Cleaning your home must be one of the most tedious chores you face, especially if you have a lively family or keep pets. To ease the burden there are a few useful tips that can save you a lot of time and make necessary housework easier than you think. Here are some clever ideas that may help you to spend more time with your family and less time cleaning up after them!
Keep the outside, outside
Designers like to encourage us to bring the outdoors in by way of greenery. However, for keeping your home clean, it’s important to have a few rules. One is to enjoy your views of the garden from indoors while managing travel back and forth to it by making sure you have a boot scraper outside the door to the garden for muddy days and an effective doormat both inside and out.
The same goes for other entrances to the home. If you don’t have space for a cloakroom where you can store dirty Wellington boots and football gear when your kids come in after a match, at least try to keep a shoe rack or a cabinet and a laundry basket just inside the door.
Promote the wearing of slippers or indoor shoes by both family and guests– if when travelling you ask, hotels will often provide slipper packs free of charge and they can be used for guests at your home when needed.
As with hard floors versus carpets, smooth surfaces are easier to keep clean than textured ones. Replace curtains with smart, elegant shutters such as those from California Shutters to give your windows a streamlined look, as well as making them easier to keep clean, and make sure you use wipe-clean wall coverings for your interior walls, especially in children’s bedrooms and family areas. Wash cushion covers as frequently as you would your pillowcases.
Dust attracting slippers
Another possibility is to use dust-attracting slippers so that every time you, a family member or a guest walks about indoors you are attracting particles of dust, dirt and pet hair to your footwear. Microfibre is ideal for keeping floors clean in between your sessions with a vacuum cleaner, brush or mop. You can shake them out outside or add them to the laundry basket once they have been used.
If your household adheres to the ‘eat at the table’ rule, then you’ll have fewer problems with unsightly crumbs in awkward places, such as down the back of the sofa or under the beds. You can always make occasional exceptions for things like ‘family movie night’ or when a child is unwell, however, sticking by this rule will make sweeping up those stray crumbs a whole lot easier. If your home has a combined kitchen/dining area, this is particularly useful.
Wet surfaces attract dust and other particles, so having wiped clean all your bathroom surfaces it’s particularly galling to see them get dirty again in a matter of hours or days. One useful way forward is to thoroughly dry the surfaces you’ve cleaned. It sounds so obvious, but for example, many of us ignore the wet taps and don’t think to buff them dry with a microfibre cloth.
Toilet bowl cleaners are universal these days, however, there are some nooks and crannies that they don’t reach. Use a powerful cleaning agent around and under the rim of the bowl and follow with a thorough scrub using a toilet brush. Some people find if they leave a cleaner to soak for a few minutes before brushing they get a better result. If you’re worried about strong chemicals in your home you can always try vinegar, however, you may not get the same level of cleanliness that commercial products deliver.
Keep the air clean
If you plan to embark on the ‘bring the greenery indoors’ idea, then you have the option to choose plants that will be beneficial to the air quality in your home. Look out for the Areca Palm, the Long Leaved Fig and the adorable Peace Lily as well as Spider and Swiss Cheese Plants.
In the end, your home will have to go with the flow of family life. Getting the kids to tidy up after they have finished playing with their toys is a good way to start as the less clutter there is the less dust and dirt will settle and the less cleaning you’ll have to do.