WITH the kids going back to school soon, it’s time to get the house sorted with a Post-Summer Spruce Up.
Just like a traditional Spring Clean, the after-hols home blitz clears clutter, deep cleanses and gets everything sorted in time for Autumn.
Here are my top tips to get started.
1) Clear the clutter: Sort out any books and toys the kids no longer use. Either donate to charity or sell and save up the cash for Christmas.
2) Prep the school uniform: Check what your children still fit into and what you need to buy, so you never spend more than you need to. Wash and press now so you’re ready for the start of term. Spritz with fabric freshener and hang in the wardrobe.
TRY: Wilko Exotic Ylang and Freesia Fabric Freshener 750ml, £1 at Wilko
3) Box it off: Get your storage sorted. Wash summer clothes and put them away for winter. Spritz with lavender oil to deter moths. Tidy toys in stylish boxes and arrange shoes and coats ready for Autumn.
TRY: Habitat Boutique 2 Tier Wire Shoe Rack in Gold, £15 at Argos
4) Scent as you scrub: Choose a do-it-all disinfectant with a smell you love to clean the floors, surfaces, bins, bathroom and loo. It keeps costs down and fragrances your whole home.
TRY: Fabulosa 4 In 1 Lemon Lavender Concentrated Disinfectant 220ml, £1 at Morrisons
5) Stop dirt at the door: With the kids running in an out all day, a doormat will capture grass and dirt before it gets into the house.
TRY: Coconut fibre doormat, £3.99 at H&M Home
6) Blitz the beds: Remove all the bedding and thoroughly vacuum your mattress top. Turn it over and vacuum the new top to reduce the risk of dust mites. Wash duvets and pillows too.
TRY: Fairy Non Bio Washing Liquid Gel for Sensitive Skin 888ml, was £4 now buy three for £10 at Morrisons. Save £2 when buying three
7) Clean the Microwave: The microwave is an easy way to heat summer snacks, but food smells can linger. To keep it clean, squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a cup of water and microwave for three minutes or until it boils.
TRY: Morrisons Wonky Lemons 4 per pack, 55p at Morrisons
8) Do the dab in on trick: Dab a few drops of your favourite essential oil around the house. Add it to the inner roll core of your toilet paper to freshen the bathroom or on the back of the radiator for all-day freshness.
TRY: Miaroma Tangerine Pure Essential Oil 10ml, was £5 now £2.50 at Holland & Barrett. Save £2.50
9) Tackle stains quick: The house is always dirty after summer, so keep a multipurpose remover for carpets, upholstery and fabrics on hand. Water rings on tables and worktops? Hold a hairdryer on the low setting close to the ring until it disappears, then dab on a little olive oil to recondition the wood.
TRY: M&S Fresh Linen Stain Removing Wipes 20 per pack, £1 at Marks & Spencer plus Morrisons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 250ml, £1.50 at Morrisons
Prices correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
THE Couch to 5k running plan has helped tens of thousands of Brits get physically fit, now it’s time to try to the Couch to Financial Fitness plan to get financially fit.
The newly-launched nine week online programme from MoneyHelper tackles areas including budgeting, paying off debts, savings and cutting your spending.
It’s free to use and can be tailored to your personal situation.
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive at the Money and Pensions Service, said: “Similar to a step-by-step approach to training for a 5k run, Couch to Financial Fitness can help people to improve their finances starting with just the basics. It’s designed to build ability and comfort levels over time through taking small, simple actions each week that will make people feel more secure and in control of their money – key ingredients of good financial wellbeing.”
Couch to Financial Fitness Tips for Families on a Budget
1) Manage your budget – the first step to financial fitness is getting a sense of how much money is coming in, and where it’s going. Begin by making a basic budget and stick to it.
2) Give yourself a pensions boost – Whatever stage you’re at in your working life, it is always important to boost your retirement income. Ensure you are enrolled into your employer’s pension and see if you can pay in any more each month.
3) Staying on top of bills and payments – Missing bill payments negatively impacts your credit rating, making it harder and more expensive to borrow money or get deals on items like mobile phone contracts. Prioritise your bills and housing costs before anything else.
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