How to clean, declutter and organise your home like a professional

Here's our expert guide to spring cleaning: how to declutter for good, clean and organise like a pro

Get your home spring ready

Nothing is more satisfying than a spring home makeover. It’s the perfect time for a touch-up and a clear-out, leaving your home feeling light and fresh just as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. However, if you’ve spent the colder months ‘nesting’, this can seem like a daunting task! Read on for our simple guide to bringing those spring vibes into your home.

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1. Declutter

Piles of paperwork, bags and shoes where they shouldn’t be, ironing not put away. Sound familiar? This is partly due to our busy lifestyles and ineffective storage, but a major problem is having too much stuff to start with. To shorten time spent cleaning and create harmony in your home – and head – you need to downsize your stuff.

Get your home spring ready
Embrace the new season by clearing the clutter, refreshing your interior and bringing the outdoors in. Rupert 2.5 seat slip cover sofa in Mercury Smart Linen, £2,000; Felix footstool in Canvas Pure Belgian Linen, £280, sofa.com

Take inspiration from the KonMari method, devised by renowned organising consultant, Marie Kondo, and declutter on the ‘spark joy’ principle. Kondo advises to choose what to keep by holding, feeling or wearing each item and if it doesn’t bring you joy, thank it and get rid of it. This is a cleansing process and it works, but it can take time.

For a quicker way to conquer the clutter, try the 12-12-12 Challenge. Find 12 items to throw away or recycle, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. Make it fun and set up the challenge for each family member and you’ll blitz your space in no time.

The expert says…

‘If you’re fed up with looking at the same clothes in your wardrobe, hold a clothes swapping party with your friends. This is a great way to update your wardrobe without spending a penny and recycle all of your items’ – Rachel Burditt, owner of The Declutter Darling, thedeclutterdarling.com.

Rachel Burditt, owner of The Declutter Darling

If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with the ‘four-box system’. Label four big boxes ‘store’, ‘keep’, ‘donate’, ‘bin/recycle’, and get to work. Just don’t be tempted to ‘store’ too much, especially if you never use it or it’s not of sentimental value. Remember, you have to be ruthless at this stage. Once you’ve decluttered, stay in control by adopting the ‘one in, one out’ system, and be dedicated with this approach to prevent recluttering.

Get your home spring ready
Edit your wardrobe, then keep it in order by folding and ‘filing’ your clothes. Categorise by
colour and season, and use boxes and baskets for smaller items. Bespoke walk-in wardrobe by Go Modern

2. Clean

Once the decluttering is done and dusted, it’s time to actually get dusting and get started on that spring clean! Don’t panic, it’s not essential to spend all weekend in rubber gloves to get your home in tip-top shape, but what does make cleaning much easier and faster is great tools for the job. It’s worth investing in a good-quality vacuum cleaner (HEPA vacuums are fab as they catch particles you can’t even see), as well as a decent extendable spray mop and a multi-purpose microfibre cloth.

Get your home spring ready
Keep surfaces clean and clear by storing everyday items in organised drawers and hidden compartments, like in the Vox 4 You dining table which has a clever central container and drawers, priced from £355, Cuckooland

If you’re unsure of which areas of the home to tackle first, make a checklist and prioritise. Short on time? Then save the big jobs like cleaning the fridge and scrubbing the oven for a rainy day and concentrate on the large areas that are immediately visible such as windows, walls and tiles – a good wipe down of these often neglected areas will spruce up your space – benchtops, sinks, sofa covers and floors. Getting these areas gleaming will make the space sparkle on the surface and make you feel happier.

3. Organise

To stop the clutter creeping back in, you need to get organised and stay organised. How? Practical storage solutions! Boxes and baskets are your new best friends, and labelling works a treat. Labelling is an effective way to keep things in their place and for you to know what you’ve got and where it is. Colour coding is another go-to organisational method, and it’s a fun and visually pleasing way to get your things, particularly clothes, books and crockery, in order.

Get your home spring ready
Attractive labelled containers, handy wall shelves and wall-mounted rails with hooks will keep items off your work surfaces and in perfect order. Selection of utility storage items from Garden Trading

Expandable drawer dividers are a must-have for organising small items, especially in that overflowing ‘junk’ drawer. Keep surfaces clutter-free by finding a dedicated spot for ‘stuff’ to go. Use a ‘clutter box’ that gets sorted at the end of each week, or hang up a pinboard as a practical solution to get paperwork off the benchtop and onto the wall where it won’t be forgotten.

Get the look

Or, eliminate paperwork completely by scanning receipts, bills, etc. as they arrive and set up an ordered digital system. Stackable racks inside cupboards can utilise wasted space, as can installing a shelf in the dead space above a door, and don’t forget how handy hooks can be.
Get your home spring ready
Colour co-ordinated crockery instantly looks organised – with very little effort required! – and it’s attractive too. Be inspired by this selection of springtime tableware from Matalan

Once you’ve got your storage sorted, take a few minutes each day to neatly put items back where they belong, and think of it as therapeutic as opposed to a chore. The only challenge now is to convince your family to do the same!

4. Style

Styling your home for spring will not only revitalise your interior but it will give you a boost too. Textiles are a budget-friendly way to create a fresh look for the new season. Pack away the heavy curtains and replace with soft, lightweight blinds or sheer drapes. The laid-back elegance of a voile panel will let in more sunlight and create a carefree vibe that’s perfect for the warmer months.

Get your home spring ready
A crisp white base paired with soft neutrals and sunny layers of mood-boosting yellow creates a fresh and inviting space. Be inspired with this bedroom scheme by IKEA

If your cushion covers are made from fabrics like velvet or suede, switch to a material such as cotton or canvas. A beautiful rug is an instant update that will transform the look of a room without the need to redecorate.

Get the look

Choose a statement design that expresses your personality. Tea towels and tablecloths are affordable buys that can change the look of your kitchen without any major commitment, and new glassware or crockery in bright colours or pretty pastel shades will lighten up your dining area.

The expert says…

‘Take the opportunity to create a seasonal display indoors. At the first sign of blossoming buds appearing on the hawthorn hedge and magnolia tree in my garden, I find a long stem to cut and display on my mantelpiece in a glass bottle vase or jug’ – Selina Lake, stylist and bestselling interiors author 

Selina Lake, stylist and author

For a more permanent makeover, use wallpaper and paint an accent door or even the window frames in an uplifting shade; be inspired by nature’s palette and pick a scheme that invigorates you. In the bedroom, replace woollen blankets and duvets with crisp white sheets and lightweight linen or cotton throws. Decorative accessories, such as vases, lampshades and wall art, are fun ways to update a space without making major alterations. Think glass instead of ceramic, lively bright colours and floral motifs for a real spring statement.

Get your home spring ready
Co-ordinate homeware and accessories in different shades of energising green to bring a cohesive, calming feel to the scheme. Wall paint Benjamin Moore Crystalline (AF-485; top) and Cushing Green (HC-125), both £23 per 0.94L, Benjamin Moore
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If flowers aren’t your thing, play with pattern or mix fresh neutrals with different textures. The most cost-effective way to give a room new energy is to move the furniture around. Even simple rearrangements will change the look and feel of the space and it costs absolutely nothing. And, it’s surprising how little touches like updating your coffee table books can make an impact on the overall look and feel of a room.