I hate cleaning. It’s my least favorite activity, right up there with balancing the checkbook and eating glass. Plus I’m lazy (and busy). With a rambunctious 5-year-old, husband and slobbery dog, it seems cleaning is a never ending job. Although I should say my husband helps clean and all that jazz (shock collar training works!).
So I’m back with 12 cleaning tips to make it a little less painful, quicker and less daunting (by the way, wine and music also help). If you follow some organizational tips as well, it will make cleaning much easier, because it’s kind of hard to clean around random shoes, scattered toys and stacks of mail.
- Wipe it up – Keep a container of wipes in each room. That way you can spot clean. Toothpaste on the sink? TV a little dusty? Jelly on the counter? Grab a wipe and clean it up.
- Bleach the Bowl – Put bleach tablets in the toilet tank to keep it clean and sparkling between deep cleanings. If you have a pet who drinks out of the toilet, be sure to keep the lid down or the door closed.
- Dish it out – Load dishes right into the dishwasher instead of piling them in the sink. While you’re at it, get a dishwashing detergent that eliminates the need for rinsing or scrubbing.
- Clean while you cook – My husband swears by this tip, and who am I to argue with cleanliness? Instead of dealing with an overwhelming mess of dishes and slop on the countertops after dinner, take some time to tidy things up in between stirring the sauce and chopping onions.
- Iron No More – Every time I iron, I end up burning myself at least once. The iron hates me. Or I’m just really clumsy (probably the latter, but the jury is still out on this one). Put wrinkled clothes in the dryer with a damp towel to avoid tangoing with the damn thing.
- Fox the Socks Thief – I haven’t figured out which one it is, but either the washer or dryer eats socks. I’m assuming it’s some kind of fee for doing such hard work. Or a punishment for having to clean your underpants. I found placing socks in a mesh lingerie bag keeps them from getting eaten. No more mismatched socks hanging around.
- Eliminate Sorting – Use cold water to wash all your clothes. When you have enough for one load, throw it all in together (sans delicates and reds, of course). This does three things: eliminates the need to sort clothes, allows you to do a load of laundry every day or every other day (instead of heaping piles once a week), and using cold water instead of hot saves money!).
- Ice It – I tend to over-water my plants causing puddles wherever they sit – which is why I have ONE plant that sits on the windowsill over the sink. (Plus my black thumb tends to kill them). Use ice cubes to water plants. Throw in a few cubes and as they melt, they’ll soak into the soil without leaving watery-muddy puddles everywhere.
- Sweep Easy – Let your products do the work for you. The Swiffer SweeperVac for hardwood and linoleum floors is an excellent example. You can vacuum up pet hair and stray cheerios, while also getting the “crushed into dust” cheerio you stepped on earlier. Even better – the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum. It picks up dirt and then cleans AND dries your floor in one fell swoop!
- Take Ten – At the end of each day, take ten minutes to do a few chores. Sweep the floor, wipe down counters and throw toys in a bin. Taking a few minutes each day to straighten up and spot clean helps to keep your house cleaner longer.
- Do a Deep Clean – A couple of times a month, do a deep clean. I think you’ll find it takes less time when you keep things mostly tidy.
- Delegate – Even young children can help by picking up toys, mating socks and sweeping.