In most places, school has begun, which means that time is a precious commodity in many homes. Whether it is school, work, or just the messiness of life causing you to be pressed for time, here are some great tips to make cleaning your home less stressful and time consuming!
Create a Clean-Kit
You keep a toolbox, right? Do the same for your cleaning supplies. Rather than keeping everything in a cabinet that you are running back and forth from, keep everything you use to clean your home ready to go in one cleaning tote, caddy or bucket. If you’re suddenly confronted with preparing for unexpected guests, you won’t waste time gathering your necessities to start or continue—just bring it with you from room to room. If you are spread out, consider keeping multiple kits for various levels or rooms of your home.
Believe it or not, it is safe to use vacuums on all floor surfaces. Be sure that your vacuum is safe for wood floors prior to use, but assuming it is, use it! Ditch the broom or buy a small dust pan/brush to use for small messes. Additionally, investing in a 50-foot extension cord for your home’s vacuum can be a great idea, says Matthew Ricketts, president of Better Life Maids. “Plug in once, in the center of the floor, and you’ll be able to vacuum even a large home without wasting time un- and re-plugging,” he says.
Schedule the Little Things
Dusting your entire home weekly is simply unnecessary, unless you are plagued by dust allergies. That thimble collection or brass animal display needn’t get a complete wipe-down every single week. Save time by giving yourself the OK to skip the little stuff and instead focus on the big picture. Treating wee things to a good dusting once a month is just fine. Perhaps even plan ahead and set a schedule for what you’ll focus on weekly so that everything is getting the appropriate attention each month.
Clutter Is Your Enemy
Cleaning goes much more quickly if you don’t have to de-clutter along the way. Invest in baskets or cubbies for things like blankets, toys, etc. to keep them easily organized as your go vs. tackling all of the clutter while you clean. We also suggest emptying them regularly to purge items that aren’t used rather than simply collecting everything. Happy meal toys? Donate them to your local pre-school! Make a rule: If it’s full, its owner needs to trash, donate or find a permanent home for all contents.
Clean As You Go
I know, who wants to constantly be cleaning, but tackling that dish after you eat versus letting them pile up in the sink or squeegeeing the shower after use saves tons of time later on. Getting the kids to put their dish in the dishwasher can be fun. Try keeping step stools near the sink so they can get involved too. For instance, the quick, immediate act of using a squeegee after your shower saves time battling soap scum and water spots later. Bonus tip: Keep the shower door slightly open after use to promote airflow and hamper mildew buildup.
It Takes a Village
“Cleaning should not be one person’s responsibility,” assures Molly Maid’s Roberts. Permanently shorten your own housecleaning time by assigning tasks to family members. Try small tasks for kids and then rotate larger tasks so every one chips in every day/week. Even young kids can handle making their bed. Try having a clean up routine of putting everything in toy boxes before bed or making something simple like putting clothes in a hamper a game encourages kids to get involved. Interactive activities are appealing. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore. Make it fun. Most of all, make your expectations crystal clear, and trust them.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens. Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. http://www.meredith.com. All rights reserved.