So, spring is the time for renewal, right? Gamboling lambs, a crisp rosé, the bright green of a fresh new leaf. The season to fall in love (or fall in love all over again), start a new hobby, turn over a new page. A time to smell the jasmine, listen to birdsong and generally wax lyrical about new beginnings.

And then some spoilsport had to come up with the concept of spring cleaning.

If you prefer working on your tan to working in the kitchen, or if you would rather polish your nails than polish the silver, listen closely.

Do the big stuff first

Ask yourself, what will make the biggest difference for the amount of effort you put in? Painstakingly buffing the silver teaspoons you inherited from your granny will impress the casual visitor far less than giving the tired living room wall a fresh new coat of paint. A great motto for a pleasant spring? If it's not wow, why do it now?

Get help

Delegate, delegate and delegate some more. Do you have a friend who loves to clean? Get her to come and rearrange your cupboards for you. (She's probably been dying to do it anyway.) Or ask your mother/brother/boyfriend/kids/etc. Dress the whole thing up as a fun Saturday activity. (Warning: this only works with younger kids and family members who love you. Teenagers won't fall for it.) If all else fails, pay someone. Not keen on DIY? Then by all means go the PIY (Pay It Yourself) route. There's no shame in calling in the professionals.

Don't overdo it

Most curtains do not need to be washed that often. Accept it.

Clever cleaning

Let cleaning products soak. It will do most of the work for you. Oh, and while we're on the topic, don't mix cleaning products – it can become toxic. Worried about your health? Try environmentally friendly cleaning products. Sure, you won't get that nice ammonia induced high, but you'll also skip the ensuing headache. Plus, you get brownie points for not destroying the planet. That said, you still need to use heavy duty stuff for heavy grime. No amount of vinegar water will cleanse the accumulated dirt under your fridge. (Then again, who ever looks under your fridge? Refer to point a) above.)

De-clutter

Clutter is the enemy of cleanliness. If it's not beautiful, useful or sentimental, then for crying in a bucket, chuck it. Or, better yet, give it away. You can get rid of that horrible vase while donating to the needy. See it as a karmic spring cleaning of sorts...

General tips

- Dust from the top down.

- Wash walls from the bottom up.

- A house that smells fresh looks clean.

-If all else fails, remember people might judge you because your house isn't immaculate, but chances are, they'll be too polite to say it out loud.