You've likely been spending more time at home than ever and you would have become more aware of problem areas and pain points around the house. Now's the time to re-imagine a more functional and easy to use space that suits the whole family and there's no better time to dream about changing around your space than after a good clean and declutter. Here are a few helpful tips on how you can get started.
Redecorate by reorganizing and de-clutter
The power of decluttering a home cannot be understated. It's difficult to go through old knick-knacks, sentimental items, clothes that don't fit, cable drawers and storage cupboards but it can make your space feel bigger and less cramped. The best thing about it is that it doesn't cost a thing other than some hard work and patience.
Set aside a day to go through everything that’s taking up space around the home. Sort these things into categories and throw out any broken or stained items. Remember that you can box and bag the stuff you'd like to give away and donate these items after lockdown ends.
If you're looking for a more detailed guide, we've already rounded up some interesting and nifty ways that you can clean up and organise your home, read more here.
If you're looking to redesign a whole room, draw a room plan on paper for the room you would like to freshen up. You can make copies of this drawing and then brainstorm two or three different setup ideas for the furniture around the room to find the best solution. Rearranging your space can change the whole look and feel of your home and it may just give you the lockdown lift you needed.
When you have frustrations about your living space it's usually the case that the way your space and items are organized could be better utilized. Maybe it's not even something as big as moving around furniture but it could be reorganizing how you use the drawers in the kitchen. These solutions don't have to be expensive or require specialized storage solutions you can find clever hacks on Youtube and Pinterest with even a cursory search these days.
Blast away stubborn dirt and grime
You’ll be surprised by how much grease, dirt and grime can build up on your driveway, house exterior and patio over the year. So take the extended break to give your home a blast with a high-pressure cleaner and get rid of stubborn dirt and mold. Wipe down skirting boards, walls and window areas too. For the inside of your house, you can even make your own home-made and cost-effective cleaning solutions.
Some general safety tips: Never mix ammonia-based cleaners and bleach products as this can create harmful and dangerous fumes. Make sure to read the product labels before reusing any finished cleaning product bottles. Always make sure to label your homemade cleaners including all the ingredients so you know exactly what is in the new or recycled bottles
- 250ml vinegar
- 250ml water
- Lemon zest
Combine these ingredients and let the scents infuse for at least 3 days before loading it into a spray bottle (you can always re-use a washed spray bottle from other detergents). You can then use this cleaner on walls, plastic containers, sinks, and counters. There is only one warning: do not use an acidic cleaner like this on any granite surfaces as it can create etch marks on the stone.
- 5 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 litre of water
This is a gentle but effective all-purpose cleaner that can be used around the kitchen and inside the fridge. This cleaner can even be used on stainless steel and doubles as a deodorizer to be used in sinks and to clean dustbins from any unwanted odours. For extra power, you can create a thicker paste with the baking soda and apply it to any tough to clean areas and drains. Rinse and wipe away the kitchen cleaner and you're good to go.
Brighten up your space with a new paint job
This is a fantastic time to give your home a face-lift with a fresh coat of paint. Make sure your home is paint-ready by the time the lockdown is lifted. You can make the surfaces paint ready by removing any imperfections or flaking paint with a scraper, heat gun, wire brush or sander. Make sure to mask up window frames or any other areas you want protected with masking tape like door handles and skirting boards. Once the hardware stores open you can select your favourite paint colours and you're ready to rock with a well-prepped interior. Finish off your prep with a paint visualizer app that uses your phone's camera to try out paint colours in your home. Record your paint colour names and you'll be completely ready to take on your paint project.
We may be restricted by what we can buy and build at home but a wonderful space is not made up of expensive decor and flashy finishes. It's about creating a space that is inviting, organized and functional. Anyone with a bit of thought and care with even the smallest budget can turn a disorganized space into a home where people feel welcome to gather in. So let's use this time to create welcoming spaces in our homes and apartments.
Spruce up the garden
Your garden is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to clean up your space. Remove any dead or unwanted branches but don't throw away any dead leaves. Rake all your leaves in the garden and lay them around your planting beds in a thin layer to create your own mulching process. Plant new garden beds with seeds from your veggies or make old ones look new by adding mulch as ground cover.
Indoor plants are likely to need some love too. Get your secateurs out and give your leafy roommates some much-needed attention by gently trimming leaves and pruning branches to make way for new life to grow.
If you want a change in feel you can repot plants in other planters or paint planters with any leftover paints you may have stored away. You could even try your hand at propagating your own cuttings from plants you already have. Succulents, rubber trees, and delicious monsters are a great start to easy propagating and many tutorials can be found online for your specific plants.