With the new year now upon us have you been thinking of getting your home cleaning under control for a more organised household?

You’re not the only one. In fact it is a long-held Chinese tradition to clean the entire house from top to bottom a few days before their new year. Not only do they clean the house but they also clean the house wares. All this is to welcome in the new year and give the occasion added significance.

You can do it too! Once Christmas and our own new year festivities are out of the way why don’t you work in weekly chunks to make one big job into several smaller ones. By the time we get to spring you will be ready to begin tackling the garden!

Here’s a simple breakdown of the cleaning hotspots to get you started in the main rooms.

1. Start at the start - the porch. The front porch is key to your home since first impressions are everything. It doesn’t matter how clean and tidy the rest of your house is if the entrance to it is cluttered and uninviting.

The easiest way to an inviting porch is to get rid of any clutter. Look at any porch and it will have some. Magazines, junk mail, odd tools, boxes of items for Goodwill. Do whatever you need but get rid of it and give your doorway room to breathe again.

Think about how the entrance to your home looks to visitors. You want to keep it clear of things that don’t really belong there. A vase of flowers? Yeah, fine. A grubby toolbox? No, definitely not.
If there’s a chair or a table there get rid of it! Furniture like that invites clutter and provides a space for all those magazines and junk-mail that is making your porch so untidy.

2. The Living Room. First thing here is to get outside with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge. Wash down and dry all the windows and you will see the difference in no time. Trust us, being able to see clearly through the window will have a big positive impact and spur you on to do other things once you see what results a simple act like that has had.

3. Bedroom. Take down all the curtains and get them in the washing machine if they are machine washable. Otherwise get them dry cleaned and get the windows cleaned while you are at it. Again you will be surprised by the extra light you will have billowing into the room. With the extra light will come the illusion of more space and a bigger room.

Clear away any piles of clothes on your dressers and empty out your chests of drawers. One by one clean all the drawers and you will find when you look down at your cleaning cloth dust and lint that has been blighting your clothes.

Then go through all your clothes and honestly answer whether you will ever wear something again that you have not worn in the last year. If not send it to Goodwill.

4. Bathroom. Head for the bathroom cabinet and search for any medication. Did you know that it is a really bad idea to store medicine in there? Not only is it an easy place for children to reach but the medication can be adversely affected by steam, heat and condensation caused by the hot shower.

While you’re relocating these items don’t forget to take a look through and get rid of anything that is out of date or is no longer relevant. Also check to see if you are running low on anything. Plasters? Headache pills.

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