After the long, wet Cape winter, spring is a welcome arrival. Sunnier days and warmer air make it the perfect time to freshen up your home after weeks of being closed up.
The first day of September is not technically spring, but most Capetonians celebrate the end of rainy days and start looking forward to warmer days spent outdoors.
In this article, we show you 12 easy ways to freshen up your home.
1. Open up your home
When the spring arrives, open up the doors and windows to let the warm air in. This will air out your home and chase away any lingering cold and damp.
If your home suffers from condensation, this will help dry out the air and prevent mould from accumulating in dark corners of the house.
If you suffer from allergies, check the pollen count before you open up. Spring is usually the peak season for allergens in the air.
2. Move some furniture around
Rearranging the furniture can give your home a new, fresh feel. You’ll be amazed at the positive affect moving some items around can have on your state of mind, especially if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Furniture layouts often differ between winter and summer for the sake of practicality. Sofas don’t need to be clustered around the fireplace in summer, for example.
Moving furniture means you can vacuum and mop under sofas and behind bookshelves. Check there aren’t any hidden mould spots left behind after winter.
3. Declutter rooms and throw out
Spring cleaning often sparks a big throw out. What better time to go through your cupboards and drawers to weed out unnecessary items?
The garage, pantry and attic often become dumping grounds. Use the new season as an excuse to tackle a big clean up.
Unwanted items can be gifted or donated. Broken pieces can be recycled or upcycled in a creative project.
4. Clean out the fridge
Fridges often fill up during the winter. Cleaning out the fridge is a good first step in your spring clean.
Empty the fridge completely and separate expired items to be discarded. Clean the fridge thoroughly with a mild bleach solution before drying and repacking.
Defrosting the freezer is also a good idea. Don’t let anything spoil by moving items to a chilled cooler box.
5. Stock up on fresh produce
Springtime means an abundance of fresh produce. Salads and fresh fruit are more enjoyable when the weather is warm.
Stock up on fresh produce during a visit to your local farmers’ market or fresh produce vendor. A bowl of fresh fruit adds a splash of vibrant colour to your home.
6. Clean the patio area
Patios and stoeps don’t get used much during the winter and are often dirty or mouldy after months of cold, wet weather.
When the days get warmer, clean up your outdoors areas in anticipation of outdoor meals and braais. Give the furniture and cushions a good wash and let them dry in the sun. Scrub or pressure wash tiles and brick paving to eliminate dirt and moss.
7. Clean out the fireplace or braai
Come spring, the days of using the indoor fireplace are probably over. Clear out the ashes and burnt wood to remove any lingering smoke smells.
The ash might drift onto your furniture or carpets when you start opening up the house.
The braai area will be used more frequently in the summer, so give it a good clean, including the grates and grids.
8. Pack away heavy winter clothes
Spring isn’t quite time for vests and shorts, but heavier winter clothes and blankets can be packed away.
Get your coats, boots and heavy winter blankets cleaned before you pack them away.
9. Hang lighter curtains or blinds
Heavy drapes are useful in the winter for keeping the cold out but they can feel too dark in the spring and summer months.
Thinner curtains make a space feel lighter and cooler on hot days. Consider swapping heavy drapes for lightweight curtains in the spring.
Get your heavy drapes professionally cleaned before packing them away.
10. Add a spring home fragrance
Use reed diffusers, room sprays and candles to introduce fresh, spring fragrances into your home.
Floral fragrances will put a spring in your step. Citrus is a zesty choice or choose bergamot for a more subtle aroma.
11. Add new plants and flowers
Nothing says spring like fresh flowers. Buy fresh flowers from a local vendor to add colour and fragrance to your home.
Find a flower seller who has sourced flowers responsibly. Picking certain flowers, such as arum lilies, is discouraged because they’re natural wildlife habitats.
Some of the early-blooming Cape flowers include freesias, anemones, ranunculus and High Gold pin-cushion proteas.
12. Shake out rugs and give carpets a deep clean
Take all loose rugs outside and give them a thorough beating to remove accumulated dust and pet hair. Take advantage of the warm days to wash rugs that can be put in the washing machine. Larger rugs may need to be sent to a professional cleaner.
Spring is the perfect time to give fitted carpets a deep clean. This will remove mould spores that take hold during the winter. Hot-water extraction cleaning kills fleas and their eggs or larvae before they can multiply in the warmer weather.