Thursday, 18 September 2014

Top spring cleaning tips from Chantal Imbach

The first day of September is commonly regarded in the first day of spring. However, the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere (when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is equal) doesn’t take place until 23rd September this year (source: 

If you haven’t started your spring cleaning yet, then now is a great time to start because:

1. The days are getting longer, giving you more opportunity to do things in day light and get outside after work
2. The weather is warming up (but it’s not too hot to get out in the heat of the summer sun)
3. Hopefully the combination of the above means you have more energy to get stuck in and spruce up your house before the crazy Christmas season and holidays hit. 

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We've sought the advice of some experts who’ve shared their top tips on how to get the most out of your spring cleaning this year. Our first post in this series includes advice from professional organiser, Chantal Imbach – here are Chantal’s top five spring cleaning tips:

1. Plan 
Any extra jobs around the house (in addition to the usual housework) need to given priority if we want to get them done in our household. Chantal recognises that “Spring-cleaning can be a big job,” and advises to “Not only estimate how long it will take but schedule it in your diary. Otherwise, chances are that it’s never going to happen.” Make sure it’s also in your partner/children’s diary too so everyone can be involved. 

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2. Share the Load 
Many hands make lighter work and Chantal recommends making “it a family affair and involve the whole family and/or friends. Delegate or even outsource jobs if you can”. You could even outsource the routine weekly stuff, like the ironing, to free up time so you can focus on one-off jobs like decluttering and clearing out cupboards. 

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3. Declutter 
The less you have, the easier and faster the actual cleaning will be. Sort, purge and find a home for everything,” advises Chantal. The beauty of this tip is that it will also make tidying up easier in the future too, as hopefully everything will have a place. Once you’ve sorted everything, you could also label shelves and draws so other family members can put things back in their rightful place. 

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4. Discard 
Don’t hang on to the things you no longer want. Immediately bring them to the op shop, recycle or bin them. If you want to sell them, group the items and schedule the sale. If it hasn’t happened by this date, donate it,” says Chantal. The key is separating unwanted belongings from wanted ones i.e. putting them in a box in the garage, but also taking action quickly, otherwise you’ll just keep moving unwanted stuff around your house. 

I also love the idea of putting things you’re unsure of in another box and if you don’t use it within the year, get rid of it too. For clothing, trying turning the coat hangers it’s hung on in the opposite direction. When you’ve worn a garment and are putting it back in your cupboard, turn the hanger the right way around so you can keep track of the things you don’t wear. 

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5. Celebrate 
“You’ve worked hard, now it’s party time! Treat yourself and all helpers with a special reward,” says Chantal. You could even put the proceeds of the things you’ve sold towards a special family dinner. 

Above: Chantal Imbach of Simply In Order

These tips were kindly shared with us from Chantal Imbach of Simply In Order, Melbourne. Chantal is a professional organiser and offers decluttering and organising services. Check out more of what she does on her website, and her Facebook page:

What spring cleaning jobs to you enjoy? Which ones do you hate and put off?

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