Gardening tips 2

Round & About

tips

With many of us spending more time at home, getting some fresh air and keeping our minds occupied in the current situation is so important.

So switch off from the news and take a break in your garden. Gardening is a great stress buster and it’s a good form of exercise too. 

If you’re looking for ideas there are plenty of uplifting projects to get stuck into in your garden. Why not:

> Plant a tree

Grow your own fruit & veg

Create a wildlife-friendly garden

Plant patio climbing roses

Try growing some plants from seed

Get the children into gardening

Create an edible window box

Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres believes escaping into the garden is a great way to lift your spirits to soak in the beauty if the outdoors generally and our gardens.

She said: “In times like this nature and simple pleasures, like gardening, watching the birds and looking out for wildlife, seem all the more precious and a boost to body and spirit. If you need us we are here to help you get gardening and find some outdoor relaxation and exercise.”

She added: “If you are spending a little more time at home over the coming weeks, I hope that the weather is kind and you are able to enjoy your outside space.”

Squire’s also offer a local home delivery service. Simply call your local centre to arrange delivery. Squires Garden Centres

Spring Clean

If this gets you in the tidying spirit – why not try our Spring Cleaning ideas? Broken down into five easy days!

Gardening tips 1

Round & About

tips

While having to stay at home is not ideal for any of us there are lots of things you can do in the garden and what better time than with the spring weather, here are a few more ideas, that will not only keep you occupied, but also mentally and physically active too:

> Dust down the mower and get out and tackle the lawn, not forgetting the edges which you can trim with shears. This simple task will immediately make your garden look tider.

Welcome the birds into your garden, order some feeders and birdfood to get started if you don’t already have them and the sight and sound of our feathered friends will put a smile on your face.

Do your bit for wild plants that are under threat by sowing some native plants into a window box, on a balcony or in a corner of your garden and make a mini meadow to encourage nature back.

Children can join in with nature/gardening-based craft activities to inspire and entertain them to get growing too. Why not make a den in the garden if you have room and see how ingenious they can be.

Don’t stare at a blank wall or fence, add some colour with hanging baskets or try environmentally-friendly, hessian flower bags filled with compost and planted with flowering plugs.

String up some garden lights to bring a sparkle to a tree, porch, archway or shrub.

Don’t neglect the patio or terrace when dealing with the plants, veg and greenery – a blast from the pressure washer will easily give it a new look.

For a real taste of the summer to come order some strawberry plants and get them in now with some fertilizer to really encourage the juicy sweet fruit.

Add some sunshine with some cheery sunflowers, sow seeds now, put pots on the windowsill and plant seedlings when frosts are gone.

Pot up some herbs, salad leaves, spinach, beetroot, dwarf French beans, potatoes and dwarf carrots which will all do well in containers or skip the sowing and go straight to plug plants.

Spring Clean

If this gets you in the tidying spirit – why not try our Spring Cleaning ideas? Broken down into five easy days!

Spring clean: De-clutter

Round & About

tips

The Great British Spring Clean has been postponed until September but while you can’t do your bit for the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t focus on the inside so how about giving your home a spring clean instead?

Be realistic about it, don’t try tackling it all at once – especially if you’ve got other things that need your attention – do it room by room, perhaps even enlist the help of other family members at home with you and make it fun for the children to help out, after all many hands make light work!

Hopefully now you’ve got a clean, tidy, fresh house so the final step is to de-clutter and take care of the little things to complete that new look for spring…

Clutter


Clean makeup brushes

They’ll need 24 hours to dry so make sure you do this when you won’t be using them, just use a brush cleanser or a lightweight unscented shampoo.

Dust

Don’t just clear surfaces and straighten up ornaments, take the time to have a really good dust, bedside table, shelves etc, it will add to the overall improvement of the house.

Clean toys in dishwasher and washing machine

Put plastic things in the dishwasher and fabric in the washing machine. Remember to check what it’s made of first– you don’t want goggly eyes or loose parts falling off in the machine.

And finally… Create a space for clutter

No matter how hard you try there will always be some bits and pieces you can’t get rid off but that don’t have a natural home so create a dedicated space to store these things to ensure all your hard work and newly cleaned and tidied home isn’t spoiled by clutter again.

Spring clean your digital life

Round & About

tips

The Great British Spring Clean has been postponed until September but while you can’t do your bit for the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t focus on the inside so how about giving your home a spring clean instead?

Be realistic about it, don’t try tackling it all at once – especially if you’ve got other things that need your attention – do it room by room, perhaps even enlist the help of other family members at home with you and make it fun for the children to help out, after all many hands make light work!

Over the next week, we’ll share advice on all those essential tasks that can help give your house a new lease of life.

It’s not just the ‘physical’ possessions in your life that needed ‘cleaning’, do a digital clear out too… 

Digital


Clean up your desktop

A quick fix to tidy up your screen is to move items into folders, although just a temporary fix, it’ll allow time to sort through files in an orderly way.

Clean keyboards

Keyboards are often neglected but cleaning them is simple – soap, water and a cotton bud will help you get in between keys without a problem.

Unsubscribe and delete unwanted emails

Don’t let unopened emails accumulate in your inbox. You can either search ‘unsubscribe’ in your emails and find the ones you don’t want or for a more thorough job, sort your inbox by “from” and choose the sender you don’t want to hear from.

Spring clean your house

Round & About

tips

The Great British Spring Clean has been postponed until September but while you can’t do your bit for the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t focus on the inside so how about giving your home a spring clean instead?

Be realistic about it, don’t try tackling it all at once – especially if you’ve got other things that need your attention – do it room by room, perhaps even enlist the help of other family members at home with you and make it fun for the children to help out, after all many hands make light work!

Over the next week, we’ll share advice on all those essential tasks that can help give your house a new lease of life.

You’ve focused on the key rooms, so how about turning your attention to the house overall?

House


Remove carpet stains with an iron

Vacuum the area, dampen any spots or stains with a towel soaked in a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water. Place the moist towel over the stain and use the iron to heat the towel, it should lift the stain into the towel.

 

Banish bad smells

Open your windows to let in some fresh air. Check your fruit bowl for worst-for-wear fruit and take the bin out. A cup of vanilla extract in the oven to heat for an hour will make your home smell like a bakery. Fresh potted herbs in the kitchen (mint, rosemary and basil) are also a great way to freshen things up.

 

Rearrange furniture

Not only will it feel like you’ve got a new room, it’ll also help you clear away clutter and dirt in the process.

 

Wash the windows

The best time to do this is on a cloudy day as sun dries them out too quickly, causing streaks. Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water and spritz away, making sure to rub it in quickly and fluidly.

 

Create a donations box

Place a box, bag or bin somewhere handy for unwanted items, drop in one thing per day that you don’t wear or use anymore. It will soon fill up and you can then donate or sell the collection when the box is full.

Spring clean your kitchen

Round & About

tips

The Great British Spring Clean has been postponed until September but while you can’t do your bit for the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t focus on the inside so how about giving your home a spring clean instead?

Be realistic about it, don’t try tackling it all at once – especially if you’ve got other things that need your attention – do it room by room, perhaps even enlist the help of other family members at home with you and make it fun for the children to help out, after all many hands make light work!

Over the next week, we’ll share advice on all those essential tasks that can help give your house a new lease of life.

It’s time to tackle probably the most used room in your house which is likely to be the most in need of a spring clean – the kitchen!

Kitchen


Fresh smelling bin

There’s no excuse not to clean your bin when there are so many ways you can do it. Hose the inside and wipe it down with an anti-bacterial spray or wipe to start with, a sprinkling of baking soda will help absorb any moisture. Line the bottom with newspaper before fitting a bin liner and a few drops of tea tree oil will add a pleasantly clean fragrance.

Clean the oven

Sprinkle baking soda over the bottom of the oven, then spray or pour vinegar over it and leave overnight. Simply wipe clean in the morning and you’ve got a sparkly clean oven ready to use.

Sanitize sponges

Hands up who uses just one sponge for everything? It’s a hygiene disaster but there is an answer – microwave a wet sponge on a high setting for a minute or two and this will kill most of the bacteria in the sponge. Don’t keep your sponges for too long – you should use a new one every month or so.

Steam clean the microwave

Microwaves attract dirt from explosions or spillages, but you can clean your microwave the easy way by adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a bowl of water and heating it on full power for about five minutes. Wipe it down and you’ll be left with a shiny clean microwave, without any scrubbing.

Remove watermarks from stainless steel

Simply halve a lemon and use it to scrub the steel, it’ll make your kitchen smell great too! 

Spring clean your bedroom

Round & About

tips

The Great British Spring Clean has been postponed until September but while you can’t do your bit for the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t focus on the inside so how about giving your home a spring clean instead?

Be realistic about it, don’t try tackling it all at once – especially if you’ve got other things that need your attention – do it room by room, perhaps even enlist the help of other family members at home with you and make it fun for the children to help out, after all many hands make light work!

Over the next week, we’ll share advice on all those essential tasks that can help give your house a new lease of life.

Today how about giving the bedroom a spruce up!

 

Bedroom


Duvet & Mattress

Wash and whiten your pillows and duvet in the washing machine, and air your mattress – you’ll be guaranteed a better night’s sleep when you do it in a truly clean bed.

 

Try the hanger trick in your wardrobe

We’ve all got clothes in our wardrobes we haven’t worn for years, but are you just hoarding them? The hanger trick was made for you. Hang all your clothes so the hangers are backwards in the wardrobe, then, when you use them, put the hangers on the rack the right way. Do this for about a month and you’ll soon appreciate what you wear and what you don’t. So if you have a dress you love and can’t bear to part with it, then wear it!

 

Fold and stack clothes vertically

Organise your clothes drawers by folding and stacking clothes vertically and not horizontally. This makes it really easy to see all your t-shirts/jumpers in one go and will even minimise creasing.

 

Vacuum seal non-seasonal clothes

Don’t cram heavy coats into the wardrobe during the middle of summer or have to dig through flimsy dresses in January. Use vacuum seal bags to store clothes you want to keep but know won’t get any wear for a few months.

 

Store sheet sets in pillowcases

Don’t lose a pillow case, keep sets & their matching sheets in one of the pillow cases – it will keep it all together and be much neater in your cupboard.

Spring clean your bathroom

Round & About

tips

The Great British Spring Clean has been postponed until September but while you can’t do your bit for the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t focus on the inside so how about giving your home a spring clean instead?

Be realistic about it, don’t try tackling it all at once – especially if you’ve got other things that need your attention – do it room by room, perhaps even enlist the help of other family members at home with you and make it fun for the children to help out, after all many hands make light work!

Over the next week, we’ll share advice on all those essential tasks that can help give your house a new lease of life.

Let’s start with one of the most used rooms in the house:

Bathroom


Fresher smell

Make your bathroom smell fresh by simply adding a few drops of essential oil to the inside of your toilet roll.

 

Remove tile mould

One of the best ways to revamp your bathroom is to get rid of the mould and discolouration on tiles, try a mixture of baking soda, distilled white vinegar, salt and essential oils. Mix them up, spritz on to your tiles, wait 10 minutes and wipe off.

Clean the toilet

Baking soda and vinegar are also essential ingredients if you’d rather not use toilet bleach to clean the loo effectively. The soda and vinegar combination are effective at removing hard-water marks, and rust stains. More unusually, you can pour cola down the toilet – it’s thought to work well at removing rust rings.

 

Clean the shower head

Keep the baking soda and vinegar handy for this, fill a sandwich bag with the mix and tie it around the shower head with an elastic band, leave it overnight to soak. In the morning, use an old toothbrush to remove the scale and debris and you should find your next shower will be a much better, more refreshing one.

 

Wash shower curtains and bathroom mats

Shower curtains can get pretty nasty and are prone to mould. Put your shower curtain in the washing machine (along with the bath mat), then hang it back in the shower to dry – simple as that!