Spring clean... It's in your genes!

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DOES  your heart lift at the thought of that ritual spring clean and clear up that's supposed to blow away the winter cobwebs? 

There's no need for guilt if washing windows, clearing out cupboards and polishing surfaces actually fills you with dread, because you're not alone. 

Less than half of all homes get that annual spring clean, research by a major appliance manufacturer revealed, while another survey by a leading detergent company found a quarter of us are too busy to do all our chores, and 31% of people hate dusting the house. 

But loving or hating cleaning and housework may be all down to our childhood and our personality, according to psychologist Anita Morris.

She says: “It's quite common to copy the approach to cleaning and the techniques instilled in you by your parents. That can of course be positive if you've got a sensible routine and are happy with it. 

“But sometimes if we were made to do certain jobs as a child that we hated we can retain that feeling as a grown up. 

“That may mean although you're happy to clean, but one particular chore's a problem as you constantly overlook it, and the fact it's not done preys on your mind.”
Suffering from that love-hate reaction to cleaning can be solved. 

“Get round it by delegating, say cleaning the bath, to someone else,” she advises.

“Or do the job you like least first so you don't build up a feeling of dread which makes a hated chore even harder to tackle.” 

And if you're allergic to a spring blitz? Anita says: “Our personality affects everything we do and that includes cleaning. If you're a dizzy, chaotic character it's unlikely you'll methodically clean. 

“But it's worth being disciplined and setting time aside to do a spring clean. Getting rid of clutter and giving a home a good detox is often what we all need. 

“The process of tidying and clearing can really help relax us and it can provide a sense of renewal, and that positive feeling could also change your attitude towards the chores.” 

So find out your cleaning personality, and follow our expert's tips to the best techniques and equipment to make spring cleaning a breeze. 

 

WHAT TYPE OF CLEANER ARE YOU? 

TIME POOR CLEANER 

You're probably busy with family and work, and when you have some time to spare lack the energy or motivation to spend it cleaning. 

Anita says: “Often these people are so stressed and overwhelmed they find it difficult to sit down and plan and prioritise. That means they're at risk of facing a mountain of chores which de-motivates them even further.” 

Solution: Make a list of the essential cleaning jobs for each week and try and slot a time to do just one each day. Make a house rule if you take something out, you you put it away. Keep surfaces clean, and tidy away clutter. 

Top tip: For a spring clean start at the far end of the home and work your way toward the entrance. In a room always work from top to bottom, left to right - it's the most efficient way to clean. 

Best kit for you:  Pin that list of chores to a must-do board, avoid drawer chaos with an organiser system. Linen bags for shoes are great to tidy a wardrobe Fit out a laundry room to remove chaos and effort from chores.
Also you can store winter bedding and heavy jumpers in vacuum packs for space economy. 

 

WHIRLWIND CLEANER 

You ignore the housework for ages, and then have a mad blitz so the home is immaculate for a few days but then slide back into chaos. 

Solution: Get the family to help you, and be tolerant if they don't meet your exacting standards. Plan one large job to do each month to avoid crisis clear-ups. You need to relax more so plan an outing or chill out time for yourself and whoever helps with chores. 

Top tip: Only ever clear one room at a time. Always start by picking up and storing clutter. 

 

COVER UP CLEANER 

You consider housework a waste of effort. So spills won't be wiped up straight away, and you use rugs or throws to hide marks or stains instead of tackling them.
You think life's for enjoying, not for slaving over surfaces. Your idea of cleaning is a quick flick around with a duster, moving cushions around and putting out fresh flowers. 

Solution: Make cleaning fun by getting the family to help. If you have children hide sweets or tiny gifts around the house for a cleaning 'treasure hunt' so they finding them as they tidy. 

Organise a full set of cleaning products in a basket for each room in the house so you don't waste time hunting for the kit to do the job. Reward yourself at the end of a session with a treat! 

Top tip: Use a grout brush on bathroom or shower tiles to remove stubborn build up between tiles and on fixtures.” 

Best kit for you: Funky storage boxes 

 

COMPULSIVE CLEANER 

You plump the cushions as soon as someone stands up from the sofa, and clear away plates before people have finished eating. 

Order, routine and planning are key to your life and you only feel comfortable when everything around you is pristine. 

But if you can't rest until everything is done, you may have allowed cleaning and chores to dominate you, which is unhealthy. 

Solution: Try to reduce your chore cleaning routine, e.g clean cupboards every other week instead of every week. Also find a hobby which relaxes and distracts you from obsessing over chores. 

Top tip: For a kitchen clear up remove dust with a cloth first, and if cabinets are a hard surface veneer or painted woodwork, spray cleaner onto cloth rather than on surface. 

Best kit for you: Serious traditional cleaning tools. A Feather duster and a dustpan and brush. 

Create a sense of calm and co-ordination with matching fabric accessories for the kitchen. ironing board cover, apron, oven mitt, and seat pads,
 

See full story in the Leader

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