Cleaning a home is never an easy undertaking, and it’s a job that will never go away. Some of us spend up to 20 hours a week performing everyday cleaning tasks, which eats into our spare time… time we should be spending with the people we love.
While you can’t avoid some of the household chores that just have to be done, you can make life easier for yourself by being smarter. Just a few changes to your home and your routines could make your palace a great deal easier to clean.
1. Stick with hard floors
Nothing traps and harbours dirt, dust and bacteria like carpet does — so avoid it at all costs. Flooring with the fewest joins is the easiest to keep clean, so if you want to minimise the time you spend cleaning floors, opt for for lino or vinyl. A great option — albeit it an expensive one — is polished concrete.
2. Paint with silk
A good quality silk emulsion not only looks fantastic on walls, it is very easy to wipe clean. All you need to keep your walls spotless is a slightly dampened cloth. Matt emulsion tends to come off with water, and cleaning many types of wallpaper is a minefield.
3. Embrace leather
Cleaning upholstered furniture is never easy, and often involves a selection of cleaning agents, specialist tools and lots of elbow grease. But if your furniture is covered in leather — real or faux — you’ll be able to perform everyday cleaning with a simple wipe.
4. Choose the right fabrics
Don’t spend hours at a time trying to remove stubborn stains from fabric. Instead, opt for low-maintenance fabrics that provide an element of resistance to staining. Fabrics such as Kravet are highly durable, and they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
5. Use slip covers
Instead of shampooing your chairs and sofas regularly, cover them with slipcovers. Then, all you need to do to get your furniture clean is remove them and throw them in the washing machine.
6. Buy furniture on wheels
Sometimes, we spend more time preparing a room for cleaning than actually doing the job. To save time — and your back — buy tables, storage furniture, chairs and sofas with wheels. All you need to do is roll them out of the way before you start cleaning.
7. Make the best possible use of storage
Keeping your home uncluttered is a great way to slash the time you spend cleaning. It’s therefore a good idea to find a home for all of your possessions. Window seats, stools with storage and multi-purpose sofas and chairs allow you to make the very best use of the available space in your home.
8. Set up cleaning stations
How many times have you had to walk up and down stairs to get the cleaning tools and agents you need? Save time and energy by creating cleaning stations in the most used rooms of your home. Include brushes, cloths, wipes, sprays, polishes and everything you need to clean that area of your property.
9. Think carefully about where you place laundry
If possible, it’s always best to store laundry close to where it is washed. If you have a utility room, make sure it’s in use and organised. Also, position two or three laundry hampers in key areas of your home.
10. Introduce speed cleans
Cleaning as you go is always the best way to keep your home clean and reduce your overall workload. If you’re heading upstairs to the toilet, bring back laundry. If you’re going into the kitchen for a drink, give the shelves of your fridge a wipe. And every day, have a family “speed clean”, where everyone in your household performs their allotted cleaning duty in a 10-minute window.
You’ll never be able to avoid household cleaning chores, but with a little planning and organisation, you can make them easier and a whole lot faster!