Spring is here again! The daffodils are blooming, bumble bees have returned to our gardens, and the mornings are glazed in dewy lawns and abuzz with celebratory birdsong. It's not all blue skies and blooming flower beds though – this time of year is also famous for its affinity with sprucing up the old homestead.
Spring cleaning can be a tedious job at the best of times though, which is why we've put together this list of ways to brighten up your day while dealing with some of the more laborious tasks. And as a special treat, we've included some music suggestions for each tip to put a spring in your step.
Money Saving Tricks from Yesteryear
If you want to save a bob or two with your spring cleaning, there are few better places to look than old-fashioned cleaning tips. Take, for example, using a flat bottle of Cola to clean your toilet. Apply the Cola underneath the toilet bowl's edge and leave it for quarter of an hour before wiping down with a toilet brush. The phosphoric acid in the Cola dissolves stubborn stains and limescale with ease, and will also give your toilet brush a good clean in the process. Not only does it save on bleach, but it also provides a use for flat Cola that might otherwise go to waste.
Similarly, toothpaste and an old toothbrush can be used to clean silverware. It's the baking soda that's present in many brands of toothpaste which works away any tarnishes and saves you a few pounds on silverware cleaning kits in the process. Just be sure to avoid gel toothpastes (which won't contain baking soda) or brands that advertise tartar-control/whitening capabilities as these may contain chemicals that can harm silver.
Music: For these old-fashioned tips, what better music to clean by than The Beach Boys' 'California Girls' – an oldie but a goldie.
Heathcote & Ivory's new sachet packs will put the perfect finishing touch on a room well spring cleaned. With a wide range of fragrances, from the intoxicating whiffs of Sweet Pea and Honeysuckle to the soothing notes of Lavender, each sachet pack can be used to delicately scent any room, drawer or cupboard. Watercolour illustrations of blossoming flowers then further enhance fragrances that have been specifically selected to conjure up sensations from the spring/summer months (e.g. Wild Daisy & Elderflower or Freesia & Wild Strawberry).
Music: with vivifying scents rapidly filling your newly cleaned room, a track that stimulates all of your senses seems like a good way to go – we suggest the vivid images, smells, and tastes evoked by Prince's 'Raspberry Beret'.
'Tis the season for blooming flowers, so there's no better time to bring a slice of this unfolding beauty into your living room. Whether your taste is fabulous fuchsias or fragrant forget-me-nots, a colourful bunch of flowers positioned tastefully in a vase is sure to brighten up any room and unfold an oasis of alluring scents.
It's these qualities that have formed the inspiration behind the new Cath Kidston Retro Flowers range, which provides all of the essentials you'll need for this year's round of spring cleaning. There's hand wash for those dirty jobs, cloths for wiping down surfaces, dusters for cobwebs, hand creams and lotions to soothe your mitts after a day of hard scrubbing, and even washing up gloves (shown above right) to keep your skin nice and healthy.
Music: Perhaps it's just us, but amid this floral menagerie we yearn for something slow, emotional, and perhaps even a touch melancholy – see 'Warwick Avenue' by Duffy.