With Easter just around the corner, the urge to get down to cleaning the carpets and soft furnishings arrives with comforting regularity. It’s been the routine in many families to ‘bottom out’ the house as soon as the winter weather has finally gone. It is much easier these days. We have fitted carpets or sealed wooden flooring, which although not as warm and cosy, is definitely easier to keep clean. We also have central heating instead of open fires. Not so romantic, true, but much more efficient when it comes to cleaning. Before the clean up, pick up all stray items off the floor and furniture – putting them in carrier bags or boxes for repatriation to owners . . . Then remove obvious layers of dust before going round and really thoroughly vacuuming. Much more effort here is needed. Get right into corners, under units, the hi-fi stack, tv and stand etc. then do the main part of the carpet two or three times in each pile direction. It should feel and smell so much better, for a while!