clEAning, rEArranging

Day 1 of the Big Spring Clean up

The Shower Room

This room is one of my favourites it is accessed from both the office / craft room and our third bedroom so has two connecting doors opposite each other.  It has a walk in shower , a basin and a loo. In addition we have a family bathroom that has a bath with another shower over the bath, basin and loo.

Lots of scrubbing and rubbing required in here to get it fresh and gleaming again. I find that you need to be very methodical when doing a big clean otherwise you can soon end up in a muddle. I go from inside to out and from top to bottom.  One of the things I noticed when watching a TV advert once about a kitchen cleaner product was that the difference between the before and after was the shine they put on everything in the room.  Even old and shabby items can look good when they sparkle after a good clean.  So even if you don’t have a lot of money to afford new things (and we have been there!) you can always make a home look good just by keeping it clutter free and sparkling clean.

So the first thing to tackle is the inside of the two cupboards.  I love both my Ikea cupboards – the wall cabinet, which is slimline, we picked up very cheaply in the Bargain Corner because it had lost its shelves.  We had some toughened glass shelves made to fit and everything is neatly stored behind what looks like a mirror over the basin.

In this cupboard I tend to keep a few first aid and medicinal items, thermometers and a glass for rinsing plus a container of handy cotton wool and cotton buds.  We do have a bigger cupboard like this downstairs which houses all my supplements, medication, homeopathic remedies and more serious first aid, but this is handy for the few items that we are more likely to use upstairs.

Inside of Wall Cabinet – Before cleaning

The second cupboard in this room is a tall slim Ikea Lillangen, again with a mirrored door, which helps to both reflect the light and gives me a full length view of myself (sometimes helpful, sometimes not so!)  Here I store stocks of shower gels, face creams, deodorants, small travel and guest items, pedicure and oral hygiene etc as well as toilet rolls and cleaning products.  I am always amazed at what I have to pack in here.

Inside Tall Cupboard – Before cleaning

I start with the bigger cupboard and take everything out then clean the inside of the cupboard.  Whilst this is drying I make a start on going through the contents.

I begin by throwing out any out of date products then sorting the things I like and use from the stuff I have acquired that I am not so keen on like a new product that I have been enticed into buying only to find it was a big mistake.  Sometimes I have been given an item as a present but as I have sensitive skin perfumed products do not always agree with me.   I then put to one side anything that is almost finished – the ends of tubes and bottles – with a view to using them up quickly so they do not linger and take up valuable space.  I also make a note of anything that I need to replace or restock.  So now I have everything that I want to put back into the cupboard.

On the left the items I need to use up which I will not be putting back into the cupboard but put in a pretty basket and keep on my dressing table until all finished – on the right an excess of hand cream these may have to go!

Unwanted items – but may make useful presents

Putting everything back and making everything look inviting again

Being a bit of a neat freak I want to feel a sense of pride and pleasure each time I open my cupboard doors and also have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where everything is.  I do not want to have to rummage through mountains of stuff or have cupboards overflowing with things I will never use.

I have learned over the years that presenting the items in your cupboards as you see them displayed in the shops is the key to good-looking and ordered cupboards.  Toiletries tend to get grubby over time so I clean every item with a babywipe and then a quick rub with a dry cloth making sure any grunge from around the caps is removed.  Doing this makes everything clean and looking like it has just been bought again.  I then display like things together if possible on the shelves.My Neal’s Yard collection as the blue glass is so vibrant I like to keep these products together for better effect.

Stocks of face creams – bought on the two for three offers.

I keep a container with Guest size shower gel and body lotion and another with small travel sized products that I have collected – often from hotel bedrooms and those freebies from No 7 makeup and skin care as well as satchets of shampoo and body lotion that come stuck inside magazines to try.

I also keep a container for my essential oils and another for suncare – being fair-skinned I need lots!  All the ‘tub’ containers are from Muji and the ones with lids can be found in most craft shops including Hobbycraft.

I put the cleaners on the bottom shelf and spare toilet rolls above. The rest of the shelves hold the toiletries.The larger cupboard after the clear out

The wall cabinet after the clear out

Getting down to the heavy cleaning part

With both cupboards done and everything arranged back in place I can begin the cleaning of the room.  I recently washed the walls and ceiling down so just a quick Hoover around the corners today and a wipe on top of the door frames.  I then pour some bleach into a container and using an old toothbrush I begin spreading the bleach onto the tile grouting in the shower and also the sealant and any nooks and crannies of the shower screen which I will leave for a few minutes to be working.  I also squirt some down the plug holes and overflow of shower and basin and under the toilet rim.

Whilst waiting for the grouting I get an old pan scrub out and delve into the loo I find this better than using a brush – it is more flexible for getting down into the dark depths and up under the rim.

After this I rinse the shower well of bleach before using a general cleaner on the tiles, glass doors and shower head and unit.  Although I do like to be green and would normally use an Ecover product in here – today I am using a bathroom spray containing a little bleach as it is a deep clean.

Moving on to the drains and plugholes –  I fill the basin with water and keep the plug in whilst continuing to run the water so that the overflow takes the excess and gets a good rinse through. By keeping the water running and raising the plug slightly until you feel the ‘pull’ the drain will suck through any trapped mass of hair and grungy stuff.  To clean the pipe I have a long-handled drain brush to get down into the plughole but a toothbrush can be just as good – it is always amazing the build up of black grungy stuff in here and I can tell when it is clean as the pipe becomes bright white again.    To finish off I use a kettle of boiling water poured over a handful of Soda Crystals into the plughole and left for about 10 minutes – this gets rid of any greasy residue and freshen the drains.  A few more flushes through and wow much fresher and sparkling clean.

Going from just clean to ‘gleam’

After a good clean of all the pottery I always go over with a little polish on a duster – a tip I picked up from watching a lady in a bathroom showroom cleaning the display sets.  This makes the pottery gleam like new again.  I do the pedestal as well as the inside of the basin and taps and I also polish up the outside of the loo and the toilet seat.The tiles I polish over in the same way but I use diluted vinegar in water in a spray bottle to polish the glass shower doors and mirrors.

The daisy picture I painted a few years ago goes very well with the soft tones of the Shower room.  I found a brilliant product the other day by Scotch – they are double-sided clear adhesive tabs that secure objects but can be removed from most surfaces and reused.  I am using them here to adhere the top of the frame back to the wall to prevent it leaning forwards as they tend to do.

After cleaning the radiator, skirting boards and floor I am done cleaning at last, although  I do have to wait until Hubby can help clean the fan and light fitting for me.  All that is left to do is shake and wash the bath mat and replace the towels.

I can then stand back and admire my efforts.

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