We all love a clean home, but most of us don’t love cleaning. That is the paradox. We make up our minds that this is the most boring job in the world, and when we get started on a negative note, it’s a sure recipe for irritability and annoyance. There’s no excuse for a messy home. Being extra busy certainly doesn’t exempt a cluttered room, stained carpets, overflowing trash can, stinky bathroom, or sink full of unwashed dishes. But before you don your apron and put on your grumpy expression, did you imagine there could be a smarter way to clean your home? That means you work faster and more efficiently without skipping any details. If you’ve envied your neighbor’s spotless home and yard or felt deeply anxious when guests drop in, here are some handy tips that you can use in house cleaning.
Why You Hate House Cleaning
There could be plenty of reasons why you hate this essential chore.
1. You haven’t learned how: If you’ve recently set up your own home, it’s possible that you haven’t gotten over your student days. Living in student accommodation rarely prepares you for cleaning an entire home. Another reason could be that you didn’t have good role models while growing up. Perhaps you had house help or didn’t have to share the chores at home. When you’re faced with a mess in your house, you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
2. You’ve left it too long: Getting down to cleaning after months of letting things ride can be scary. Wherever you look, it’s a ton of work to be done. No wonder you hate the task.
3. All on Your Own: Are you stuck in the Middle Ages? Do you slog over the sink while the rest lounge in front of the TV, munching their popcorn? House cleaning is a joint effort. It’s important that everyone (who’s capable) in the family contributes. Besides lightening the load, it’s a good learning experience for your kids.
4. You Don’t Have a Plan: Never approach house cleaning without a firm plan. This task is as routine and regular as possible, but if you start on a random note, you’re sure to run into trouble. Plan the schedule and stick to it. Time management matters here, so divide the work person-wise and task-wise with clear time limits.
5. You’re working with the wrong tools: Cleaning isn’t a one-size-fits-all project. You need different tools, products, and materials for different areas of the home. Stock your cleaning supplies, so you don’t run out of them, and bring your work to a standstill. Use the right equipment and tools, clean them after use and store them safely.
A Smarter Way to Clean Your Home
Clean homes make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Studies show that stress levels decrease in more organized, neat, clean environments. People living in messy homes full of unfinished projects are more likely to be tired and depressed. You don’t have to spend hours cleaning up. The key is consistency and regular habits. Play it smart, and you will find that you work more efficiently and spend less time and energy.
Work to a Plan: We all develop our own cleaning routines over time. Review yours and check whether you can do things differently to make the routine more time-saving and efficient. Some tasks are non-negotiable, while you can be a little slack with some. Tidying up, de-cluttering, cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, and dusting are unavoidable. Tasks such as cooking, tidying the kitchen shelves or re-organizing your wardrobe can be scheduled when you have a little extra time.
The Five-Minute Rule: Spend five minutes in every room for a quick cleanup. You don’t have to do all the cleaning tasks in every room.
If you’re short of time, you can only vacuum high-traffic areas and bedrooms. Pick up the clutter. Keep a set of caddies or bins in strategic places around the home to toss in toys, games, TV remotes, stationery, phones, or keys. Wipe the kitchen counter and empty the trash. The only exception to this rule is wet mud. Let it dry before you try to get it out of your carpets or floor.
Clean As You Go: There’s a simple trick to cleaning the kitchen while cooking. Keep loading the dishwasher as you work. Get all the ingredients needed for a recipe out at once, and replace them when you’re finished. Spread a layer of kitchen tissue on the counter and peel your vegetables and fruit onto it. Smarter people spread old newspapers on the kitchen floor when working to catch spills. You can wrap it all up when you’re done and bin it. Replace spice jars and condiments as soon as you finish using them. Boil a kettle of water and pour it down the sink as a final touch.
Dry Jobs First, Wet Jobs Later: Always start with jobs such as dusting, vacuuming, or sweeping first. You can move to mopping, glass cleaning, or washing the floor only when you’ve finished the dry jobs. Work on easy cleaning jobs such as wiping up a spill or cleaning off a spot of gravy in your microwave immediately rather than letting these accumulate and become harder to remove. Invest in modern products such as microfiber cloths, robot vacuum cleaners, natural and chemical-free cleaning agents, and more.
Time It Right: Some cleaning products take a little time to work properly. Spray on cleaning products and turn your focus to other tasks. When you take the food out of the freezer or chop your salad, the cleaning agent sprayed on your windows would be ready for a wipe. Time management is crucial if you’re to work smart. A kitchen clock is an essential fixture in any kitchen, however big or small. Don’t waste time hunting for cleaning supplies and equipment. Wear protective clothing and gloves when you work. Smaller equipment and cleaning products can be stowed in your apron pockets. Invest in a small supply cart with wheels to hold your stuff so you can trundle it around.
Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: In your enthusiasm to clean up, it’s possible that you could spray cleaning liquid on surfaces that a deluge of it can damage. Computer and TV screens, blinds, hard wooden surfaces, and silk fabric must be treated gently and only with products meant for them. Preserve the labels on new clothes, rugs, bed linen, and appliances. These carry the instructions on safe cleaning.
Cleaning isn’t everyone’s cup of Darjeeling, that’s for sure. But a little thinking and planning can make it easier and more efficient. The key to successful cleaning is not only to work hard and long but to work smart. Organize, share the tasks and stay relaxed when you use your time and effort wisely.