Although we have had much more time at home recently, it’s hard to do any proper spring cleaning or redecorating when the whole family is under your feet. As we come out of lockdown and we can travel further afield for a day out, or just spend the day in the garden enjoying the weather, we have the perfect opportunity to really get stuck in to a spring cleaning project.
If you have young children you have to be hyper-vigilant when using any cleaning products as they are hazardous if ingested, rubbed in the eyes or have contact with your skin. Using bleach, mould remover or other cleaning chemicals is best done when the kids are out but it is still vital to keep these out of reach of children and closed at all times. Many cleaning products damage polished surfaces and soft furnishings, so ensure you use them correctly and don’t leave open containers where they can be easily knocked and spilled.
The same goes for paint, not necessarily because it is toxic if ingested, but because it can be easily tracked around the home by little feet, or smeared across your kitchen cabinets or sofa. Take care with items like steel wool, wire brushes and screwdrivers as these can all cause harm to curious children. If you’re doing a big reorganisation of furniture ensure that free-standing shelves and cabinets are firmly secured to the walls to stop them toppling over if a child decides to climb them.
From a home security point of view remember that moving furniture in your home can interfere with sensor placement – changing the layout and route through a room can create blind spots that burglars turn to their advantage so they can creep through without setting the alarm off. They’re well versed in avoiding security system sensors, so do be aware that you may inadvertently render your current set up obsolete by making big changes to the layout of a room.
If you make any big purchases, such as a new TV or stereo system for your newly redecorated living room be sure to dispose of the packaging carefully so as not to advertise the purchase to passers-by. TV boxes flatten down very well and can be slid under a bed and kept for moving house – when the time comes you’ll want that box to protect your TV in the move. If you don’t want to keep the boxes, take them straight to the tip or store them indoors until you have the chance, as leaving them by the bin is a huge signal to burglars that there’s something worth stealing inside. Make sure that expensive items can’t be easily seen through your windows, and consider installing net curtains downstairs to obscure the view from outside.
You’ll naturally want to spend some time making improvements and tidying up in the garden, and the same rules apply for keeping equipment and materials away from children. This is especially important with ladders as a curious or adventurous child will want to climb them, but won’t be able to do so safely. Garden forks, loppers and other digging or pruning equipment should also not be left accessible for children to play with.
When doing any landscaping or outdoor maintenance be careful not to create a hiding place for burglars; remember to keep large shrubs away from the home, especially around doors, and ensure you have adequate security lighting outside to deter potential thieves. If you want to have some larger shrubs, go for roses, monkey puzzle trees and other sharp, thorny plants that will stop burglars. Placing solar lights along paths and in flowerbeds will help you navigate the garden safely in the dark, but even better they also light up prowlers like a Christmas tree, deterring them from creeping around to scope out your home.
We want all our customers to enjoy their homes and gardens as we start to socialise again, so keep the security of your house and family at the forefront of your mine whenever you make improvements and changes to your home.