Home & Garden

Spring clean your home with the Queen of Clean

It’s the month to confront those cobwebs and scrub those skirting boards, as the spring clean is well and truly upon us. One woman whose on a mission to spruce up our lives is the ultimate queen of clean Lynsey Crombie.

This week Lynsey lent a helping hand to one viewer, who struggles with domestic duties, in a bid to transform her home.

How to spring clean your home

It's time to ditch the clutter and put life back in order - here's how!

Complete everything you start: That way you won't be defeated. Even if it's just a sock drawer and seems insignificant, the result is still enormously satisfying.

When does clutter become a problem: A house becomes cluttered when items get in the way of life running smoothly. When you start thinking things like 'I must organise that' or 'I've got too much of this,' when you start to lose items on a frequent basis, and when you feel the organisation levels slip so much that you can't bear to look in certain areas, that's when it becomes a problem.

Clutter and Stress: Clutter affects your everyday life in a negative way. It can affect stress levels dramatically and can slow simple daily processes down. Many find there aren't enough hours in the day anyway. Clearing clutter is like a form of therapy. It's cleansing and many say you sleep better, the stress lifts and that it helps you become more productive in other areas of your life.

The wardrobe

The aim is to avoid any dead space within the storage in your bedroom. If possible, consider moving the rail in your wardrobe up higher. This will not only prevent clothes dragging on the floor or the base of the wardrobe unit, but it will also open up space, especially under shorter hanging items, to store shoes or bags and other smaller things.

Hangers: Don't waste space with bulky wooden hangers. A messy selection of mismatched hangers will never feel ordered, the wrong type of hanger can ruin your clothes. The right hanger can save invaluable space. I recommend skinny hangers which take up half the room of wooden hangers and so save valuable space. A messy selection of mismatched hangers will never look or feel ordered, and using metal hangers on jumpers and knitwear can leave tell-tale bumps or ridges on the shoulders. In my experience investing in good hangers is as important as investing in the right clothes.

Categorising: The key thing is that your 'daily clothes' are the most accessible. If you have specific work clothes, then you might like to create a section on the rail for these. Or you might like to organise into very basic item categories: trousers, skirts, shirts and so on.

Shelves and drawers

Tackle One Space At A Time: Take everything out, line it all up, then you can see clearly what exactly you have. With messy cupboards, if you can't see it, you won't use it.

Shelves that are at eye level and below are for the clothes that you need to see and access most often. When you need to take an item from one of these lovely neat piles, make sure that you bring down the whole pile rather than grabbing from the middle and upsetting the lot.

Folding: Fold them as they often appear in shops- I call this a single fold. These items can be placed one on top of the other - if it helps you to use as folding board this could be a good investment, although after a while it will become a habit and you'll probably find you don't need one.

Toy storage

By streamlining bedrooms, playrooms and toy-storage areas we can help children reclaim control of their spaces. We can't turn back time, but we can take positive action to limit the choices today in our children's lives. Often the real reason that children seem to ignore the options around them and to focus repeatedly on one toy is that they can't really 'see', with any clarity, what else surrounds them. In the same way that opening the door to a messy cupboard raises our stress levels, chaos in children's playrooms or storage areas can leave them feeling just as anxious and overwhelmed. So we know- and parenting experts back it up- that too many choices and too much clutter are as unhealthy for our children as for us adults.

Toy tips

- Are they age appropriate?

- Get rid of unrelated items

- Avoid duplication

- Rotate and reintroduce

A new healthy start

Starting a new diet or exercise regime? It's a common scenario- you've signed up to the gym and you've invested in a juicer and the exercise gear... but however good your intentions are if your haven't prepared your home you are more less likely to keep it up.

Sort Your Kit Out: If you come down the stairs and your trainers are under a pile of shoes you are less likely to want to go for a run. Have what you need organised and ready to go. However it has to be practical. Not everything has to be hidden behind closed doors. Having three baskets in the hallway to put items in when you come in the door is more realistic than a drawer where everything has to be folded first.

Memory box

You can store full memory boxes away but keep current ones out and accessible so they are easy to add to.

Place sentimental items into a pile. Going through old photos and mementos should be enjoyable, not work. Buy a beautiful box to keep your memories in and gradually add to it over the course of your cleaning out process. You must make sure that you don't use the box as an excuse to hold on to the things you can't let go of, so that one box turns into five crates of children's shoes and teddy bears! That's not the idea, and it won't be fun to look back over in years to come.

Secret storage

When buying furniture for example a bed or coffee table buy ones with extra storage like drawers the chest to store items that are not needed regularly spare bedding, bulky blankets and so on.

Magazines: people seem to have a fear of letting magazines go, perhaps a fear that we are binning something vital to improving an aspect of our life- that recipe, health etc. If you want to save an interesting article, by all means tear it out, and my suggestion would be to store it in an attractive A4 box. This box you would keep by your bed or by sofa for that relaxing time in the evening when you get 10 minutes to yourself.

Top five decluttering tips

- Keep organising simple. Don't introduce any complicated systems. Think back to basics.

- If you don't have much time, start de-cluttering for 20-30 minutes per evening. You will be so surprised how far you get in even a week.

- Be realistic. If you're having a de-clutter session, it's for a reason so don't just shift things around. If you don't need it say goodbye; it's taking up your precious space and just 'liking it' is very different to liking to wear or use it.

- Invest what you can in practical storage. You will never keep track of things if you don't know where to look for them.

- Start afresh. Make someone else happy by giving something unwanted and unused to charity or sell it on and make what you can back. Hopefully, you will learn to love the feeling of something going to good use, instead of being hidden in a drawer and never used.

How to decorate a showstopping Easter table

A little known fact is our very own Ruth Langsford is Queen of the Easter Table!

Inspired by Ruth, we’re joined by our Home Genie Georgina Burnett. From colourful DIY centerpieces to personalised place settings, Georgina will show us how to make sure our festive table is a showstopper.

Tragedy for Terry's allotment

He’s our allotment man who brings us updates from the Rhondda Valley, but sadly Terry Walton’s beloved greenhouse has burnt down - affecting his shelves, stock and supplies.

As Terry's local community rallies round to help, we’ll ask him how it happened, and how we can help.

Science experiments to blow your mind!

Can you use a mushroom to heat your home? Is it possible to create ‘monster’ slime?

After the Director of the Institute for Research said last week that we need more ‘real science’ in our schools to stimulate the next generation of discoveries, we’re joined by Dr Zoe Laughlin with a series of very visual experiments to make your mind boggle.

Upcycling with the home genie

Our very own Home Genie is back!

Previously Georgina Burnett upcycled a selection of old charity shop items into brand-new-looking beautiful centerpieces. This time she transforms things found around the house at minimal cost.

From turning old books into a table, or used bulbs into flower pots, Georgina shows you how to breathe new life into your home.

How to make your own macramé

Alison tries lemur yoga

It’s time to ditch the downward dog and adopt the lemur lotus pose. Yes, we’ve had goat yoga and alpaca yoga in the studio, now we’re sending Alison Hammond to test out the latest craze… lem-oga, or lemur yoga.

She’s live from the Lake District to join a class that promises you a sense of ‘wildlife’ wellness.