If you hate "cleaning day" put an end to it by marking it off your calendar. There's an easier way to maintain a clean house than slaving away over dust and dirt. Follow these 5 quick tips to ease your house cleaning burden:
1. Change your expectations. Many of us fantasize about having the perfect, spotless house. With that illusion, we often expect ourselves to maintain a perfect home inside and out by working ourselves frantically. It's almost as if we feel our home is a mere reflection of ourselves as to how successful we are as a homemaker. While it's a worthy goal to keep a clean house, our desire to portray ourselves as "superwoman" will soon bring us to exhaustion. You have to examine your priorities and determine where housecleaning will fit on that list. We know that it's definitely not going to be toward the top if we have a husband, children, a job and other required activites. Get a good focus on what should be a reasonably "clean enough" house, and schedule accordingly and let go the "little" things that are not really necessary.
2. Buy colors that hide dirt and materials that resist wear. If you're like me you're always on the lookout to save another buck or two. However, when you're talking about a lifetime of work involved with upkeep, opt for better quality that will last much longer. When furniture, carpet and appliances are well-used and worn, no matter how much you clean, everything appears more dingy giving the sense that it's not so clean. It's impossible to wash away scrapes, scratches and set in stains. Choose your colors carefully as well. White carpet and white furniture may be alot of upkeep for those with children. Try darker, mixed colors and blends that appear to keep the eye busy looking at the designs and shades rather than looking for dust and dirt.
3. Buy some cleaning supplies and tools to make your job easier. There's nothing like trying to dig a well without a shovel. Invest in some cleaning supplies and tools that will make your job of cleaning easier and save you tons of time. I'm not one to go to the extreme on buying every new cleaning gadget on the market. Some work and some are just for looks. You need to decide what tasks need to be done at your home and find the best tools and supplies to accomplish that. My two favorite gadgets are the Swiffer duster and Mr. Clean's Magic eraser. The Swiffer duster has extendable handles to reach up or down to dust without stretching and bending. The duster slides between grooves and objects saving myself lots of time and work. The magic eraser cleans my walls, refrigerator door and other hard-to-clean surfaces making them look almost new again.
4. Clean messes and spills while they're still fresh. This seems so simple, yet, many of us think we'll just clean up that mess later when we have more time...and then it takes twice as long to clean up a mess that's dried or settled in. So, take this common sense advice seriously and you'll save yourself lots of cleanup time later. While we're on this topic, don't be afraid to call out for help from your children. It's good to teach your children to help work together as a family to accomplish tasks that need to be done. Little ones that make messes can be taught to help clean up their own messes. Invest a little time in teaching simple tasks like these and you'll save lots of time and effort in house cleaning.
5. Create a daily schedule to maintain cleanliness. I hate wasting a whole day away on cleaning. I would rather schedule 30 minutes each day to clean the bathroom up, pick up some stray items laying around and clean a few dirty spots along the way. You can also schedule one day to focus on floors, one for dusting and polishing the furniture and one for laundry and ironing, etc. There's no need to get it done all in one day if you can schedule a little bit each day. Get most of your cleaning done throughout the week and make your Saturdays a real day off!
Mom's Work-at-Home Network