Spring Cleaning Tips with Max Kater – and WIN an Epic Murchison-Hume Prize Pack!

If you’re like most people, the very mention of the words “spring cleaning” makes you want to dive under the covers and hope for six more weeks of winter. Decluttering, doing a deep clean of your whole house, knocking off all those cobwebs to get your outdoor area ready for the warmer weather… we all know spring cleaning is a great idea, a fresh start to welcome the warmer weather (and discover horrible half-eaten apples left under the sofa by the baby, as I did the other day) but getting it done isn’t always so fun. However, you CAN make spring cleaning much more bearable, and today I’m sharing the tips of none other than green cleaning products expert and Murchison-Hume founder and CEO, Max Kater, a mother of two.

A little Murchison-Hume in our laundry.

Murchison-Hume CEO Max Kater.

When I think of Max Kater, I have in mind the ‘original’ green cleaning products mastermind. She was onto this stuff LONG before most people were even aware that a ton of commercial cleaning products can have chemical nasties in them. She actually started Murchison-Hume when she realised that her youngest son had inherited her allergic sensitivities to common cleaning and bath products. His skin would react even to the products on the market that were labelled “eco-friendly”.

The crux came when Max pulled Charlie out of the bath she had just cleaned one day – his poor skin was red from the waist down, exactly on the water line. Max vowed to find a safe, plant-based cleaning product that worked, and when she didn’t, she decided to make her own!

Like many people who start a hugely successful business, it all began when Max saw a niche, and since its conception in 2011, Murchison-Hume is a massive company with an library of incredible safe, plant-based products, and they’ve expanded to the U.S, where Max and her family are now based.

If you follow my Instagram or have even just seen a few of our room makeovers on this blog; you might have picked up on my love for Murchison-Hume’s very pretty amber-tinted bottles. These are cleaning and beauty products that look so nice you actually don’t mind leaving their iconic brown bottles out on display – they make your room look better!

Picture by @caro_kmartin.
You want Paw Patrol? You know the drill.

But better yet their products actually work, and they smell good enough to drink (but don’t, even though they’re made from non-toxic ingredients). Our laundry cupboard is full of Murchison-Hume products, and even our four-year-old son uses them – he loves to wipe down the benchtops and cupboards for me with his rag and the Counter Intelligence Spray. And because the products are non-toxic, I feel a little less guilty about the child slavery being practised in this house. (I’m KIDDING. I never felt guilty in the first place). But seriously, I think it’s good to try to get kids involved with chores when they’re little, and he loves that I let him use a specific ‘grown-up’ cleaning product. (We have a rule in my house – he is sometimes allowed to have screen time while the baby has her nap, but he has to clean up first – it’s a win-win!)

I have also always liked the Murchsion Hume company ethos. Their products are 100% cruelty-free, palm oil free (you can read about their ingredients on their site – they’re very transparent – and their containers are made from glass and recyclable PET plastic, with many products designed to be refilled and reused. The products make nice gift ideas. And the MH team are really nice people to boot! I’m a fan.

So, back to spring cleaning. “A good seasonal deep clean and clear-out gives back in countless ways that actually make your life better,” says Max. “But the hardest part is knowing where to start.” So today she’s sharing her easy-to-follow tips to help you navigate your seasonal cull and clean. “You can get it all done without getting overwhelmed and at the end you’ll be rewarded with a happier, healthier and more stress-free home,” she says.

AND if you need the perfect dose of motivation, Murchison-Hume are very generously giving one lucky House Nerd the most epic spring cleaning prize pack!

You can score every single MH product pictured here – make sure you check it out at the end of the post. I can guarantee that even the most reluctant cleaner won’t mind doing some cleaning when it’s with products that smell as amazing as these!


1. Step one. Get your cleaning kit together. Everyone knows that a job is easier when you have the right tools. We recommend our Clean Starter Kit plus some specialty cleaners for furniture and stainless steel. A few good brushes, mops and lint-free cleaning cloths will help too.

Try and keep everything together in an organised cleaning caddy. You might like to make it easy on yourself by keeping a small one under every sink, so you can easily maintain it and don’t have to lug one around all the time. (Murchison-Hume also have these great bamboo caddies – I have one under my laundry sink – Maya).

2. Now. Let’s set the mood. We highly recommend cleaning to music. It just makes everything more fun and feel less like hard work!

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Jennifer Muirhead Interiors.

3. Tackle the big jobs first, that means windows. The thing about windows is that you don’t really see them…you feel them. Once they are done, everything looks brighter, more cheerful and just…better. If possible, choose a cloudy day (or early morning) to tackle the windows, as a hot sun can dry them faster than you can, leaving those nasty streaks. Once you are inside you can take it room by room.

4. Work from top to bottom.
Start with a general tidy up.
Open the windows. Even if it’s chilly outside, all rooms benefit from a blast of fresh air!
Bang cushions together and drag them outside if it’s sunny.
Vacuum under the sofas and move things around. It’s amazing where dust can accumulate! You should be good and warm by now.

5. Dusting down: Once the cushions have had a good vacuum and airing, spritz all the surfaces with our Furniture & Upholstery Cleaner and wipe them down with a clean, lint-free towel.

After dusting, it’s time to strip the beds completely bare and let the mattresses and pillows breathe a bit. You can use our furniture cleaner on them too, just let air dry before making them again. It’s a good idea to have at least two of everything for each bed (including mattress & pillow protectors) so there is always one set ready for service while the other is being laundered.

6. Scrub your surfaces. The kitchen and bathrooms will be your biggest challenge (but also your biggest pay-off area). Start by removing all of the towels and throwing them in the laundry. Carefully remove everything off the counters and give them all a good scrub.

7. De-clutter. If like us you have zero patience for trying to find something you need, your favourite seasonal activity will be re-organising the drawers & cupboards. Throw out all the half-empty shampoo bottles and out of date medications.

Check the junk and utility drawers and toss out dried up pens, used batteries and all of the assorted stuff that’s clogging your life.

Finish with the mirrors and stainless surfaces. Once your reflective surfaces are good and gleaming, you are nearly done. (The Murchison Hume team – and I – loved the Marie Kondo show Tidying Up on Netflix – make sure you check it out if you’re after some decluttering motivation! You won’t be able to help yourself).

From @donnaguylerdesign.

8. Do the floors last. Dirty floors, like dirty windows aren’t immediately obvious, but you really do feel the difference when they are clean! For the best results, you’ll want to sweep or vacuum first before mopping.

Please don’t make the rookie mistake of boxing yourself into a corner. Clear the floor as much as possible by removing small furniture, trashcans, and rugs before you start. Work from the farthest corner to your exit.

We don’t even bother with a traditional sponge mops anymore. A good floor cleaner in a trigger spray mop is much easier and faster than traditional mopping.

Make yourself a hot cup of tea and leave it just outside the room you are working in. You’ll be done before it cools.

9. Stand back and admire your handiwork. Reward yourself with a nice hot bath or shower and your skin will be glowing from your exertions!

Now that you’re done, the house will be clean and fresh and so much more comfortable. Happy Spring!


WIN! The Ulimate Murchison-Hume Spring Cleaning Prize Pack

To get one lucky House Nerd in a spring cleaning mood, Murchison Hume are kindly giving away the most amazing army of their cleaning products. One lucky nerd will score all of these beautiful products for their home.

Win all the products pictured here!

Classic Six Set

• Bamboo Caddy (RRP $30)
• 500ml Boys’ Bathroom Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Premium Glass & Mirror Polish (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Spit & Polish Stainless Steel Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Everyday Furniture & Upholstery Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Counter Intelligence All-Surface Spray (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Effortless Floor Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)

For The Kitchen

• Porcelain Tray (RRP $20)
• Signature Amber Glass Bottle Heirloom Dish Soap (Australian White Grapefruit – RRP $40)
• Superlative Hand Soap (Japanese Quince – RRP $20)
• Velvet Glove Hand Cream (Japanese Quince – RRP $25)

For The Laundry

• Porcelain Tray (RRP $20)
• Everything Laundry Soap (Basil | Mandarin | Kale – $RRP $25)
• Garment Groom (Australian White Grapefruit – RRP $14)
• Porcelain Laundry Cup (RRP $15)

You can enter in one of three easy ways:

If you’re entering on Instagram:

Follow House Nerd @housenerd and Murchison-Hume @murchisonhume and tag a friend for entry. One friend, one entry, five friends, five entries… you get the idea.

If you’re entering on Facebook:

Follow House Nerd @housenerd and Murchison-Hume @murchisonhume and tag a friend for entry. One friend, one entry, five friends, five entries.

OR just leave a comment with your own cleaning or decluttering tip on this blog post with your full name (and don’t forget to include your email address, which stays private).

Winner drawn Friday 18th October and notified by email. Entry open to residents of Australian only. Good luck! Maya x


Author: Maya Anderson

When Maya Anderson was thinking of a name for her homes and design blog, nothing seemed more fitting than House Nerd. Obsessed with everything to do with houses, renovating and interior design, Maya is a features journalist by training with a background in print and a focus on homes and real estate. She has been renovating her 1970s house since forever, loves dogs and can eat her body weight in dumplings.

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  • Can you buy the cleaner in bulk and just refill when you run out? Love the glass spray bottles but I want to refill with no packaging.

  • My best tip is: you just have to start, and then you have to stop. Starting is the hard bit. Don’t get caught out waiting for the perfect day, weather, some specialised cleaner you can only get on the other side of town on a Wednesday. This list in this post is great – do it, follow it. And then stop – this doesn’t need to take hours. No overthinking! No perfectionism. Put a timer on or use the music as your cue to move to the next task. Let’s do the dang thang!

  • My tip is labels are fun and cute! Give everything a labelled space/box so that when someone uses it, they know just where to put it back. Also saves you from accidentally buying the same product again! Then every 6 months go through the section and donate/throw away everything you dont need.
    Happy cleaning!

  • My de-cluttering tip. Keep a box, open shopping bag at the front door.
    And as you come across things you no longer want. Immediately go and drop them one by one, into the box or bag.
    Once it’s filled. It’s a quick move to grab it on the way out. Shove it in the boot.
    Once it’s in the boot. You can’t fail.
    To drop the stuff into an op shop.
    Cause if you drive past one, anywhere, pull over.’
    And dump it in.
    Clutter gone.

  • Clean when you need to (I’m not religious about having to do something every week, especially if it is just me at home) and preferably after work so weekends are free! 10 or 15 min after work and I’m done. I make it a challenge (and sometimes a workout) – I have 15 min to vacuum or 10 min to mop. Also make sure everything has a home (preferably out of sight unless you need to use it frequently like hand soap).
    My time it too precious to waste and if everything is away I feel like its done.

  • I make my own natural cleaning products. My mum always said “as long as your bed is made, the dishes are down & the washing down, the house looks clean & tidy” she is soooo right. Now, I’m passing these words of wisdom onto my Daughter, who doesnt doubts me… but try it. It works.. also, get rid of clutter minimize everything, looks tidier, except for cushions lol

  • My tip is to clean and tidy as you go, everything back in it’s place, this way makes it so much easier to be in control of any mess in your home.

  • I love a clean house in the spring! My best tip is to use a beautiful and natural Murchison-Hume product and keep it simple. Spend more time outdoors and less inside ❤

  • I enjoy declutterIng And make it part of my day I have a container at the front door and add to it when i get a feeling I don’t want an item anymore. And I pay it forward a friend relative or my local salt ministries who hand out stuff for free to the community. Makes me feel better

  • My decluttering tip: break your list into small tasks! For example, I do a cupboard or a drawer at a time, rather than a whole room. That way I can tackle it while the kids eat breakfast or when I have the dinner in the oven. It only takes 15 minutes that way and I don’t get overwhelmed. It’s so motivating to actually tick tasks off my list, rather than have ones on the list that are half done etc.

  • What great information and products. My best cleaning tip is to get somone else to do it: like my hubbie who just loves to clean and he is better at it than me.

  • If I could find a product which is environmentally friendly, works well AND smells organically fresh, then I would use it all the time. My sense of achievement after cleaning is only satisfied when I can stand back, take a deep breath and be tantalised by a beautiful scent, a fresh, organic smell, not one made up of harmful chemicals. A smell which would make one look forward to cleaning each time.

  • My cleaning tip is to leave all the attractive Murchison bottles and sprays out on laundry, kitchen and bathroom benches. This encourages all family members to use but doesn’t ruin the interior look

  • My best tip for decluttering is do it when the kids are out or in bed because if they see things being thrown out they suddenly want to play with everything again after 5 years!!!

  • My mother died very suddenly, she told me she was sorry I would have to deal with all her things. This has lived with me. My tip, if you do not need it, wear it or use it, sell it, donate it or throw it out, less is more because ultimately someone other than you will have to deal with your things.

  • My handy tip for clothes: put all of your clothes on hangers facing one direction in your wardrobe. If you wear the garment on one of the hangers, turn the hanger around to face the other direction. If after 3 months there are clothes hangers which haven’t changed direction, that garment can be bagged up and donated to your local op shop THE BEST FEELING IS DE.CLUTTERING.

  • With 4 kids housework’s certainly a chore
    I’d love to have less, but yet there’s more!
    To minimise my stress and cleaning flutter,
    Once a month I love to de-clutter!
    My tip is to make Gumtree ‘your must’
    To sell on those items collecting dust,
    Earning cash and giving someone pleasure
    As one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

  • My tip is to tidy as you go. Put everything back in its place and one weekend a month we spend all day, as a family in our Pyjamas or old trackie dacks, put some energising ‘HAPPY’ music on and spend the day tackling all the nitty gritty. I make a to do list and everyone (kids included) chooses tasks to get done, crossing off the list as we go. At the end of the day we wind down with a nice family meal, dessert and a family movie night! Many hands make light work!

  • I have a garage sale once a year and get rid of items I no longer like or want. It’s amazing what you accumulate. Also fling back the bedding to air while I walk the dog and put the washing on, dishes and clothes, nothing better than your house working for you while you’re out. After a shower I use a squeegee to wipe all water residue away and then I only need to give a complete clean once a week.

  • When cleaning showers, I stand up and do all the top half. Then get down and do all the bottom, saves bending up and down.

  • My tip – even if you are feeling unmotivated? Just get up and start. It’s amazing how much energy you can muster when you start to clean. Also I break rooms/areas down into little lists. No matter how small the task I tick it off and I feel like I’ve achieved so much.

  • “H”ow I declutter in
    “O”ne easy way, begins
    “U”pon the minute of New Years.
    “S”wing your clothes hangers to face one direction &
    “E”very time you wear that item turn it around the other way.
    “N”ew Year approaches and
    “E”ventually you’ll see, the clothes that need
    “R”e-homing and your
    “D”ecluttering beings!

  • I love murchison hume products and have been using them for years.
    My cleaning tips are to try and get little tasks done while waiting for something else- I clean the bathroom basins, benches and mirrors while the kids are in the bath. I do the ensuite ones while waiting for serums to sink in.

  • My best tip for home cleaning is “one room at a time”. It’s my mantra and when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the mess and clutter, I chant it to myself. I take “one room at a time” and it’s amazing how easily I can clean each room and not get anxious about a full house that looks as a bomb has gone off. I also teach my kids the mantra so they don’t get overwhelmed when I ask them to help me clean. Love it 🙂

  • I’m a self confessed hoarder, so my husband made a deal with me, for everything I brought in, I had to give something away. Constantly decluttering has made my life less stressful and cleaning less overwhelming

  • Omg!!!!!! I am beyond obsessed with this product and would love to win!!!

    My best decluttering tip for a kitchen bench is to move EVERYTHING off wipe down with my fav Eco Brand – then only put back the minimal needed

  • Don’t overwhelm yourself with decluttering, group it all together then sort into piles where it goes.
    When cleaning my children’s rooms I place everything on the bed, then group them into where they go back (toys in the toy boxes, pants in the pants draw, shoes in the wardrobe, etc)
    It saves going in circles 10 times.

  • I have a rule…if I don’t wear it or use it for 1 year…it has to go! I live in a small apartment so I don’t have room for a lot!