We all want one. A beautiful home worthy of a magazine spread – clean, well-organized, and fashionably decorated. But the problem is that maintaining a home can be one of the most challenging aspects of our lives. It’s hard work and it can seem like the chores are endless. Who has the time (or energy) to clean and organize their home for hours each day? As soon as you finish cleaning, it’s time to start again. Is this the REAL never ending story or what? Add a full time job, a family, and a social life and you might as well forget it.
Believe it or not, you can get it under control. It is possible to turn even the most dysfunctional living space into the most popular room of the house. Following are a few of the most amazing (and time saving) cleaning hacks known to man. These tips cover some of the most difficult cleaning and organization problems and what to do about them. Get your sponges and brooms ready…GO!
Baking Soda Hero – Why spend hundreds of dollars a year on chemical cleaners when you most likely already have one of the best cleaners on the market in your home. Baking soda has been known for quite some time as an excellent cleaner due to its whitening and non-abrasive qualities. Use it to clean things like grout lines in tile, mildew on showers walls, and ceramic stove tops. Baking soda is also one of the most inexpensive cleaners you can find. When on sale at local grocery stores, I have seen this product as low as 2 for $1.00.
Water Rings – You try so hard to keep your wood tables and countertops in good condition only to find that little Johnny has once again left his cup on the table and left a large water ring on the surface. And as you know water rings are permanent. Well, not If you tackle the stain quickly. First, use a blow dryer to dry the surface of the wood. Once the ring has evaporated a bit and the surface is dry, apply some olive oil to a soft cloth and use it to rub over the wood. The oil will revitalize the wood and give it a natural shine.
Protect Baseboards – I am convinced that cleaning baseboards is one of the worst cleaning tasks in the entire home. Baseboards are magnets for hair, dirt, dust, and gunk. Prevent hours of baseboard scrubbing by rubbing a dryer sheet along them once or twice per week. The dryer sheet will help prevent hair and lint build up and as an added bonus will make the room smell fresh as well.
Canned Air – Information technology professionals have been using compressed air for quite some time to clean out hard to reach high dust areas such as computer keyboards and various hardware components; however, compressed air can be useful in the home too. Use it to dust hard to reach areas that you just can’t seem to get with your vacuum attachments.
Wall Art – Kids make some wonderful art work just unfortunately it’s not always on paper where it belongs. Scrubbing crayon and marker off of walls and floors is par for the course for most parents. For crayon, try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge. Wet the sponge and use to scrub the area. For marker stains, which may be a bit more stubborn, use a mixture of half water and half rubbing alcohol. Spray on the surface and use the Magic Eraser to wipe it down.
Order of Operations – You may not give this much thought but you should consider your “route” when cleaning a room. It is recommended that you clean a room from top to bottom and back to front. This is done to prevent re-soiling of areas that you already cleaned.
Eliminate Clutter Quickly – It’s shame that our bank accounts don’t pile up like clutter does. Am I right? Clutter can easily overtake your home and throw your daily life into chaos. To prevent overly cluttered spaces, keep a basket or other container in each room. At the end of each day, go through the room and declutter by placing items that don’t belong, in the basket. Then once a week make sure all of the items in those containers are put back where they belong.
“Orange” You Glad? – Another great all natural cleaner to have around the home is anything citrus. Things like lemon, orange, and grapefruit juice are fantastic for cleaning and disinfecting. Place a bowl of water with a half of lemon in the microwave on high for about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe down the inside for a fresh clean surface. Or place sliced lemons in your garbage disposal and turn it on. The lemon juice will help disinfect the disposal leaving a nice citrus scent.
Perfect Pet Hair – We love our pets but most of us could do without the pet hair all over our furniture. To easily eliminate per hair from sofas and chairs, use a lint roller to remove the fur. If you don’t have a lint roller available, place a rubber cleaning glove on your hand and dip the palm and fingers in water. Using the glove, wipe your hand over the upholstery and the fur will wipe right off.
This trick to maintaining a home is to manage it, not let it manage you! With a little planning and effort you home can be the oasis you want it to be.