It’s just over one month until the official start of British Summer Time. So get your spring cleaning hat on and get ready to give your home a whole new lease of life… we’ve got some room by room tips to help break down your epic spring clean…

Kitchens

Make the most of wall space

Some people make the mistake of thinking that everything needs to be hidden away for your kitchen to look clutter-free. Often, this just leads to chaotic cupboards where you can’t find anything. Add hanging space on kitchen walls for saucepans and install a magnetic knife block. You’ll have less stuff to riffle through in your cupboards and your kitchen utensils will be better organised.

Invest in a stylish spice rack

Is your spice cupboard packed with ancient bottles? Not even sure what you’ve got in there, lurking at the back? You’re not alone. First, have a massive clear out – throw away anything out of date. Then invest in a stylish spice rack. Online retailers like Etsy have literally hundreds to choose from, including clever space savers that go on the kitchen work surface, and wall mounted racks.

Reorder your cupboards

Everyone’s favourite tidying expert Marie Kondo has some excellent advice for making your kitchen clutter free and practical. Simply reorder your cupboards so every day items are easier to reach than things you only use occasionally. For example: that giant punch bowl that’s always in the way? Put it in a high cupboard, or move it out of the kitchen altogether. Mugs, everyday glasses and plates; move them to lower shelves or drawers. Simple.

Ditch duplicate items

Got three wooden spoons for no reason? Too many knives but never enough forks? We feel you. Start by getting rid of duplicate stuff. Donate it to your local charity shop, or use the app Olio to get your unwanted items collected for free by people who can use them. Then, buy inexpensive matching items that will make your drawers feel more co-ordinated and less cluttered.

Living rooms

Create categories

One of the best ways to deal with clutter the rooms you spend the most time in, is to categorise. Make your categories based on things you like most, not things you have a lot of. For example, your categories could be: books, plants, photographs. Or: movies, gadgets, magazines. Put the things that fit into the categories together first. Next, look at what you’ve got left over. Are these miscellaneous items things you really need? If so, can they be stored in a cupboard, or in storage elsewhere in your home? Stuff that isn’t something you like, or something you need: toss it!

Add trunks, boxes and baskets

So you’ve sorted out the things you like and the things you need from the stuff that’s just annoying clutter, but now what? Add some storage to your living room easily with stackable trunks. These can be picked up for a few pounds from vintage shops and car boots sales. Or, if that’s not your style, add wicker baskets, or simply boxes that can slide under tables.

Donate old books, CDs and DVDs

Running low on shelf space? Got dozens of old DVDs that have been gathering dust since you signed up for Netflix? Don’t be afraid to donate stuff to your local charity shop – you’ll be amazed how much you don’t miss things when getting rid of them makes your home feel cleaner and more spacious.

Make personal items into a feature

Got nick nacks around the room that have sentimental value? Ornaments and photographs that remind you of a certain holiday, or a special time in your life? Group these together and make them into a particular focal point in the room. Dedicate a space on a shelf to items from your travels, or momentoes from your wedding day, or whatever it might be. Collecting items together like this will make that part of your toom look like a considered style choice, even if the types of items themselves are very different.

Bathrooms

Ditch old and expired products

Spice cupboards and bathroom cabinets: the dumping ground of every home. First thing’s first: clear out all the empty bottles, all the old expired products, all the crazy lipsticks and nail polishes that you impulse bought before realising they don’t suit you.

Tidy those towels

Whether you live alone, with a partner or family, or with housemates, keeping towels tidy is a great way to make your whole bathroom look more organised. If more than one person uses your bathroom, why not try designated baskets or hangers for each person’s towel. If you live alone but store spare/guest towels in your bathroom, be sure to fold them and stack them neatly in size order. Or, for smaller storage spaces, roll your towels and place them on shelves or in baskets.

Add some greenery

Adding a plant to a decluttered surface will help motivate you to keep it neat and tidy. Aloe vera grows well in bathrooms (and you can use the leaves as a great moisturiser and after sun). Other good bathroom plants include bamboo and Boston ferns.

Divide his and hers

Living with a partner? Feel like they’re the one who always messes up your nicely ordered bathroom? Why not create boxes for each of your stuff, labeled with your names. That way you’ll both have responsibility for keeping your own toiletries tidy and there won’t be any more arguments about who left that empty shampoo bottle in the shower (hopefully).

Bedrooms

Try the wardrobe clearance trick

Want to have a clear out of your old clothes, but not sure where to start? Here’s a great technique to help you decide what to ditch. Over the next few months, make a habit of hanging clothes you have recently worn back into the cupboard with the hanger facing the other way. Do this every time you put back a jacket, or when you tidy away something you have recently worn and laundered. After a while, you’ll start to see which items of clothing you genuinely wear, and which ones just sit there gathering dust. After a length of time that you decide, take out everything that hasn’t been worn, and head down to the charity shop. Ta-da, decluttered cupboard.

Add under bed storage

A brilliant storage solution for smaller bedrooms is under bed storage. This can be as simple as inexpensive plastic boxes to house your shoes, or as fancy as a bespoke made bed with built in storage (like this one from Made). By adding under bed storage in your guest room, you can get rid of items that you want to keep hold of, but only use occasionally.

Organise jewelry using bowls

Shallow bowls and plates are an attractive way to keep your jewelry neat. You can buy trinket dishes from homewares shops and boutiques, like this one from Anthropologie or this one, available on Trouva. Or, if you’re a fan of upcycling and shabby chic, you can pick up vintage crystal plates at flea markets for a few pounds.

Create fun storage for kids

Getting kids to tidy up their bedrooms can feel like an impossible task. But there are lots of fun and creative storage solutions that make tidying up seem less boring. One idea is to turn a toy kitchen into a storage area (and combine tidying up with playtime). Stylish homewares company Stackers make these great kid’s laundry baskets too.. sharks like to eat socks, right?

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House plants not only make your house feel more like a home, they also help to clean up your air. Plants filter harmful chemicals from the air (such as formaldehyde and benzene which are commonly used in household cleaners) and  they also oxygenate your air. Here are our top tips for making plants into a feature in your home. Make space in your life for a bit more greenery!

Create a green room divider

Fill a backless shelving unit with plants and create an indoor living wall. This can also be a great way to divide up your living space, creating a dedicated dining area or reading nook within an open plan living room. Add candles too and you’ll have a stylish focal point for daytime and evening.

Add hanging planters

Hanging planters aren’t just for town high streets and outside of pubs! Add low maintenance succulents, or training plants like Senico Pearl or the very suitably named String of Beads plant to easily add a touch of green to any room. You can buy loads of different hanging planters online (in all kinds of shaped and sizes). This one pictured is from Not On The High Street. You can hang them from curtain rails or exposed beams, or you can buy stylish minimalist frames that can be attached to the wall.

A sprinkling of succulents

If you’re a serial plant killer, these are the plants for you. Extremely hardy and low maintenance, succulents (like cacti) can live on the moisture in the air. They benefit from a sprinkling of water now and then, but you can forget about them for a long time before they start to turn brown. You can buy them as tiny cuttings (only a few centimeters across) and they grow fairly slowly, so they’re great for smaller spaces like a bookcase or desk. They also cope better than other plants in less well lit spots.

Populate corners with greenery

This large Peace Lily really looks at home in the corner of this room. It can be tempting to position storage furniture in corners, such as bookcases and drawers, but reshuffling a room so that furniture is more central can make a room appear more spacious and well proportioned. You can also even out the levels in your room with a plant. For example, if all your furniture looks a bit low, add in a tall palm. If you already have items high up like tall lamps or shelves, a short plant can make the room look more balanced.

Make a mini oasis

Terrariums are a great way to add plants to your home in a flexible way. Terrariums are a bit like tiny self-contained gardens. And because they’re completely enclosed in a glass container, you can easily move them around from room to room. You can buy ready-made terrariums from good quality florists or from boutiques. Or, you can get creative and make your own. Companies like The Botanical Boys run regular terrarium-making workshops in East London.

Make a statement

Make one plant a real focal point in a room. In this studio/living space, the greenery has been allowed to creep in, making for a stylish mix of man made and natural. You could achieve the same effect with a large hanging plant, or a mature palm.

Grow your own greens

The kitchen is a great place to start when greening up your house. Living herbs can be bought in most large supermarkets and don’t take up a lot of space. Add a small herb planter to your kitchen and have fresh herbs to hand whenever you cook.

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So you’ve just bought your first home? Congratulations! Now you’re free to really make it your own. But buying a home can be pricey, so maybe you’re thinking you don’t have the budget right now to start decorating? Not necessarily! Here are some great tips and ticks for ways you can start decorating your new place and really make it feel like a home, straight away, without breaking the bank.

Make your accessories into a design feature

Instantly inject a bit of your personality into your home and save on storage space at the same time by making a feature of your accessories. Hang hats or jewellery in a bedroom or hallway – use simple hooks or even hang a brass bar with rope. You could even up-cycle a vintage ladder to make a quirky hanger and shelving unit.

It’s ok to mismatch

Don’t worry if all your furniture doesn’t match – mismatching furniture can look great. Just spend some time thinking about the placement of your furniture, and perhaps bring the style together with cushions that follow a specific trend, or with certain types of plants.

Print your Instagrams

We’re all guilty of it – you’ve got hundreds of photos online but they never see the light of day. Why not print them out and use them to decorate your new home. You could hang them with string and pegs, or just pin them to a cork board. Lots of services online will print your pictures on high quality glossy paper and post them to you for a few pounds. A box of glossy prints would also make a great house warming gift.

Make your ceilings look higher with dual tones

Make your space look bigger and save on paint by painting half way up your walls. Be careful to use complimentary tones (pastel shades work particularly well for this) and always put the darker  or bolder tone on the bottom.

Maximise storage space with creative shelving

Get creative with your shelving! Get hold of some old crates (top tip: car boot sales are a goldmine for these) and position them at opposing angles. This is a really flexible way to make space for plants and ornaments and is very inexpensive.

Upcycle a second-hand sofa

There are loads of ways you can improve the look of a second hand sofa. First of all, if the cushions are sagging, refill them with extra stuffing. This will instantly make the sofa look newer. Add a colourful throw and cushions and consider replacing the sofa’s feet. You can buy stylish wooden sofa legs (very Nordic in style) from most good home improvement shops. They simply screw on.

Display your kitchenware

If you’re unhappy with the style of your kitchen cabinets, why not remove them entirely and replace them with simple shelving, magnetic strips, bars and hanging hooks. There’s no need to hide away your kitchenware, having it on display will make your kitchen look functional and homey.

Make DIY artwork

You can improvise artwork for you home by using the covers of vintage magazines, or trawling through old books for interesting images and illustrations. IKEA sell an excellent range of very inexpensive frames. Then you can build up a great collection of prints over the years.

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As the days are getting shorter and the sun sets earlier in the evening, you might be looking for ways to make your home brighter and lighter. Here are some easy tips for filling your home with light and making your spaces look more sunny and spacious…

Lighten up on furniture

Dark furniture can suck the light out of the brightest rooms. Go for lighter wood tones, or white furniture to make a room feel so much lighter and more spacious. You don’t need to rush out and replace everything you own – why not just add a lick of white paint to your furniture? You’ll see an instant difference.

Give your windows space

Keep the space around your windows clear! Don’t clutter up windowsills with ornaments or put large plants in front of windows. Apart from the obvious (less light getting in through the window in the first place) cluttered windows can create a more cramped feeling in a room and make it look darker than it is.

Go mirror mad

Mirrors serve two great functions: they make a room look bigger by creating an optical illusion of space, and they bounce light around the room, making it look instantly brighter. Adding a large mirror opposite a window or door will really lift the mood of your room.

Get colourful with rugs

Colourful rugs, or even just colourful cushions, can really jazz up a room and make it look brighter. Rugs with bold patterns have the added benefit of hiding small stains and pet hairs too.

More matte

It might seem counter-intuitive, but matte paint on walls can actually make rooms look more light-filled. This is because too much glare from gloss paint will reflect light in odd directions, tricking the eye into thinking the room is more cramped and less bright. The same goes for furnishings and flooring.

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