We’re all on board with spring cleaning. When the last of the winter weather is behind us, the flowers are starting to bloom, and there’s a sweet smell in the air, we automatically grab the cleaning spray ready to prepare our homes for the summer.
At Colt and Willow, we’re (surprise, surprise) big fans of a deep clean. There’s nothing more cathartic than scrubbing the surfaces, and freshening everything up - but you don’t have to wait for spring to come around. In fact, it’s actually more important to deep clean your house in autumn than in spring. According to House Beautiful, “with a drop in temperature and the heating on, fabrics in the home can be a haven for the germs, bacteria, mould and mites that thrive in our warm winter environments.”
Not quite convinced? Here are five great reasons to spring clean your house in autumn as well.
1. There’s a lack of ventilation
As the weather gets colder, we tend to keep our windows shut and crank up the central heating. But while we stay cosy, drying our clothes inside and reducing ventilation means there’s a build-up of warm, moist air. Humidity indoors provides the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of things we’d rather not have in our homes, like bacteria, dust mites and fungi. This can lead to respiratory infections, worsening dust mite allergies, and added problems for those with asthma and eczema. To combat this, ramp up the cleaning in autumn. Keep windows open for an hour every day, even if it’s cold - you’ll feel much better with some fresh air circulating in your home. Tackle stale smells by freshening up surfaces with a spritz of an eco-friendly cleaning product, and consider investing in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.
2. It’s easier for germs and winter bugs to spread
Another downside to warm, moist air indoors is that it makes it easier for germs and winter bugs to spread. With preventing the spread of infections at the top of everyone’s mind, make sure your home remains a clean, safe haven by paying extra attention to door handles and surfaces that can easily pick up germs. Think bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere else your guests spend time. Worried about harsh chemicals damaging your vintage door handles? Opt for an eco-friendly product like our Geranium Leaf all-purpose cleaner - it’ll leave your home looking ship-shape whilst also smelling great.
3. You need good sleep more than ever
We all know that getting enough sleep keeps our immune system working at its best. In autumn, as the traditional flu season approaches, getting enough sleep is more important than ever. To ensure a good night’s rest, it’s time to give your bed a spring clean. Consider swapping your summer duvet out for a warmer option (as the Scandinavians do), and flip and vacuum your mattress, especially if you have a pet or kids who sneak snacks into bed. According to some it’s a good idea to wash your pillows four times a year - and if you’ve got cushions or comforters on your bed that don’t usually go in the wash, now’s the time to invest in a visit to the laundrette or dry cleaner.
4. Decluttering is always good for your mental health
There’s a reason why Marie Kondo has become something of a celebrity in recent years: it turns out that we love decluttering so much, we’ll sit and watch Netflix shows about it. Seeing our surfaces covered in clutter is frustrating (especially if it feels like you’ve just tidied!), and it can also have detrimental effects on our mental health. According to one study from the University of California, a cluttered home can increase our stress levels, make it harder to fall asleep at night, and lead us to eat more unhealthily. Conversely, a neat and tidy home makes it easier for us to locate what we’re looking for, keeps our stress levels down, and even helps us think more clearly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, break it down into tiny steps. You don’t need to blitz the house all in one go - start with one room, one corner, or even just one shelf. You’ll feel much better afterwards, and you’ll be fired up to continue.
5. Your home should be your cold weather havenA big spring (or in this case, autumn) clean makes our homes look more beautiful, but it also ensures that the space in which we spend the most time is happy, warm and inviting. As the weather gets colder, your home should be your haven - somewhere to retreat to, to create happy memories in, and somewhere that allows you to pause amongst the madness of life. And as Marie Kondo so wisely says, “the objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” Our top autumn cleaning tips? Get the whole family involved with age-appropriate tasks. Keep the focus on why you’re doing this: to create a happy, cosy home for everyone to enjoy. And lastly, make sure you’re safeguarding your family’s health by using all-natural cleaning products. Our soothing botanical-infused products are a great place to start.