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    How to prepare perfectly for your spring cleaning

    Spring cleaning is an important annual event for many households and is the best time to blow away the cobwebs of winter and transform your home from the closed off, darker space of winter to a bright and fresh space. Preparation for such an event is key and trying to clean your whole home with no planning can make the task all the more challenging so you need to get familiar with what needs to be done.

    What areas come first?

    Is your kitchen a nightmare to clean? Do you have bedrooms packed full of donation-worthy clutter you don’t need? Try and create some sort of plan to assess where the problem areas are so that you can spread the work around over the time you’re spring cleaning. If you tackle the whole kitchen in one day you may be left tired and unmotivated to continue, instead try to spread your responsibilities more evenly to allow you to take your momentum through the important period of your year.

    Get your equipment in order

    If you need any new cleaning products or paraphernalia get it bought and organised early so that whenever you choose to do your cleaning, you’re completely ready. Try to become familiar with what you will need to do everything that needs to be done. Once you’ve done this when it gets to each task you’ll be well aware of what’s needed making it much easier of confronting the task of deep cleaning an entire home.

    Write a list

    Coming up with an order of what needs cleaning can change and you’re always prone to forgetting something important. Writing a list of everything that you need means not only can you ensure that things don’t get cleaned multiple times, you can also come up with the perfect plan of attack for the messiest or dirtiest parts without potentially missing any areas.

    Come up with potential rewards

    Cleaning can be a very arduous process and it’s often easy to lose motivation when tackling some of the tougher parts of the home. If you find the bathrooms particularly difficult plan yourself a treat of some kind after you’ve done what you wanted with it. This is a simple trick to help you stay driven to cleaning your home even when you may not quite want to keep going.


    Photo Credit: rawpixel.com

    Using Your Garden As A Money Maker

    The current climate we live in means we’re not up to spending too much time outside. With snow in some parts of the country, freezing temperatures across the board, and a few days of sun we’ve been desperately praying for, planning to spend time outside is exhausting! However, now is a good time to try and clear up your gardening plans, and make a bit of money at the same time. Here are some good ways to make a bit of extra cash from your garden, seeing as you’ve got a lot to do with the space anyway!

    Prepare for Exotic Plants

    When you’re growing plants from more further afield, you’ve got a chance to run your own little horticultural empire from the back of your house. People go in search of these foods at the supermarket, spending a few good pounds on peppers and chillies that they don’t realise they could grow themselves. However, this is where you could step in and cut out the middleman…

    Diversifying a garden plot is something not a lot of people think about, but it means you’re always going to have a good money source on hand. So simply make sure you’re planting down the more neglected seed packets or plant trimmings from the garden centre, and then start giving produce out to the people in your neighbourhood at a few pence or so each. You’ll soon be making some good money the more and more interest you get, and you’re a cheaper, more local alternative to getting in the car to go grocery shopping.

    Clear Up the Neighbourhood Rubbish

    It might sound like the last thing you want to do, but when it comes to having a car and a surplus of trash yourself, you could make some quick money with this method. Ultimately, you’re not going to have to look into the current waste management stock price because of the amount of black bags you have cluttering up your yard (and at this point, you could very well monopolise the market!), and instead see a business opportunity at the ready.

    Pack some of your own bags into the boot and the back seat and head over the street to see if anyone else has anything to take away and get compensated for your time. About £10 or so from everyone who lives near you means you’re going to soon be rolling in a lucrative side hustle! Of course, there are petrol prices to contend with, and there’s going to be a fee at the tip, but you can simply split the difference with a receipt when you get home again.

    Using your garden as a money maker often means thinking outside of the planting box. Hard work that only takes a couple of hours at a time is easy to keep up with, and you’re going to have plenty of opportunity around you to offer up your services to others in need.


    Photo Credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

    Upcycling ideas for your garden

    Upcycling doesn’t just apply to your home – there’s also plenty of ideas for the garden, giving your private outside space a brand new look and feel. Take a look at some of our suggestions below to help you turn your hand to upcycling and make sure your garden is ready for the return of nice weather.

    Upcycling ideas for your garden

    Planters

    There’s a huge variety of items that can be upcycled into an exciting new planter for your garden. Tyres are a great example; ensure they are thoroughly cleaned before you begin adding a layer or two of primer to them. Next, add your chosen colour of garden paint, including the inside of the tyre for the full effect. Turn the tyre so it is standing upright and fill the inside with soil along the bottom (you may also wish to look into adding weed barrier fabric too). You’re then ready to pot your plants. Attach a sturdy piece of pipe or spare hanging bracket to your wall and position your new planter.

    How about filling your old wellies with soil and planting them up with bright and colourful blooms for a fun planter option? Or taking old teapots and cups and creating a herb garden? Old wheelbarrows can also make great planters and bring a rustic country feel to the garden. The opportunities really are endless!

    Bird feeders

    Did you know you can use a simple plastic bottle as a new bird feeder? Using a drill at a low speed, create two holes that are big enough to fit the handle of a wooden spoon through them. Once the spoon is in place, make the hole on the opposite side of the handle slightly bigger to ensure the bird feed spills out onto the head once the bottle has been filled.

    We also love the idea of using old teacups as bird feeders too. You could position them on an upcycled shower caddy in your garden so the birds have easy access to the food, or alternatively hang them from trees or bushes by their handles. If you mix your bird seed with lard or suet and leave to set in the fridge overnight you can be sure the seed won’t spill out all over the lawn!

    Dining furniture

    We’ve previously spoken about clever ways to use wooden pallets at Christmas but how about turning your hand to creating some new garden furniture with unused pallets? Don’t forget that abandoned wood pallets can be found lurking around gardens and garages everywhere. Take care when selecting disused pallets as they may carry harmful chemicals, bacteria or be made with pressure-treated wood.

    Simply disassemble the pallets and use a mini-saw to cut the planks to the size you’d like for your table and seating. Next, turn to a cordless drill-driver or a cordless screwdriver to then put the pallets together in your preferred layout and style. Smooth over everything with a multi-sander and splash on some colour or varnish, depending on your preference.

    If you don’t fancy upcycling tyres into a new planter, they can also be transformed into new patio seating instead. Clean your tyres, add a couple of coats of primer followed by the garden paint in the colour of your choice. Then attach recovered cushions to the top of your tyres for extra comfort. You could even connect multiple tyres together, one on top of the other, to give your seat more height.

    Plant labels

    There are several items that can be upcycled to become your new plant labels, making sure you know what’s planted where and looking great amongst the flowerbeds.

    Firstly, we love cork markers. Using a marker pen, write the name of the plant or herb and attach the cork to the top of a bamboo stick or wooden skewer which can be cut to the length you desire. You’ll see when the plant label is in position that a cork is a great choice to ensure it stands out in your garden.

    As an alternative, try painting some lollypop sticks in bright colours and writing plant names in bold pen for markers that really stand out. Or, take some smooth pebbles and paint these – either create a nice design in simple black or white or paint the stones with outdoor paint. You could write the plant’s name, or get really creative and draw on a strawberry, carrot, tomato etc to show what’s planted beneath the soil.

    Find inspiration and guidance, project ideas, tricks and tips for all areas of DIY and gardening to help make your house a home visit https://www.allaboutdiy.com/gb/en/index.htm

    Featured Article

    A Few Favourite Things – Then There Were Three

    Welcome back to my A Few Favourite Things series.  This week I have Jenna from Then There Were Three showcasing her favourite things.  Join Jenna as she hopes to become a surrogate this year in her Surrogacy Sunday posts.

    A Few Favourite Things – Then There Were Three

    Hi, my name is Jenna and I am a 28-year-old mum to two girls from South Wales. I blog over at www.thentherewerethree.uk where you can find posts on parenting, lifestyle and my upcoming surrogacy journey. I am currently on maternity leave from my job at a major international airline but hope to start training as a midwife next year.

    Favourite room in your home

    I am obsessed with our lounge – it still isn’t fully finished since we moved in a year ago as we need a new carpet and doors but I still love it. My husband made our rustic wood shelves and I love our feature wall with the stag head.

    Favourite trend

    I love country cottage vibes, so definitely a lot of wood. Ideally, I would love to live out in the sticks in a house with exposed wood beams and a huge garden. I want to have a real working log burner installed but will have to wait until the girls get a bit older.

    Favourite thing you own

    My wedding rings are definitely one of my favourite things that I own of course! Aside from that, it would be a lovely initial pendant necklace that I have; it has two pendants on it with A and F for my girls.

    Favourite colour

    Any shade of grey! My whole house would be decorated grey if my husband allowed it. It’s such a versatile colour and anything can be matched to it.

    Favourite season

    I am a proper Summer girl – I don’t do well with the cold at all. I love everything about summer; being able to wear flip-flops, beer gardens, walks down the beach and the lighter evenings. I always make sure that I have bright coloured flowers around the house too.

    Favourite thing about where you live

    Where I live has so much to offer within a twenty-mile radius; the city, countryside, mountains and beaches. We live about an hour away from Tenby and it is truly beautiful – we always try to visit at least twice a year.

    Follow Then There Were Three via Social Media

    Twitter: @JennaTTW3
    Facebook: facebook.com/thentherewerethree15
    Instagram: @thentherewerethree15
    Pinterest: pinterest.co.uk/thentherewerethree

    Top tips on how to plan a garden makeover | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    Five Easy Ways to Give Your Garden a Spring Overhaul

    If you – like many people in Britain  – cannot wait until temperatures rise and you can spend some time outdoors, it might be time to make the most out of the time while you are waiting and planning your garden’s overhaul for the spring. There are so many things to do after a cold and dark winter, and you can get started as soon as the frost is over. Below you will find a few tips on how to plan a garden makeover and get ready for the mild weather.

    Top tips on how to plan a garden makeover | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    Jet Wash Everything

    If you have a decking or patio, it might be time to get rid of the dust and the moss that built up during the damp and cold winter months. You can use a pressure washer to reveal the imperfections of your decking and paving stones. If you need to replace some of the deckings or build a new seating area, you can recycle railway sleepers to create a unique look in your garden. If your gazebo or pergola needs fixing, get to the job on a cold but sunny day.

    Declutter

    In the winter, you might not have seen broken pots and planters that need to be removed. Pay a visit to your local recycling centre, and get rid of everything that doesn’t enhance the appearance of your garden anymore. With more blank space, you can start designing your perfect summer garden and it will be easier to measure the available space for your new garden features.

    Brighten Up

    A lick of paint here and thereafter the hail, snow, and heavy rains are needed every spring. Add some colour to your fence panels and protect them from the weather, as soon as they are dry enough. You can apply protective decking stain to prevent the wood from breaking and splitting as the weather turns warmer. Install a few colourful planters and sun catchers in your garden, so you will not miss the first rays of sunshine.

    Top tips on how to plan a garden makeover | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    Clear Your Greenhouse

    If you are a keen gardener, the beginning of the spring might be the perfect time to clear out your greenhouse. Look for signs of pest infestation and other problems, and make sure that you get rid of all the pots you no longer need. Any plastic item that got damaged during the winter will need to go and have to be replaced by new ones. Clear your shelf, ready for your seedlings in the new year.

    Take Care Of Your Borders

    Another important task you need to complete before you mow the lawn the first time this year is cleaning up your borders. Whether grass is all over your paving stones, or you would like to redefine your flower beds, you have to get this done while the soil is soft and damp.

    Whether you are looking forward to starting your vegetable garden or want to make sure your patio is ready for guests in the spring and summer, you need to take care of the above tasks to give your garden a makeover.


    Photo Credit: rawpixel.com Annie Spratt

    Snuggle Up This Season With Harveys

    Harveys has launched its new Snug range, a collection of British-made large and small sofas, love seats, chairs and stools – designed with cosy nights and squishy comfort in mind. With luxurious, quality velvets and a Superlux foam interior, this range oozes comfort, style and quality.

     

    Available in a select 40 stores and online from the first week of February, the range is fashion-forward, with a contemporary design and comes in seven bright, bold, velvets to liven up your living room. With great, affordable price points, Snug is perfect for those looking to add a splash of personality to their home.

    The UK manufactured range features luxurious, squishy cushioning, wrapped in a soft, smooth velvet – giving this collection a comfortable base that makes you feel like you’re melting into the seat when you finally sit down after a long day.

    The contemporary collection has some great trend-led details including light or dark solid oak feet and subtle buttoning on the smaller accent pieces.

    Snuggler Large

    The large Snuggler sofa is ideal for spreading out and putting your feet up. The crushed velvet coating makes it extra squishy and easy to sink into. The Snuggler also comes in a smaller, more compact size.

    Slumber Small

    The small Slumber sofa has the same luxurious cushioning as the Snuggler but has the additional detail of curved arms – mix and match with the rest of the range to create different focal points in your room.

    Snuggler Loveseat

    The Snuggler Loveseat is ideal for smaller homes and couples who want to cuddle up. The cushioning is perfect to sink into and snuggle! Or if you prefer more room just for yourself – this a great alternative to an armchair.

    Serenity Wing Chair

    The Serenity Wing Chair is the ideal investment piece, featuring luxe button detailing and winged arms that will complement modern and classic interiors.

    Mallow Accent Chair

    The Mallow Accent Chair looks impressive against a statement wall – style with a contrasting coloured scatter cushion and pop in front of a chic coffee table to create a focal point in any room.

    Elm Large Fixed Stool

    This Elm Large Footstool is an ideal centrepiece for a smaller living space and is also great to create additional guest seating. This stool is also available in a smaller rectangular version.

    Avenue Small Storage Stool

    The Avenue Small Storage Stool is the ultimate space-saving solution – pop in the corner of a room to store magazines, shoes or for a quick tidy up before those all-important house guests arrive – this is also available in a larger square version.

    What perfect way to add a little extra snuggle into your home.  Then all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy a good film or indulge in a new book.  The Snug collection is available from Harveys stores and online.

    Featured Article

    Making Your Home Greener And Cleaner

    A greener home has many benefits for you and your family. While on the one hand, it will help you to save money by reducing your energy bills, but it will also teach you how to be less wasteful. There are some things you might already be doing to make your home greener, such as recycling or using energy-saving light bulbs, but there is always more to be done to help the environment.

    Take a look at some of the ways you can make your home greener and cleaner below…

    Stop wasting food

    Food waste is becoming an increasingly growing problem in the UK, with more than £13bn of food being thrown out each year. How much food waste do you throw out? There is a lot that can be done to reduce food waste in your home, with meal planning and using a food waste bin being two of the key ways you can cut down on waste. Even simple things like buying frozen fruit and vegetables can help you to save on food waste – letting you use only as much as you need without having to worry about throwing out the rest.

    Have a night off from technology

    Families are more reliant on technology than ever. It’s not uncommon to find families each evening barely talking and barely lifting their eyes of whatever device is in their hands. Bring back more traditional family time by making one night a week a technology-free. This will give you the chance to do something fun together like play board games, read, play outside or even baking together. See if you can add a bit of tech-free time into your routine to help reduce your energy costs and bring you closer together as a family.

    Grow your own produce

    It’s easier than ever to grow your own produce, and more and more families are taking to growing their own fruit and vegetables as a way to lead a healthier lifestyle. Now is the perfect time of year to start preparing to ‘grow your own.’ You could look at lean to glasshouses to build in your garden to grow tomatoes, spinach and all sorts of healthy product, while a herb garden is another possible addition that is easy to maintain. Growing your own can help teach your family a lot about healthy eating, while also reducing the carbon footprint caused by our food industry.

    Reduce your water usage

    Can your family take on the two-minute shower challenge? It could be the best way for them to learn how to save water. Reducing your water usage will reduce your bills, but also help to benefit the environment. There are some easy tips for saving water in your home that you can all follow to make your home much cleaner when it comes to using natural resources.

    Going green is a great thing for you and your family, and it’s amazing what lifestyle changes can be made that will help save you money. Look for ways to go greener to help change your family’s approach to energy and waste, while giving a helping hand to the environment too.


    Photo Credit: Olu Eletu David Vázquez