Don’t you love coming home to a clean house? Whether you live in a two-room apartment or a sprawling ranch, the air just feels fresher when the place is clean and neat. Although some busy folks hire a housekeeping service to come in every week or two to make things right, most of us fend for ourselves and bravely tackle the dirtiest household chores when we can’t bear the grime any longer.
Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a dreaded task, however. With a few arrangements ahead of time, you can be ready to go and get the work done in no time flat. All it takes is a little bit of organization and preparation, and you can whisk through those weekly duties pronto.
1. Stock cleaning supplies. Use the most natural and non-toxic products you can find. Or consider making your own. Clean the toilet bowls with Alka Seltzer, for example, by tossing in a couple of tablets, letting them fizz for an hour so, and then scrubbing the bowl to remove lingering debris. For counter space and bathroom fixtures, use a paste made of baking soda and water and apply it like cleanser. Rinse each surface thoroughly, and you will be surprised to see how effectively this works. Try a half-cut of vinegar following by a cup of hot water to clear a clogged drain. You can find many types of homemade cleaners and fresheners that will save money and cut fumes as well as protect your household materials.
2. Get organized. Keep all supplies and cleaning equipment in a specific area so you can find them when needed. Wash or replace cleaning rags, and don’t forget to buy paper towels. Replace your mop head and broom every three to six months, or as needed, to keep these tools working effectively. Choose a certain time slot and try to follow it each week for doing the general cleaning. For example, this could be Thursday evening, Saturday morning, or another time when you can get the housework done without interruption.
3. Work efficiently. Start at one end of the house—the one furthest from the center—and work your way back. Put a clothesbasket or paper bag in each room to receive items that need to be moved to another area, such as discarded newspapers, shoes, or dishes. Train the kids to return items like these to their proper locations at the end of each day.
4. Go light to heavy. Start with dusting, wiping, or surface tasks first. Then move on to the sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping, as well as windows or other heavy-duty tasks that remain to be done. Open the windows, weather permitting, to bring in fresh air and let out contaminated air. You’ll love the fresh scent unless you live in a heavily polluted area.
5. Clean up thoroughly. Put everything away where it belongs, cleaning supplies included. Pick up magazines, toys, and other discarded items. Place fresh-cut flowers in a vase on the table, or bake muffins for supper. The delicious aroma will add to the wonderful clean feeling of your home.
Make a habit of keeping the house tidy each day. Put things where they belong. Do the dishes after each meal. Put away groceries when you return from the store. Then you won’t have as much to do when cleaning day rolls around.
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