Whittle Down Your Housework

173659859Everybody likes a clean home, but who wants to spend their weekends scouring, sweeping and scrubbing? Not me! Make the most of your cleaning time by staying ahead of the game with small, focused efforts, and break daunting chores into shorter, more manageable tasks that won’t gobble up your leisure hours. Saving housecleaning effort is much like saving money: small actions are an investment. They add up over time and pay off big in the long term. Here are some tips to get you started:

Bathroom

  • Keep toiletries tucked away in drawers or closets to eliminate unnecessary dusting.
  • Consider a vacuum solution like Vroom to clean makeup, hairs, and powders from vanity counters after your bathroom routine.
  • Scum-fighting shower spray in the shower every day will go to work on its own to prevent buildup.
  • Spot clean the toilet and surrounding floor with a disinfectant wipe each day.
  • Straighten towels after use or use hooks for a no-fuss look.

Kitchen

  • Clean as you go when you cook to keep surfaces and pans easy to wipe up before food hardens. Wipe counters and stove surface after each meal you prepare to prevent tough, built-up grime.
  • Take a few minutes to vacuum the kitchen every night. Consider a built-in product like the Vroom.
  • Every few days while you’re talking on the phone or waiting for the soup to heat, clear the fridge of leftovers that won’t get eaten, then spot-wipe the glass shelves with a damp cloth.
  • Every few weeks while the pasta is boiling or the chicken is on the grill, use a microfiber duster to dust cupboards and walls.

Living Room/Family Room

  • Walk around most-used living spaces each night with a laundry basket and pick up items that don’t belong there. Take a few minutes to put those items in the places they belong, or delegate that chore to a family member.
  • During television commercials, grab a microfiber duster and do a quick once-around the room on surfaces, window sills and baseboards.
  • Put each day’s newspapers in a designated spot before going to bed.
  • If you have small children and lots of toys that get used in common living areas, don’t bother picking them up all day long. They’re just going to get pulled out again, so stop wasting time and energy. Shoot for two or three five-minute sessions of cleanup each day, and engage your child in the process as much as possible. A tidied family room gives some peace of mind at the end of day for grownup hours when children are in bed, and offers children a sense of accomplishment.

Bedrooms

  • A made bed contributes more to the overall impression of a clean bedroom than any other effort you make there. Try to make your bed each morning and you’ll retire with a more serene feeling each night.
  • Use handsome jewelry boxes or valet boxes to avoid clutter—and unnecessary dusting—on the dresser.
  • If clothes on the floor are a problem, get a coat stand with hooks, or fasten pretty hooks on the walls. At least clothes will be off the floor until you get the chance to launder them or hang them up.
  • Changing sheets and bed linens can be done in less than half the time with two people. Enlist a house mate’s help.
  • Close closet doors after use for a sleeker appearance in the room.
  • If you live in a house of avid readers, choose nightstands that have cabinet bottoms with doors, so the bedside book stack can be stowed away instead of adding to clutter and trapping dust.

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