Spring is here! Why not declutter and de-stress by setting yourself the task of completing our spring cleaning challenge?
Spring cleaning challenge
Decluttering has been found to reduce stress and help us feel happier, less anxious and more confident. But why is it so hard for many of us to find the motivation to declutter?
One of the major causes of clutter build-up is a lack of time. In a survey by OnePoll, 40% of respondents said that having a hectic work life is mostly to blame for having no time to clean. If you work or study full time and have other responsibilities such as a family or pets to look after, the last thing you might be thinking about after a long day is cleaning your toaster. You’ll already have lots of daily and weekly chores to keep up with like cooking, washing up, hoovering, cleaning countertops, doing the laundry and changing your bed linens. You also need to take time to enjoy a social life and hobbies.
In a study of 2,000 British adults, it was found that those who clean spend over four hours a week doing it. So, when it comes to the less frequent jobs we all put off, like sorting out our old confidential documents and receipts, it’s tempting to file them in the back of our minds instead. This spring cleaning challenge is comprised of jobs that do not have to be done very frequently. We have selected jobs that will give you the most decluttering power for your time, help to improve your environment, improve energy efficiency and jobs that will reduce the stressful visual impact of mess.
Week one of the spring cleaning challenge
Week one’s challenges are:
- Fill a bag with clothes to donate (30 minutes)
This will help you to free up some space in your wardrobes and drawers, and help out charities at the same. Please only donate items that are suitable for reuse – nothing stained or broken. For stained and broken objects, please use textile recycling facilities where possible.
- Clean out your wallet* (5 minutes)
There is no mild irritation quite like trying to find your bank card or ID in a wallet packed full of old loyalty cards and receipts. If you don’t need these items any more and they contain personal data or parts of your card number, shred them and recycle them.
- Declutter your paperwork* (1 hour)
It’s likely that somewhere in your home, you have an old box or folder full of paperwork that you no longer need. Treat yourself to a cup of tea and settle into a comfortable chair and go through it. With anything that contains your personal details, we recommend shredding and recycling. Shred Station can provide mobile, off-site and postal shredding services to help you out.
- Descale your kettle (25 minutes)
Descaling your kettle requires minimal effort. It will also help to make your tea taste better! You can buy kettle descaling powder from most supermarkets or can use an eco-friendly solution of white vinegar, water and bicarbonate of soda.
- Bleed and dust behind your radiators (3 minutes per radiator)
Bleeding your radiators can improve energy efficiency, keeping your home warmer for less. They can also get very dusty. You can get the dust out from inside and behind your radiators with special long, thin dusters or even with a hair dryer.
- Clean your mouse and keyboard (15 minutes)
If you’re at your desk for hours every day, your keyboard and mouse are probably a little bit on the gross side. Treat yourself to a shining, clean and crumb-free keyboard by using compressed air, dust gel and alcohol wipes. Make sure to unplug any devices before cleaning!
- Defrost and clean the freezer (2-3 hours)
Unplugging and defrosting your freezer often can make it run more efficiently. It’s also important not to cram your freezer with food if avoidable. Air spaces in your freezer will allow for a better flow of cold air and will stop your freezer from working overtime. While 2-3 hours may seem like a long time for this challenge, most of that time will be spent waiting for your freezer to defrost. You can speed up the process by placing bowls full of hot water inside the freezer. Don’t forget to put towels down too to avoid slips and trips on a wet floor!
Week two of the spring cleaning challenges
Week two’s challenges are:
- Clean fridge shelves and seals. (20 minutes)
If you have a fridge freezer, you could do this in week one and have a free day for week two!
- Dust lampshades and light bulbs (2 minutes per light fitting)
Light bulbs and lampshades can gather a lot of dust. Take a couple of minutes to dust your light fixtures and you’ll be surprised by how much it can brighten up your space.
- Box up old media storage devices. (30 minutes)
You might have more old data than you realise on USBs, hard drives, floppy disks and memory cards! Don’t forget to have these devices securely shredded by a reputable company to avoid the risk of data retrieval.
- Declutter the kitchen cupboards. (1 hour)
If you haven’t cleared out your kitchen cupboards in a while, you may be surprised at the volume of cans, jars and packets past their expiration date. We challenge you to empty those packets into a compost bin, and rinse and recycle old containers!
- De-crumb and clean your toaster (15 minutes)
While the heat of toasters can easily kill off most germs, it doesn’t mean they are hubs of hygiene. With their open top, they can get full of dust, crumbs, bugs and even bits of mouldy bread! Not things you want all over your morning meal. Don’t forget to unplug your toaster when cleaning it.
- Clean and hoover your car. (1 hour)
Cars can get filthy over winter with grime and grit from the roads. Treat yourself to a luxurious, clean and fragrant commute to work in a clean, hoovered car. Your steering wheel can be a hive of germs that you’ve picked up on your hands, so don’t forget to sanitise that, too. Why not also invest in a new, eco-friendly air freshener? You could even make your own with a piece of wood, essential oils and a little bit of twine.
- Tidy up your cleaning cupboard. (20 minutes)
After a fortnight of spring cleaning, your cleaning cupboard may need a little bit of love. Use the last day of your challenge by tidying under the sink and then celebrating your efforts with a chilled-out evening.
*Don’t forget to securely destroy any unwanted items with a confidential shredding company!
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