by Oscar Francis

With summer on the horizon, and winter in the waste bin, you’re probably wondering how to succeed with style during the semester. One of the most effective ways to boost your breatha credentials is to organise the flat for a fantastic spring clean. Hoist your house and head up for happiness with these handy hints:

Dusting
Dusting is a great way to begin a spring clean. You probably have corners of your room that you haven’t peered into for a while. Now it’s time to pull everything out and wipe everything down! Use a damp cloth if you haven’t got a duster. Advantages include: Not bathing in your own sloughed skin, and having fewer dust particles triggering allergies when hayfever season comes around.

Vacuuming
The first rule of vacuuming is to never run anything wet up the tube of a vacuum, because you’ll wreck it. Don’t be that flatmate. Secondly, make sure the bag / container is at least relatively empty and still has room in it. You might need to buy some more, so be careful to get the size right — a pro-tip is to keep the old bag’s packet wherever the vacuum is usually stored. If the nozzle gets clogged, try using a chopstick to clean out the accumulated dust. Otherwise, vacuuming is pretty straightforward and hard to get wildly wrong.

Throwing Out Old Things
The magic words here are ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’. You might find that next time you could have reduced your waste by buying less in the first place, and avoiding impulse buys in favour of better planned, higher quality goods. If your goods are still usable, take them to an opshop, or repair them yourself. If you’ve brought good quality things you’ll be able to flick them on TradeMe or FB marketplace for a bit of cash. Don’t forget to recycle your empties either. Mother Earth will thank you.

Cleaning The Shower
Vinegar and elbow grease is your friend here. You can boil some white wine vinegar, and then wipe down the shower walls and door with a sponge. Then keep the walls damp by wiping them down every five minutes or so for about half an hour. At the end of this, douse your sponge in more vinegar, add a sprinkle of baking soda, and get scrubbing. Next, try cleaning the showerhead by filling a plastic bag with vinegar and rubberbanding it to the head overnight to oust any odd odors.

Air Your Mattress Out
You should really try and do this every time you wash your sheets, which hopefully you’re remembering to do at least once a month (pro tip: you can add a capful of vinegar to your laundry in lieu of fabric softener. It acts as fabric softener and also helps to freshen your sheets without needing to spend a bomb on hot water cycles). Airing your mattress out is really easy. Just flip it on its side for half a day and open the windows.

Sweep The Floors
Sweeping is a sweet way to stop strange smells from springing up. In particular, make sure to brush the kitchen regularly to remove vermin victuals. If you haven’t got a workable dustpan, a piece of A4 card should do the trick just as well.

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