Home Improvement

Cleaning Tips and Tricks for the Entire House

In today’s world, the majority of women work outside the home, making it difficult for us to keep up with the housecleaning the way we’d like to. Mornings are a whirlwind of getting ourselves and our children ready for work and school, and evenings are an exhausting mix of dinner-making, homework-supervising, laundry, and struggling to find some family time, even if it means crashing together on the couch with popcorn and a favorite binge-worthy Netflix show. So, when in our busy schedules can we find time to clean our homes? Are there some house cleaning hacks that can help us keep up? The answer is—Yes!

The Repurpose Rage

Everyone is interested in finding ways to reuse and repurpose household items instead of tossing them into the trash when they’ve fulfilled their original purpose. There are many things inside the home that can be repurposed as helpful household cleaning hacks. Used dryer sheets can be effective cleaning tools to quickly remove dust from baseboards as well as helping to remove stuck-on gunk from pots and pans. If you don’t want to crawl around on your hands and knees to clean baseboards with a dryer sheet, you can attach it to the bottom of your Swiffer and easily remove dust from floor corners and baseboards.

Place a dryer sheet into a greasy pan and cover it with water and then wait ten minutes. Baked or burnt on gunk will wipe away much easier.

You can reuse old pillowcases by placing an open case over a fan blade and then wiping. The dust bunnies will fall into the pillowcase rather than onto your floor.

Old socks can be dampened with water or cleanser and then used to clean blinds. Simply don the sock like a mitten and then pinch the blind and run your fingers down the entire length to quickly remove dirt, dust, and grime.

Clear Away Clutter

One of the worst, and most common household cleaning problems is clutter. Busy families toss mail, homework, keys, purses, wallets, jackets, and backpacks around the house. Toys clutter up the living room and your commonly used kitchen items seem to take up all your kitchen counter space.

You can use the same trick real estate agents have used for years to instantly declutter a home to get it ready for photos or viewings. Baskets! Keep a collection of decorative baskets in various shapes and sizes around your home for a quick declutter. A long, tray-style basket on a counter or table can collect mail, newspapers, and homework, as well as wallets, phones, and keys so you always know where they are and so that they’re not scattered all over the house. You’ll be amazed at how much neater the same amount of mess appears when it’s in a basket rather than scattered around.

One or two large, cute baskets in the living room can make clean-ups quick. Simply toss in the toys that kids leave behind, and the room looks instantly organized.

A basket on the kitchen counter can hold cooking spray, salt and pepper, and commonly used cooking items such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and seasonings. What was once counter clutter will now appear to be a decorative statement. This same trick also works well for bathroom clutter.

Carpet Clean-Ups, and Floor Restores

Having clean, deodorized carpets can make a significant difference in both the appearance and fragrance of your home. Having not only a vacuum handy, but a carpet cleaner makes a big difference in the cleanliness of your carpets. Dirt, dust, pet hair, and dander can all be cleaned away with a bi-weekly quick-clean with a good carpet cleaner. They are more than worth the small investment if you have carpets in your home.

If your home has a lot of hard-surface flooring, the same can be said about owning your own steam mop. A quick clean with a good steam mop will shine your floors and freshen your home in a hurry, so you can enjoy more family time and less scrubbing.

The Fifteen Minute Flash-Clean

A great way to get the entire family involved in cleaning the home is to assign each person a room, set a timer, and plan a special treat or extra screen time for the person who does the best flash-clean on their assigned room when the timer is up. This may not be a deep-clean, but it can have your home spruced up in a hurry and looking much more presentable.

Spray and Walk Away

One very helpful hack that few people are aware of (and those few are mostly professional housekeepers) is to spray your cleaning fluid on all the surfaces you intend to clean such as the kitchen counter, sink, microwave, bathroom tub, vanity top, and toilet. Then walk away and do your sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming. After about 15 minutes, return with your sponge and wipe up the areas you sprayed. You’ll find that allowing the cleaning fluid to sit on surfaces for a few minutes lets them do most of the work for you and scrubbing is lessened or eliminated.

Don’t Zone Out

On busy weekdays, don’t spend an hour deep cleaning your kitchen. You’ll walk out of the kitchen and feel defeated when you encounter your cluttered living room and dirty bathroom. While picking a zone such as the kitchen, bathroom, living room, or bedroom to deep clean on a weekend is a good idea to do on occasion, during the week you will find it far more effective to spend that hour tidying clutter and doing a quick clean of the common rooms of your home. Having cleaning supplies in an easy-carry caddy that you can bring from room to room makes this process much more painless.

Make Multi-Tasking a Must

Another simple way to keep ahead of the mess is to multi-task. While the meat is browning in the pan before you add vegetables, you can be wiping your counters and unloading and reloading the dishwasher. While you wait five minutes in the morning for your coffee to brew, you can sweep the floor or clean the microwave. You’ll find it’s easier to tackle small parts of the mess during these moments than to let it all build up for a big cleaning.

Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than having it be a pleasant place to return to after a busy day. Following these quick home-cleaning hacks will help make your home the sanctuary you return to at the end of a busy day, rather than feeling like yet another problem waiting for you to tackle.

Resources— Better Homes and Garden, Woman’s Day