Top Tips For Cleaning

Cleanliness may be next to Godliness but cleaning certainly doesn’t feature on most people list of favourite activities. However, with a few strategies, you can make cleaning – if not more enjoyable – then at least certainly less of a chore! So here are a few tips and tricks to help you on your way:

  • Don’t just plunge in the minute you feel the urge to clean – decide on the rooms that you want to tackle and identify specific tasks within each room. In particular, if you have limited time, it is a good idea to make a list of cleaning priorities, so that you have a set of gaols to be achieved by the end of the day. This way you will not feel disheartened after a day of hard work, when you might feel like you have not really got anywhere or that you have not managed to get around to the important tasks – tackle the key areas first (e.g.. the cobwebs in the corners, the streaked windows, the ingrained stains) – and leave the less important, perhaps more aesthetic concerns to later or another day.
  • Take time to assemble all the things you need so that you do not waste time and effort later in the middle of cleaning looking for things. If you have to keep stopping and starting, this is not only inefficient but also breaks the momentum of your work.
  • Delegate! Cleaning should be a family responsibility so make sure that you involve everyone living in the household. Assign each individual tasks according to their age/maturity and ability and experience. This also makes everyone aware of their responsibilities and appreciate the effort required for cleaning – leading to possibly more responsible behaviour in the future (this is especially true for teenagers!).
  • If you’re spring cleaning the entire house, start at the highest level and work your way down. Similarly, within any room, work your way from top to bottom, especially when you are dusting.
  • Set aside a specific time period for cleaning, especially if you are planning a major clean, and try to turn off or prevent any distractions which may delay or hold you up, such as visitors and the phone.
  • Don’t let clutter build up! Remember, not only does a cluttered home look messier and dirtier but it will also have more surfaces to collect dust and attract dirt. Having a “sort-through” while you’re doing a major clean can be a great idea – set aside some bags or boxes for different actions, e.g.. “Give Away”, “Return to Another Room”, “Repair”, “Store in Garage” or “Rubbish” and place items accordingly as you go through the cupboards and spaces in the room while cleaning.
  • Try to keep up a regular schedule of cleaning – this will make things much easier, rather than trying to tackle months of ingrained dirt, thick dust and stubborn stains all in one go
  • Deodorising the house is important – a room that smells fresh automatically seems cleaner. You can use commercial air fresheners, cedar blocks or just good old baking soda sprinkled on the carpet and then vacuumed away in the morning.
  • Keep mats at all doorways to catch dirt and debris coming in from the garden and front door. Wipe pet paws before they come in to reduce the risk of muddy paw prints and dirt distributed around the house.
  • Don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a nut! Don’t be taken in by all the marketing hype of the vast range of commercial cleaning products available today – in many cases, simple soap and water is more than adequate. Always try the simple things first before opting for strong chemicals. Also, remember that many everyday products around the house make fantastic natural cleaners which are not only safe and good for the environment but also cheap to use. These include lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda.
  • Even if you don’t enjoy cleaning, try to make it an enjoyable activity – put on some rousing music to work to or maybe even invite a willing friend along to help while you have a good gossip! (And you can return the favour another day) Don’t forget to reward yourself at the end for a job well done!

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