If you're anything like me, you hate cleaning the house. It's such a pain and certain tasks, like sweeping, can take a toll on your back. But it is a necessary evil because you truly never know when you'll have company over. Well, here are a few things that we suggest to keep your home clean with minimal effort.
1. Wipe down your countertops and appliances
This is such an easy thing to do that makes a huge impact. Whether you want to use some of those disinfecting wipes or a spray and a Magic Eraser, it should only take a half hour at most. Your morning coffee splatters, the dinner you cooked sloshed over the pan, the oatmeal you heated up this morning exploded in the microwave, your kids dripped toothpaste on the bathroom counter (yes, you need to wipe that down, too); the messes will only build up as the week progresses and doing this daily will take some serious cleaning anxiety out of your weekly cleaning day.
2. Put the dishes in the dishwasher
Nothing drives me crazier than dishes left in the sink and on the countertop. What do you do when you need to fill a jug of water for the dogs and you can't even reach the faucet? You've got to postpone the task you're trying to do by either shifting the items in the sink or doing a whole load of dishes right then. So at the end of each day, start off by soaking the dishes that have food baked on in hot water and a dash of soap, then start putting everything else in the dishwasher, but don't leave that pan in the sink. Once it's soaked for about ten to fifteen minutes, you can start scrubbing off the stuck-on foods so that the dishwasher can get it really clean. And if you hate running a half-full dishwasher (like my husband), you don't have to run it just yet. You can wait for tomorrow to run it, but just having the dishes out of sight is a huge relief.
3. Put away your clothes
In my house, we tend to leave the clean laundry sitting on a chair overnight or just throwing the clothes we wore that day, but that weren't actually dirty because I work in an office, on the closet floor. And I've noticed that this has caused me more frustration than actually just putting the things away in the first place would have. I come home after a day at work and the first thing I want is to sit in my chair and watch TV or read a book, but my clean towels are piled on my chair, just like yesterday. So do yourself a favor and bite the bullet while you're already unloading the laundry. Another pro tip is to have a pre-sorted laundry system. We wash my clothes, the towels, the sheets, and my husband's clothes all in separate washes. So a great solution I've found is to have a separate laundry basket for each task. You can find several great options here, here, here, and here for a stackable one.
4. Make Your Bed
Not to sound like your mother, but making your bed is a great way to start your day off on the right foot. You don't have to make it look perfect, but simply putting your sheets back in order and putting the pillows back at the top of the bed can take a bedroom from messy and cluttered to tidy and fresh. Plus, a made bed is a perfect workstation on which to fold laundry or reorganize your closet. And you're always more likely to talk yourself out of those tasks if you have to make the bed first. So getting it out of the way as soon as the bed is empty saves time and energy later.
5. Buy a Roomba
I'm so serious when I say that this little guy is a lifesaver. I have two dogs who shed more than should be possible, and in order to keep the house from being over-run with dog hair, I have to sweep daily. But thankfully, someone invented the Roomba. Even if you don't have pets, having a freshly swept floor is like a breath of fresh air. So if you don't have time to sweep it all yourself, a Roomba is a huge timesaver. You can set it in motion as you walk out the door for work or right before you get into bed you're sleeping, so it's not under foot while you're walking around the house. Mine actually has a little timer function so that I can set it to clean every day at 9 am. That way it's done by noon when my husband comes home for lunch. I know that they're expensive, but believe me when I tell you that you won't regret a cent.
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