For the final Spring Series post we’re getting down and dirty. It’s that time. Time to put on your marigolds, shake out a few bin bags, spruce everything up and clear out for spring. I’m not going to go down the route of telling you all how to clean your houses day to day and week to week, I’m sure you’ve all got that down by now! Instead these are some tips on getting everything in order for spring and some of those pesky once-a-season cleaning tasks.
For me, it’s more of a spring ‘clear out’ and this year more than any other I feel inclined to clear out my cupboards. The wardrobe is the first place I’ll tackle. You can start by sorting everything into three groups:
Items with holes, that are faded, have lost their shape or look tatty need to go. I’m always crippled at the thought of then not having these items when I need them so keep a pad and paper handy and if you’re throwing a key item like a skinny jean or white tee out that you will need to replace, make a shopping list for later.
Put all the items you love in a second pile. These are the keepers.
The third pile is the difficult one. Anything you haven’t worn in the last 2 seasons ( ie last winter and the summer before,) goes here and then the legwork starts. Look at each item individually, do you like it any more? Put every single item on and check it fits and flatters your body shape NOW. Not the body you’re promising yourself in 6 months. If you do like it, then have you worn it and why not? There’s no point having items you won’t wear. If its been 12 months then it should go. If that is simply because it needs cleaning or mending, make a pile and get it done! For those really tricky items you don’t want to part with, you can give yourself a 6 month get out clause, keep them and if you still don’t wear them, get rid.
Don’t overlook those items in supporting roles. Clear out your lingerie drawer, pyjamas, accessories and shoes, binning the old, worn out or out of fashion stuff and cleaning where necessary. It’s a good time to sort out how you store these items but that might be a bit much for now.
Next think about tackling the areas you normally overlook. If you’re feeling really virtuous, pull out the furniture and underneath/clean behind them, including beds. Hoover your sofa cushions, and the sofa carcass if they come off, and think about hoovering or taking down the curtains.
Wash your windows, inside and outside if you don’t have a window cleaner.
Empty your kitchen cupboards and clean inside and wipe down outside. While you’re on the kitchen, defrost the freezer, clean inside the fridge and do your oven.
Strip the beds and wash your mattress and pillow protectors. Take your pillows and duvet to the local launderette and wash then tumble dry.
Lastly, think about the garden, sweep the paths and patios, clear any leaves and cut back dead foliage left to protect plants over winter. Wash down your garden furniture ready for summer BBQs and think about tackling any fence panels or gates that need repairing or painting.
Ok, so this might have been a challenge befitting of Anneka Rice, and it’s certainly not something you can do in a day, but if you section off these tasks, week by week, and perhaps you don’t need to do all of them (for example we did the garden last weekend, and have a window cleaner, so that’s two less things to tackle!) with a little time set aside you can get all of them done and be truly spring ready. In my dreams! 😉
Part of spring for me is getting ready for warmer weather. The seasons and good weather are so unpredictable here in the UK that I hate to miss out on unexpected warmer days because I didn’t have my summer items on standby. Most people have summer clothes hanging around ready to be worn, but a few well chosen accessories can have you covered in all situations, season ready and raring to go.
First up choose a hat, not only will your skin thank you for it, but in one form or another, they’re going to be big this year. Fashionista’s are wearing a baseball cap with city tailoring, but for more casual everyday wear choose a big straw floppy hat for seventies chic.
Pick up some inexpensive sunglasses early in the season and keep them in your bag. Nothing says spring time sunshine like that feeling you get wearing your favourite pair. I’ll be investing in some Ray Ban Aviators, plus some fun coloured Wayfarers (all ASOS)
Go big or go home. Chunky jewels never go out of style and appeal to the colour crusher in me. J.Crew makes the ultimate examples but ASOS has some great styles (Floral Bug Necklace) for a lot less. Use them to brighten your outfit when the weather fails you.
One of the hardest things about this time of year is trying to dress appropriately. I always find myself desperate to try new trends and don spring-like shades, but when the weather is unpredictable there’s nothing worse than being caught in a hailstorm wearing pastels with drenched feet in impractical ballet flats.
Nonetheless, I have figured out a few ways to keep me happy by buying a few key items that merge seamlessly with my winter staples but blend into spring. Here are my must-haves and tips to wear them now and later.
It’s no coincidence the majority of these picks are from GAP, they play a blinder every spring with brights and stripes – perfect for your spring wardrobe and the price is always right with sales and spring discounts. I also used navy as my key basic neutral as I have tons of it, but you can switch for your preferred neutral, just make sure to adjust the colours you choose too.
Jumper, jeans, tee and scarf, all GAP // Bertie Aztec ballet flat. // Gold Brogues, ALDO
My key spring wardrobe update is a pair of coloured skinny jeans. I chose coral (this pair is rather fabulously named ‘neon flamingo’,) because it’s pretty and bright and works really well with winter neutrals. Team it with a grey or navy winter woolly now and a breton striped tee later.
Everybody needs stripes in their spring wardrobe, but they’re often of the t-shirt variety and when there’s a nip in the air they might not be sufficient to keep you warm. If the budget stretches buy a tee and look out for a knit too. Wear a tee under your parka while it’s cold and switch for your jumper as it warms up a little. You can layer this one up now with your regular jeans (I bought the coral stripe to wear with my usual dark wash jeans, but the navy works brilliantly with these coral skinnies,) and later on the beach with a pair of denim cut off shorts.
Pick up a bright scarf or belt. The best investment you can make, you can wear a scarf in new season colours or prints with everything from a big coat now that you’re tired of your winter scarf, right through to layered with a light jacket or vest in warmer weather. Choose brights or tribal and ikat inspired patterns to stay on trend.
Lastly, pick out some fun shoes. I snapped up these gold brogues (in the Aldo sale now) for when it’s colder and I want to keep my toes covered up, and also a pair of pointed suede effect ballet flats in the Dorothy Perkins mid-season sale with 30% off for a smarter look on warmer days and work.
Have you picked up any transitional pieces yet this spring?
Last autumn, I created a list of thing I wanted to do in the coming months and I think it helped me embrace the season and make the most of all the joy it brings, so I decided to make it a bi-annual event and write a spring list too.
I think everybody loves spring. It’s a close call which season is my favourite if I’m honest but as winter is definitely my least favourite there’s something joyous about emerging into longer days, spring sunshine, bright colours and lighter food. Join in by making your list in the comments section below and just for fun go back and see if you managed any of your planned Autumn escapades.
Here’s a list of the things I’ll be trying to squeeze in this spring…
Take a trip to the seaside and walk in the wind on the beach.
Go daffodil spotting on a long walk.
Eat spring lamb in a gastro pub somewhere pretty.
Celebrate Easter with chocolate recipes and mini-eggs.
Get back to regular exercise as the nights get lighter and start running again.
Tidy up and re-arrange the back garden to make it ready for al fresco dining.
Start growing seeds for the allotment.
Take a trip to London to catch up with blog buddies and friends.
Remember what the sun feels like on my skin.
Plan a weekend away for one of the May bank holiday weekends.
After having so much fun with January Joy it feels like another series is in order, this time for Spring. Right now I’m at that in-between phase when spring is most definitely in the air and I’m looking forward to spring fashions, beauty, trends and that positive feeling that lighter nights bring. However, while sub-zero temperatures persist and it’s that little bit too early to opt for shorts or sandals, I’m working on that spring feeling from the comfort of inside my own home.
I always long for a brighter colour palette inside during the spring and summer months and with a neutral interior it’s easy to pick and change the accessories for an instant update. Here are some of my favourite picks to brighten up your home for spring along with my top tips for creating the perfect sanctuary at home.