Louise is currently on maternity leave and will be available from November 2020.

10 Top Home Detox Tips and the Secret of a Clutter-Free Kitchen

This month I’d like to share 10 top home detox tips with you. I recently read an article with these ideas and they really made me think. You may have spring cleaned already, but take a moment to consider these:

1. Leave your shoes by the front door. Shoes bring in all sorts of nasties – lead, dog doo-doo, car exhaust pollutants and pesticides.
2. Vacuum carpets at least once a week.
3. Make sure you have a few house plants – e.g. bamboo, spider plants and cheese plants which absorb pollutants.
4. Use olive oil rather than a spray-on wood polish.
5. Consider replacing PVC shower curtains with glass doors and PVC tablecloths with washable ones.
6. Think about using water-based or organic paints.
7. Replace non-stick frying pans with stainless-steel or enamel ones (but be prepared to get the elbow grease out!).
8. Use vinegar and lemon juice as everyday surface cleaners; add bicarbonate of soda for extra cleaning strength (particularly in fridges).
9. Make sure your home is well ventilated.
10. Put soft toys in the freezer once in a while to kill house dust mites.

Now, let’s move on to the secret of a clutter-free kitchen. A good question to ask is ‘Which kitchen equipment do I really need?’ Holding onto items that are no longer used or enjoyed can become a habit, and like other long-term habits, the impact really can be quite overwhelming.

There are no rules as to how much anyone should own – I believe that clutter is defined as whatever’s getting in the way. I would never advocate a minimalist makeover: everyone has a personal view of what constitutes clutter but we live in a consumer society where we no longer shop merely for what we need, resulting in the accumulation of all kinds of things.

Looking for items that get lost among clutter can be a waste of valuable time (and money if you have to replace them). One of the most common comments when helping clients to de-clutter is ‘Oh, that’s where it is, I’ve been looking for it for ages’, or even ‘oh no, I just bought another one of those – I thought I’d lost it!’.

If you’re feeling the task is a bit daunting, the first step is to simply open each kitchen cupboard door and take stock of what you own. It can help to set a timer and limit yourself to 15 minute sessions so you don’t get too bored or tired. Take it one step (or cupboard/ drawer) at a time. If it really feels too much – a professional organiser can provide practical help and support – so give me a call. Either way, de-clutter and feel much better for it.