Next Monday, we Vintage Housekeepers embark on our month long Seasonal Scrub: a zesty-fest of Spring cleaning spread over four crazy, beautiful weeks. At the end of it, we stand proud, smug and ready to get back to inching towards the authentic life we have long dreamed of living. In the meantime I thought you might appreciate a few puttery treats to get you in the mood?
* Seek out some shelf lining paper, ready to line pantry shelves, drawers and cupboards when you have cleaned them. Keep pantries immaculate by layering 5 to 7 sheets of paper at a time and removing one layer every time it gets stained or starts to curl.
* Grate three bars of household soap into a mason jar ready to turn into soap jelly for spot cleaning soft furnishings.
* Invite Hestia, Goddess of Home and Hearth into your home by writing the words below on to the back of a vintage postcard and placing it underneath a warm honey colored beeswax candle. Light a stick of cinnamon incense beside it and allow the candle to burn for as long as it takes for the incense to expire...
Blessed Hestia Lady of the Hearth Keeper of the sacred flames of Olympus Enter this home, you are welcome here.
* If you don't buy newspapers, ask neighbors friends or family to keep a stack for you before the scrub begins as they are invaluable for cleaning windows and airing musty wardrobes and bureaus.
* Make some herbal vinegar water by filling a jar half-full of dried herbs (lavender and rosemary or thyme make a lovely combination) and topping up with vinegar. Allow to seep until next week, then strain and use as a last wipe-down rinse in the final week of the scrub.
* Treat yourself to a snazzy pair of rubber gloves.
* Add a darning tin to your housekeepers basket so you can make quick repairs on the hoof without having to hunt through your sewing basket. Just a small selection of needles and neutral thread should suffice.
* Start practicing a sequence of yoga asanas to strengthen body, mind and spirit during the scrub. Do only those poses you can manage and stop if you feel uncomfortable. Investigate Curvy Yoga for inspiration if you don't consider yourself the yoga type...
* Make it known that you will only be shopping for the very basics during the scrub and that all meals will be conjured up from the freezer and the pantry, so that you can deep-clean them both when relatively empty. To this end then it is worth rooting through what is available and making some loose meal plans so you are not tempted to shop for convenience when you could be cleaning. Use your imagination!
* Knit yourself a collection of these dishcloths from dishcloths.
* Order enough Epsom salts to take two detoxifying baths each week during the scrub. Taking this detoxifying bath will help you feel light as air and soothe aching bones after a hard days labor so it really is essential to your domestic well-being...
* Keep an aqua-marine crystal near the kitchen sink to harness it's purifying and detoxing properties during the scrub weeks.
* Stitch a few extra pockets on to your favorite work-a-day apron so you can carry everything you need in your pockets and store all the little bits of nothing that need re-homing.
* Go through your wardrobe in search of clothes crying out for demotion: these will constitute your scrubbing wardrobe hereafter. Look for over-sized worn out t-shirts, sweat shirts and loose summer dresses. Anything that will no longer do for venturing outdoors in, but perfect for the hot, dusty, dirty work occasioned by a Seasonal Scrub.
* Overhaul the vacuum cleaner this week, for it is your greatest ally during the scrub. Pull out tangly threads and hair from the brushes, empty and thoroughly wash the drum, order new bags if necessary, and most essential of all: replace the filters.
* Now is a good time to take an inventory of your first-aid box because if you are anything like me, you will do yourself some form of minor damage climbing and cleaning. Replace balms and antiseptics, and top up bandage and plaster stores and you are good to go.
* Book a manicure or Indian head massage for the day after the scrub ends.
* Get thee to Ikea and buy a huuuge bag of tea-lights, so that you can light lots in each and every room for the kind of candle cleanse that freshens the air and celebrates domestic victory. Add a few to your housekeepers basket alongside a box of matches and ritually light them in each room at the end of every day during the scrub.
* Schedule everyday of the seasonal scrub with the Home Routines App. If you have a list of jobs to tick off you are more likely to do them.
* Start a housekeeping Pinterest board. Start with mine and then scour Pinterest for more inspirational hints and tips.
Ok, so are we all set? If you don't know what I am talking about you can download instructions for a range of Seasonal Scrubs here or declare this your Domestic Day of Reckoning and sign up to be a Housekeeping Superstar to change your domestic fortune from this moment on-wards...
The 2013 Spring Seasonal Scrub starts on Monday February 25th and I expect you all to be lined up with feather dusters at the ready!