Is there anything better than coming home after a long day to a sparkling clean house?
Even with a far less complicated schedule thanks to the pandemic, I still find that there are not enough hours in the day to really devote (or want to devote, frankly) to getting my house spic-and-span.
I have tried all kinds of strategies — cleaning on a certain day of the week, automating chores so I do a few small ones each day or even delegating some of the tasks to my growing kids.
None of them have really stuck into our permanent family routines, however, and so I have had a lot of days when I come home to a less-than-sparkly house!
As the weather warms up — and the natural Vitamin D gives me a natural boost of extra energy — I find that I revisit some of those simple living cleaning hacks that make my cleaning routine an easy one to add to my schedule.
Here are a few tried-and-true simple living hacks for keeping your house clean — as well as a few new ones!
Happy spring cleaning!
• Start with a System: It doesn’t matter whether you always start in the kitchen, living room or bathroom areas, but you need to have a system and order to your cleaning routine.
Begin at one end of the house and complete one room at a time — this will save you from having to backtrack your steps and all that back and forth.
I used to do my bathrooms first, then focus on dusting before I vacuumed the entire house.
I started with one room — in my case, the bathroom — and worked my way from room to room.
I was amazed at how much quicker the process went.
Your system should ideally work from top to bottom, left to right.
This keeps you from having to go back and redo areas that may have gotten soiled after you dusted the areas above them!
For example, start with ceiling areas and work down below — any dust you miss will land on the floor or tables.
Anything you miss from dusting your tables will land on the floor, which will be sucked up by your trusty vacuum!
• Budget for the right cleaning supplies: I always start my cleaning with my downstairs — and used to run out of steam by the time I had to focus on the upstairs area, usually because the thought of dragging all my cleaning supplies and that big vacuum of mine was just too much.
These days, I keep a caddy of my favorite cleaning supplies plus a second vacuum — in several rooms in my house — so I am never really that far away from what I need.
This makes quick clean-ups and spot cleanings that much easier and saves wear and tear on my already tired body!
• Clean and Green: Several years ago, I discovered a line of sustainable cleaning supplies that have saved me some money and time.
While Norwex is one popular brand, the availability of cleaning products that do not include harmful chemicals has increased in recent years.
It took awhile but I have done away with virtually all non-organic cleaning chemicals and disposable cleaning supplies — no more paper towels or harsh chemicals are in my cleaning caddy!
Believe it or not, my home is cleaner than ever since I do not have to spray everything with harmful chemicals and then wipe it clean.
I just wet my reusable cloths, which have a built-in an antibacterial agent, essentially making my cleaning tools self-cleaning — and then rinse them and hang them to dry until next time.
It is both a time saver and a money saver – and I feel like I am doing my part to help the planet. Win, win!
• A little bit goes a long way: Whether you have kids at home or are an empty nester living with a spouse, roommate or partner, there are ways to make cleaning more of a household event.
I find that my cleaning day, which for me usually occurs on one of my days off, goes much easier if I have done my cleaning homework all week.
How much of your cleaning time is spent moving things off of surfaces so you can properly clean them?
If you spend a minute or two each day to make sure that the clutter is under control, you will find that the cleaning zips by in no time.
For example, my oldest son is responsible for making sure there are no toys or clothes on the floor in any room while my youngest son gets counters and tabletops.
Any items they find go in a basket at the bottom of the steps that gets put away by the owners at a later time.
If you give each family member a de-clutter job (or just assign yourself one each day), your cleaning will zip by and you will have more time to sit and relax in that sparkly clean house of yours!
• Don’t forget the garage: Most of us tend to tackle garages a little at a time as we have time — and then things just clutter up and seemingly undo any of our progress.
Use the warmer weather as an excuse to tackle that long overdue garage organization project.
Purge items you have been wasting valuable storage space on and plan to either donate or sell anything that still has use.
Spring is a great time for a yard sale and you may even make some extra cash for some summer vacation spending!
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)