Cleaning Tips (for People Too Busy to Clean)
Company coming? In a crunch? Don’t want to spend one minute more than necessary straightening up? Relax. It really is possible to clean your home in less time than you ever thought possible. Here are some secret tips and simple techniques used by the pros that will help take the stress and effort out of housework.
Cleaning house is difficult enough by itself, but finding time to clean? That’s even harder. Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to tidy up. And with a little planning, some prep work between cleanings, and the right techniques and tools, you can have a spotless home—and enough time left over to actually enjoy living in it. So dig out your “I Hate Housework” apron and let’s dive in!
Advice From the Pros
Cleaning isn’t rocket science … unless you’re cleaning rockets, in which case you may want to consult with experts. Instead, remember this simple rule: Preparation is key. Many tasks performed at cleaning time can be swept aside beforehand, thus making quick work of housework:
- Organise your cleaning supplies. You’d be amazed how much time you’ll save by knowing where everything is before you start cleaning.
- Make sure you have enough cleaning products—glass cleaner, furniture polish, tile and tub foam; clean rags and polishing cloths; and mop heads. The best time to do this is when you’re putting away your tools and supplies after a cleaning.
- Create a space to hang brooms, dustpans, and mops, and store your vacuum cleaner. Always return items to their storage spots after use.
- If you use any cordless cleaning tools, be sure the batteries have a full charge.
- Be proactive to keep cleaning effort to a minimum.
- Wipe down glass shower doors with lemon oil once a month to keep water beading and prevent mineral deposits from building up.
- Place hand towels in several spots in your kitchen to reduce messes caused by sticky fingers.
- Keep a separate countertop sponge near the dish sponge for spot-cleaning.
- Get on a schedule—and try to stick to it. Commit to a clean house by setting aside time every week (or so) to completely clean house. An hour spent one day each week is twice as efficient as spending a half hour vacuuming one day, a half hour dusting the next day, a half hour sweeping and mopping another day, and so forth.
- Don’t just move dirt around; get rid of it. Clean your cleaning tools. Gently run your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment nozzle against broom bristles and the heads of any feather or fiber dusting wands.
Stop Repeating Yourself
Before you start your regular cleaning routine, stop a minute and think: Are you needlessly repeating some tasks? If so, you’re wasting time and effort. Try these tips instead:
- Perform the same chore moving from room to room, e.g., go through every room in your home and pick up and put away items. Then go through every room to clean counters, tile, and glass surfaces. Then dust and polish. Then sweep and mop. Then vacuum. This method is more efficient than cleaning each room individually before moving on to the next.
- When vacuuming, start in the farthest corner and work your way toward the door; this makes it much easier to keep track of where you cleaned (and doesn’t leave footprints in the carpet).
- If possible, clean with a partner. Have him or her perform a different chore ahead of or behind you. Again, it’s best to vacuum last, to pick up any dust or debris left behind and eliminate foot tracks.
- The right tool makes any job easier. A few extra dollars spent on a high-quality broom will pay off in longer service and cleaner floors. Vacuuming, one of the most time-consuming chores, is a lot easier with a vacuum cleaner that’s built to move with you. The Samsung Motion Sync uses an ingenious swiveling nozzle-and-caster system and integrated attachments to follow you into tight corners—and make easy work of the job nobody wants to do.
The Great Indoors
Cleaning isn’t fun. But it doesn’t have to be a struggle, either, as long as you approach housework as part of your routine, rather than something you do only when you need to shovel a path to get into bed at night. With the right attitude and the right tools, the benefits of a clean home can be yours.