Friday 20th March brought us the first day of Spring, and what a day it was, it started out as a bright cheery day and not only stayed for the day but for entire weekend.
If you’ve been following my “year to an organised life” programme you’ve had it pretty easy so far. That was intentional, it’s no good scaring you all off with huge lists of to dos and equipment to purchase.
By now you’ll be aware of the value of routine and you’ll be doing an hour of housework every evening so that way your laundry gets washed and ironed, your bathroom and kitchen are cleaned, your vacuuming is done and your dusting is kept under control, you’ll no longer have the morning panic as you’ll be into the routine of preparing your work bag, sandwiches and what to wear the day before and before going to bed you’ll be returning any cups/supper dishes to the kitchen and straightening the living room and plumping the cushions.
All in all you’ve spent the last three months establishing some good routines, and routine and preparation are two of the key factors to living an organised life.
Now that spring has well and truly sprung my mind turns to spring cleaning. The light is getting better and the home dust and grim is more visible, that gorgeous sunshine is showing you just how dirty your windows are and everything could generally do with a post winter tidy up.
We spent January putting Christmas away and establishing routies, we did an audit of our homes and what we wanted to do to improve them and we made a good start on our kitchens.
February finished off the kitchens and culled our clothes. Wardrobes were sorted, shoes were paired up and organised
In early March bedroom drawers were emptied and re-folded. Some of you even invested in a NoWireHangers approved FlipFold for your tops, sheets, towels and sweaters.
This week were all going to be working on our windows. Lets let that gorgeous sunshine into our lives. I tend to do my windows every eight weeks, that’s only once every other month, although in honesty I pretty much skip it during the really dark winter months.
I have two different routines for windows, one is very quick but very wet and sloshy so best kept for the exterior side of the glass, the other routine required a tad more elbow grease and takes longer but makes less of a mess so I keep that for the inside, you don’t want to be sloshing buckets of water around in the inside of the house do you.
Lets start by flinging open our windows and giving the house a good blow through. Pull your curtans back/blinds up as far as they will go, or even take them down and drop them off at the dry cleaners if you’d like.
Taking a bowl of nice hot soapy water with a dot of disinfectant added go to gay abandon on the interior of your window frames and sills with a nice abrasive cloth, a nice rough tea-towel works for me, a washing-up brush or old toothbrush is wonderful for getting into the runners and giving everything a good general scrub up. Dry everything off with a dry towel or microfibre cloth.
For the exterior of the windows you’re going to need a bucket of hot soapy water (don’t go mad with the detergent), a cloth, a squeegie and if you’re not on ground level; a ladder and someone to hold the bottom.
Starting with the top windows work your wet cloth in a circular motion all over the glass, getting right into the corners, and around the frames. Swapping quickly to the squeegee remove the water and soap in a swift downward motion. If you’re a bit more squeegee savvy you can do it as the professionals do in one continuous swoop from left to right to left to right to left to right making a rainbow arc with your squeegee right down until you’ve reached the bottom of the glass. If you find this difficult three of four neighbouring downward strokes will suffice. Be sure to overlap your strokes slightly as you don’t want to leave any water and soap residue behind. Repeat for all of the top windows then come down the ladder and repeat for the lower levels.
Change your water and repeat the process at the back of the house.
For the interior you’re going to need an empty spray bottle (you can buy these from Ikea, a garden centre, or even recycle an empty kitchen cleaner bottle), some white vinegar, two cloths (preferably one of them being a microfibre cloth) and optionally some tea-tree oil.
Mix two parts water to one part vinegar in the spray bottle, add 4/5 drops of tea-tree oil, add the trigger lid and shake well.
Again working from the top downwards to prevent dribbles spritz your window with your solution and working in circles with one of your clothes agitate the dirt away. Once that entire pane is clean then buff dry with the other cloth (preferably a microfibre one) and them move onto the next pane. The vineger helps to cut through the grease and drys to a smear free finish.
The tea-tree oil not only helps to kill the bacteria that cause the black spots you get in the framework from condensation, but also masks the slightly vinegary smell (which in itself clears very quickly).
Another tip is to dry in a side to side motion, that way if later you see a smear you can tell if it’s on the interior or exterior side of the glass. Up and down strokes on the outside and side to side strokes on the inside make the smear easier to distinguish.
Diarise to repeat this process every eight weeks.