I must admit it, I hate to clean. The only saving force for good that is in me is that I like a clean house, otherwise I would be in deep trouble. I would much rather live a life of leisure around my home but I learned quite a while back that free time to be lazy is never really free. People who seem to have more time to enjoy lazy days paid for it with some forethought and planning. Here are some imaginative house cleaning tips to give you more free time, by using the resources you already have and minimizing your daily work load all to provide hours of guilt - free laziness AND a clean home.
1) Line Pots, Pans and Bowls
Dirty pots and pans are one of the dreadful endings to dinner for those of us who are already tempted to leave dishes till the morning. Bad idea! Bad habit! So here is a trick that helps enormously with the clean up. Line your pans with foil or parchment paper before you put them in your oven and use plastic wrap to line bowls or pans with cold foods. Clean up is so easy the temptation to leave the cleaning to later won't be nearly so strong.
2) Use Your Dishwasher Everyday
A dishwasher is a gift for lazy housekeepers but I know that the challenge with using them every day is getting those clean dishes out and into the cabinets. When you start using your dishwasher everyday you'll wonder why you resisted it for so long. Using it means you don't have to lift a finger to get clean dishes and the kitchen load suddenly feels so much easier. A counter full of dirty dishes can disappear in as little as 5 minutes when your dishwasher is empty and ready for them. So use my tip and empty your dishwasher while the coffee is brewing every morning. Make your reward a quiet moment with a cup of coffee and the rest of the days dirty dishes will find their way easily into that empty dishwasher.
3) Make Use of Your Fluffy Slippers
Did you know that if you have wood floors you should avoid washing them too often.
That's why microfiber dust mops are a great alternative between the necessary wet mopping. Another speedy option for a quick cleaning is to put on your fluffy chenille slippers (chenille is great for attracting dust) and shuffle around your wood floors. No kidding, they will pick up the dust and leave your wood floors clean. Now just throw them into the washer and their ready for their single duty job of keeping your feet warm till your wood floors need a quick dusting again.
4) Always Cook with a Garbage Bowl on the Counter
Place the largest bowl or pot you own on the counter while you prepare dinner. I use my bowl to hold all the garbage, from the empty boxes to the potatoes peels that would otherwise be scattered around the garbage can when I tossed them in that direction. When you're done preparing dinner just empty the bowl into the garbage and you have saved both your counters and floors from becoming after dinner clean up chores.
5) Always Purchase Dark Towels
Whether for the kitchen or the bathroom dark towels won't show stains or wear and tear nearly so quickly. For years I bought white towels because I thought when they got dirty I would have the advantage of being able to bleach them. Crazy idea when you can just own dark towels that don't show any stains ever. I can use my dark towels without ever having to consider if they will become stained for everything from cleaning up the spaghetti sauce that spilled on the floor to taking off my mascara. Your dark towels can also be hung up and used several times if they have been used lightly or are only slightly wet.
6) Enforce a No Shoes Policy.
Nothing makes more repeated work than dirty shoes tramping around your floors. If you enforce this policy cleaning your floors may not be an every day need anymore. Less dirt in through the front door means less work for you later. Invest in an appropriate sized rug or mat at the door to catch the dirt when friends and family enter and another one to place the discarded shoes onto. Provide a small stool for family members who need to sit while removing their shoes.
7) Clean As You Go
Make it a habit to make every step around your home count and never leave a room without straightening it and carrying something that belongs in another room as you go. This is actually 2 great habits built into one; always clean up after yourself immediately and assign a spot for everything and keep it there. Before you leave the living room put the controller into it's basket, straighten the couch cushion and fold the blanket you were using. Then carry your glass into the kitchen to place it in the dishwasher or if the dishes are already clean wash and dry it quickly. This kind of habitual cleaning is a valuable shortcut for keeping your home clean and avoids having to give up your precious Saturday mornings to hours of straightening up a weeks worth of accumulated messes.
8) In Every Room Keep a Spray Bottle
Fill it with a simple solution of water, essential oils and maybe some vinegar depending on the room it will be used in. Store it on a shelf or in a cabinet along with a microfiber cloth and use it to keep ahead of the dirt. Use it to wipe down your bathroom surfaces as you leave the room, clean up spills in the family room, pick up accumulating dust when you notice it or wipe sticky faces and hands before they spread the mess around. Quality microfiber cloths originally became famous for picking up 99% of the bacteria they come in contact with and the essential oils and vinegar kill bacteria, so your spray and cloth are all you need to keep your home truly clean.
9) Wear Clothes More Than Once
Save the number of hours you spend in the laundry room every week by washing your clothes less often. For many clothes like jeans, unless they have been stained they can be worn a number of times before needing to be washed. Spot washing is also a time saving alternative and less washing extends the life of your clothes by delaying fraying and fading of color.
10) Buy a Couple of Lint Rollers
If you want to drag out the vacuum cleaner less then keep one lint roller in the house and one in the car. Use the one in the house to quickly clean lamp shades, pet hair from the couch, crumbs around the highchair after a babies meal, remnants of snacks and dust that accumulate around the edges of the rooms between cleanings. You can also use it to clean hair and dust from your dark clothing and extend the time between washing's. Use it in the car to clean up dirt, grass, leaves and food crumbs on the floor or seats. It works especially good to get in the hard to reach parts that a vacuum cleaner can't reach even when you do pull it out.
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