A clean environment is a healthy environment. Your priority list for house cleaning may begin with clearing away clutter and scrubbing surface grime, but it undoubtedly also extends to removing contaminants from your air and water. Life gets busy, however, and in the hectic scramble of meeting work and family commitments it can be difficult to get to all the cleaning tasks on your list. Here are nine time-saving tricks for keeping your home clean, healthy, and pleasant even on busy days.
1. Stash Cleaning Supplies Around the House
Sometimes a simple tidying task gets put off simply because you don’t have the tools handy right that minute. Keeping small sets of cleaning supplies such as paper towels, cleaning spray or a hand-held vacuum cleaner in several places around the house can make a big difference. This way, you can give countertops and windows a quick wipe-down anytime they need it, rather than just adding them to a long “to-be-cleaned” list.
2. Eliminate Unused Possessions
It’s easy to end up with extra sets of things you don’t need, and too often these unnecessary objects collect in messy little heaps throughout your house. Marie Kondo has revolutionized the art of decluttering
with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Do you really need all those extra strings of holiday lights, novelty coffee mugs and power cords to forgotten appliances?
3. Groom Your Pet Outdoors
If you already follow a regular brushing routine to collect hair from your pet before it lands on furniture and carpets, you’re ahead of the game. Take your program one step further and bring your pet outside for this activity. This helps keep your indoor air free of the dander that flies around during brushing and will make breathing more comfortable for anyone with asthma or allergies.
4. Dust and Vacuum Frequently
Do you wait until you can actually see the dust bunnies having little parties before you get out the dustcloth and vacuum cleaner? If so, you’re going too long between cleanings. Your air quality will improve if you give carpets and unused surfaces a quick cleaning every ten days or so, even if you can’t easily see the results. Many household cleaning tasks are all about eliminating the problems we can’t see.
5. Switch Out Water Filters on a Schedule
If you have a sink filter or ice filter, note down its recommended replacement schedule and follow it closely. You can use a calendar app for this, so you don’t even have to keep track of paper notes. When water filters are left for too long
, they lose their ability to function properly. Their surface area may not have room to adsorb any more contaminants, and a clogged filter can interfere with proper water pressure as well. If you have a whole-house water filtration system
, you don’t need to worry about changing out filters nearly as often.
6. Wipe Down Countertops As Often As Possible
Horizontal surfaces do nothing but collect things: keys, lunchboxes, crumbs, dust, dirt… Your goal is to eliminate as much of this collection as possible, and you’re not finished when you’ve cleared off the visible clutter. Keep your tables and countertops truly clean by getting in the habit of running a dust cloth or sponge over them on a very frequent basis. Your nearby stash of cleaning products (see tip #1) will make this a matter of just a few seconds.
7. Clean Your Toilet Daily with a Brush and Toilet Cleaner
Again, this is only a matter of developing a habit and dedicating a couple of minutes to it every day. Your bathroom needs to be a place that feels tranquil and welcoming, and making sure the fixtures all stay shiny and clean contributes to this atmosphere. Keeping a toilet brush and cleaner under your sink means that you can have everything clean in a minute, without even having to think about it.
8. Use Door Mats on the Inside and Outside
A big part of the dirt inside our homes was carried in on the soles of our shoes. You can make a huge dent in the amount of the outdoor world you’re vacuuming and sweeping up by stopping it right at the entry. A double doormat system is highly effective, and you can go farther by instituting a “no-shoes” policy in your house. It’s a nice gesture to keep some slippers in various sizes by the door if you do this, so that visitors don’t have to feel self-conscious about walking around in socks or bare feet.
9. Consider a Whole-House Ventilation System
If you get frustrated by a musty basement smell
, give some thought to installing a whole home ventilation system. This will eliminate the mold organisms causing that depressing odor. It will also make your whole house a healthier zone by refreshing and ventilating its entire air supply, and it will be one fewer cleaning concern on your list.House cleaning is important for your mental well-being
as well as your physical health. Following these basic cleaning tips won’t take more than a few minutes out of your day, and you’ll be rewarded with a greater sense of tranquility and a healthier indoor environment.