an onion. The acid from the onion will remove all leftover remnants on the grill.

5. Create a schedule for smaller, more regular cleaning tasks

Get everybody in the house involved! Whether it’s hoovering, emptying the dishwasher or hanging out the washing - there’s a suitable task for everyone. Keep younger kids interested by awarding points for tasks they complete. Keep track of the points on a chart and award them with a small treat each time they hit a target number of tasks.

Spreading the work helps to relieve the pressure on any one person in the home and makes everyone appreciate the time and effort it takes to keep the house clean. A job shared is a job halved after all!

Remember: Always work from top to bottom while cleaning

For the simple reason that dust and dirt fall from the top to the bottom as you’re cleaning. When cleaning your kitchen, don’t clean the counter tops before the cupboards only to have the crumbs from the cupboards fall onto your clean counter. Avoid cleaning surfaces twice by starting at the top and work your way down.

It’s also useful to choose a direction to clean in. Pick between clockwise or anticlockwise to ensure every part of the room is cleaned. Consistency is key!

Look after the things that matter most to you with home and contents insurance from AIG. We offer levels of home insurance to meet your needs. Get a quote today.

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