Whether you live in a newly constructed neighbourhood like I do (hello constant dust and dirt!) or a century old farmhouse, your home is inevitably going to need a good spring cleaning.
My boys and I moved to our new home just this past February. Before we moved, I had just one rule: I would only bring things we love into our new home. The great result of this is we are now surrounded by things that make us happy. The tricky thing is I love a lot of pretty, white (and, inevitably, dusty) items which need regular cleaning - even more so after the winter ends. I already feel the urge to dig in and get a good spring cleaning done because dust waits for no one!
To say keeping our new home clean this spring has been a challenge, is an understatement. But because I like to make everything as simple as possible, I have a few handy tricks I use that will make your spring cleaning a breeze.
Life is busy and if you don't schedule time for housework, it’s easy to find excuses to do just about anything else. The best way to stay on track is to make a schedule, based on what works best for you, and stick to it.
I prefer to tidy the house on the weekend and completely clean the main floor each week. I alternate between the basement and upper level by tackling those areas every second week. Bathrooms get cleaned each week (but not always!) and laundry is pretty much constantly happening (I bet this is the case in your home, too!)
Multitasking also helps - while the kids are having their bath, I take time to organize their clothes. I get to chat and keep an eye on them while they splash and play in the tub, while also folding and hanging.
Making a schedule may take a few tries, but once you find a system that works, it will easily become a part of your routine.
And don’t forget to get your children involved, too! Kids of every age can take on the responsibility of household chores. Having young children doesn't always make it easy to stay on top of the mess, but getting them involved in tidying can make a difference.
After the salty, slushy, gloomy days of winter have passed, scheduling in a deep cleaning session during the spring will give your home a well-needed lift in terms of cleanliness (another deep cleaning can be scheduled for the fall to get rid of summer sand and dirt).
When doing your spring deep clean, remember to clean windows, dust blinds, and wash or dry clean curtains as needed. These are two spots most of us tend to overlook.
Another task we sometimes overlook is vacuuming under large furniture pieces and actually vacuuming furniture, like couches. My couches are slipcovered, so I did not expect they would get so covered in lint from clothing, so vacuuming furniture is a must. My son also has allergies, so for me (and any family who deals with allergies), it's important to have a vacuum capable of getting rid of the dust you can and cannot see, which includes allergens like microscopic dust, pollen, and mould spore. Enter my new Dyson Cinetic vacuum.
Confession time: I was shocked (and slightly horrified) the first time I used my Dyson. I vacuum the main floor every week and because my boys are messy eaters, I sweep the kitchen at least once a day. I was prepared for some dirt but I could not believe how much dust and debris was collected. I know it sounds crazy, but I swear I breathed easier after I vacuumed the whole house. It does a way better job than any vacuum I have owned and gets rid of the dust and allergens that cause my son's allergies to flare up. The Dyson Cinetic DC77 is certified allergy and asthma friendly by the Asthma Society of Canada (Dyson actually has the largest line-up of vacuums certified by ASC), so this is a huge bonus for those with allergies. Take that, dust!
Another thing that sets this vacuum apart from the rest is that it’s so efficient at dust separation, there are no dirty filters to wash or replace - less hassle is always a good thing. The suction is great for removing the lint on our white furniture (which always drives me nuts!), and the stiff bristle brush removes mud and dried-in dirt. Did I mention that my house is surrounded by dirt and that I have two little boys? And those slipcovers covered with lint? The Dyson has an attachment specifically designed to suction up dust on upholstery. My sofa looks pretty again (until my boys mess it up again!).
Spring is also a great time to get your home organized. Who wants to spend time indoors putting things in their place once the nice weather arrives? Set aside some time to do the following:
Whether you change some throw cushions, change your duvet cover, add fresh flowers to a room, or get a little crazy and DIY a floral spring wreath, small changes rejuvenate your home. Plus, shopping for pretty seasonal pieces for your home is a nice reward for all that hard work!
Spring cleaning and refreshing your home is simple when you have a plan.
Bonus Tip: If you have a hard time getting it all done, make it fun by listening and singing to loud music (it's not just me who does that, is it?) makes it less of a chore!
Along with precious handmade gifts brought proudly home from school, Mother's Day is a time women receive flowers from the ones we love. I happen to love fresh flowers and try to have them in my home at all times. Many moms, however, prefer a gift that lasts a bit longer. So, I thought it would be a fun challenge to come up with flowers every mother will love. Flowers that will stand the test of time, and serve as a stylish reminder of the thoughtfulness of those we love most.
1. This gorgeous blouse is from one of my favourite shops, Zara. $45.90
2. Home is truly where the heart is and this cushion from Chapters Indigo says it all. $49.50.
3. This mixed stone necklace from Stella and Dot is just about the prettiest bouquet you can wear. $89.00
4. Floral cushions, like this colourful one from Tonic Living, turn any room into a happy space. $66.95
5. Art is always a thoughtful gift. This abstract floral print by Canadian artist, Yangyang Pan, is stunning. $30.89 and up
6. A floral clutch is the perfect feminine accessory. This one is from Chapters Indigo. $28.00