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Tips for Cleaning your Home

Cold process bar soap with Extra Virgin Olive Oil by pabadoo, on Flickr

Cold process bar soap with Extra Virgin Olive Oil by pabadoo, on Flickr

Cleaning is a necessary evil in most people’s lives unless they have the resources to hire someone to come in a couple of times a week to handle the accumulated grime. Cleaning your home yourself seems to be a never-ending task which usually falls to one person in the house and can cause stress and arguing. This activity can be shortened with a few logical tips and give back time for the essentials with your family.

  • Start out with a cleaning bucket for all the appropriate items needed to maintain your home. It is a waste of time running around looking for various products and sometimes a specific type of cleaner is needed when wiping down wood or granite. Don’t simply grab whatever is handy because you can damage your furniture and fixtures.
  • Denture tablets, baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar make wonderful simple cleaning products. Sometimes simple is best. Denture tablets are great for stained toilets, coffee or tea stained cups and your ceramic sinks. People often use cleaning products that are very strong because they think everything will get cleaner. That is not true. The combination of toxins in your home can be extremely unhealthy and not even really clean.
  • Start high and work your way down in every room. There is no point in vacuuming the house if you still have to dust and do the windows or moldings. You will just have to go over the floors again to get the dirt dropped off the furniture; this is a waste of time. Also, have a section by the door for coats and shoes. Enforce a strict no shoe policy in your home to ensure that grime and mud aren’t brought in any further than the front door. A very small area is easier to scrub up then trying to follow a series of paths tracked everywhere.
  • Try to purchase slip covers for your furniture or buy soft furniture that has removable covers. This will make it easier to wash everything once a month and keep your pillows, couches and chairs looking new.
  • Pets can be a huge cause of dirt and hair in your home; they shed, track in dirt and sometimes chew items left around the room. If your pet represents a truly unmanageable mess it might be productive to limit their access to all the rooms. Have a child gate keeping the animal in the kitchen with a comfortable bed, clean water dishes and a basket of chewy toys to enjoy. If your animals are allowed to roam free and sleep on your furniture try using a dryer sheet to remove their hair. Take a sheet warmed with a hairdryer and wipe it across the hairy areas. The hair will fall off as the static is eliminated. This process will also make the fabric smell lovely and clean.

The most important way to save some time when cleaning is to make this activity a family affair. Try to delegate simple tasks to everyone in the home. Even young kids can take a responsibility for their own mess; although keep in mind kids usually only pick up their stuff but will not actually clean. Try getting them to dust or wipe down walls and moldings with mild soap. Keep the kids away from the more intense cleaners and the vacuum if it has a beater bar.