Every year, my wife and I make grand plans for spring.
Keeping a weekend clear, we list all the things we want to achieve around the house, from re-grouting the bathroom tiles to clearing out what we call the Everything Else Cupboard (the one we open very carefully, in case all the junk falls out).
When the Spring Clean Weekend arrives, we’re full of motivation, imagining the beautiful, clean, well-organised home we’ll be relaxing in by Sunday evening.
Of course, it never happens. The grouting takes longer than expected, the cupboard turns out to be full of souvenirs that need to be reminisced over for at least two hours, the guinea pig suddenly needs the vet and we never get as much done as we planned.
This year is going to be different.
Speaking to friends and family, it seems everyone has this problem, so I’ve come up with a new four-step spring cleaning ‘system’ that means you can get all your jobs done – and have time to relax:
1) List all the rooms in your house on a piece of paper.
2) Note up to three things you want to achieve in each room.
3) Each weekend from now onwards, complete your tasks for one room.
That’s only three jobs per weekend. Easy, right? Even if you have a big house, you should be able to get everything done during the spring using the ‘Reece Method’.
There’s one more step, which is hugely important to keep our environment clean too:
4) You’re bound to find all sorts of junk you no longer want. Put it all in a corner, and once your jobs are finished for the weekend, recycle it!
Much of what you throw out may still be useful to someone else. If your family and friends don’t want it, consider donating it to a charity shop. Clean clothes, furniture, toys, ornaments, books and media are all welcomed – a quick Google search will show up your nearest charity shops and the types of donations they take.
Another option is to use community Facebook pages to give things away or sell them for a small charge. We got rid of an old coffee table through our local Facebook selling page last year – it was picked up within three hours! To get as much interest as possible, include a photo of the item in your post.
Your trash is someone else’s treasure – unless it’s broken, of course. Even then, it might contain important materials that can be recycled to save our planet’s resources. Small electrical items like radios, toasters and calculators can be taken to the pink bin at your local library to be recycled, even if they don’t work any more.
Other waste can be taken to your nearest Essex County Council Recycling Centre – wherever you can, separate out any parts that are recyclable. It all helps!
If you have anything really bulky and can’t take it to the tip yourself, the Council does offer a special collection for larger items at a small charge. You can book this via the Colchester Borough Council website.
Lastly, if you’re anything like us, your house is full of the guilty evidence of empty Christmas selection tins. Don’t throw them away – they’re brilliant for tidying away smaller items like photos, receipts, screws, nail polishes, baubles… just label them so you know what’s what next time you have a spring clean!