Spring-clean, it's in your genes
It's that time of year when you have to brush away the cobwebs, shake off winter's dust and spring-clean. Start by focusing your efforts on the big pieces and on the places that make the most difference to you
Less than half of all homes get that annual spring-clean, while a quarter of us are too busy to do all our chores, and 31 per cent of people hate dusting the house.
But loving or hating cleaning and housework may be all down to our childhood and our personality. It's quite common to copy the approach to cleaning and the techniques instilled in you by your parents. That can of course be positive if you've got a sensible routine and are happy with it.
But sometimes if we were made to do certain jobs as a child that we hated we can retain that feeling as a grown-up. That may mean although you're happy to clean, but one particular chore's a problem as you constantly overlook it, and the fact it's not done preys on your mind. Suffering from that love-hate reaction to cleaning can be solved.
Get round it by delegating, say cleaning the bath, to someone else. Or do the job you like least first so you don't build up a feeling of dread which makes a hated chore even harder to tackle. And if you're allergic to a spring blitz? Our personality affects everything we do and that includes cleaning. If you're a dizzy, chaotic character it's unlikely you'll methodically clean.
But it's worth being disciplined and setting time aside to do a spring-clean. The process of tidying and clearing can really help relax us and it can provide a sense of renewal, and that positive feeling could also change our attitude towards the chores.
So find out your cleaning personality, and follow our tips to the best techniques and equipment to make spring-cleaning a breeze.
What type of cleaner are you?
TIME POOR CLEANER
You're probably busy with family and work, and when you have some time to spare lack the energy or motivation to spend it cleaning.
Often these people are so stressed and overwhelmed they find it difficult to sit down and plan and prioritise. That means they're at risk of facing a mountain of chores which demotivates them even further.
Solution: Make a list of the essential cleaning jobs for each week and try and slot a time to do just one each day. Make a house rule if you take something out, you put it away. Keep surfaces clean, and tidy away clutter.
Top tip: For a spring-clean start at the far end of the home and work your way towards the entrance. In a room always work from top to bottom, left to right ‒ it's the most efficient way to clean.
You ignore the housework for ages, and then have a mad blitz so the home is immaculate for a few days but then slide back into chaos.
Whirlwind cleaners are usually pretty driven, focused and high achieving so when they clean they insist on doing it all themselves. They think only they can do the best job. But the huge effort can be exhausting for them, and everyone around them, and make them irritable and snappy.
Solution: Get the family to help you, and be tolerant if they don't meet your exacting standards. Plan one large job to do each month to avoid crisis clear-ups. You need to relax more so plan an outing or chill out time for yourself and whoever helps with chores.
Top tip: Only clear one room at a time. Always start by picking up and storing clutter.
COVER UP CLEANER
You consider housework a waste of effort. So spills won't be wiped up straight away, and you use rugs or throws to hide marks or stains instead of tackling them.
These people think life's for enjoying, not for slaving over surfaces. Their idea of cleaning is a quick flick around with a duster, moving cushions around and putting out fresh flowers.
Solution: Make cleaning fun by getting the family to help. If you have children hide sweets or tiny gifts around the house for a cleaning "treasure hunt" so they find them as they tidy.
Organise a full set of cleaning products in a basket for each room in the house so you don't waste time hunting for the kit to do the job. Reward yourself at the end of a session with a treat!
Top tip: Use a grout brush on bathroom or shower tiles to remove stubborn build-up between tiles and on fixtures.