For some people, being responsible for household cleaning is like having a part-time job. Particularly for parents of young children, the job of keeping a large property clean and tidy is a huge one. It stops people relaxing when they’re away from work, and eats into precious family time.
While there will always be unavoidable cleaning jobs to take care of, there are ways to lighten the load. If you make some adjustments to your home and cleaner smarter, the process should become a lot easier — and a lot less time-consuming.
Declutter and embrace minimalism
The more things you have in your home, the more surfaces you have to clean. And the more furniture and clutter you have to negotiate while cleaning, the harder and more time-consuming the job becomes.
Before you do anything, go from room to room and remove clutter — finding it a permanent home. Also, be ruthless in what furniture and accessories you keep. Take the kitchen, for example. If you’re constantly lifting or moving coffee machines, toasters, kettles and storage items, the simple task of wiping down worktops becomes a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
Think laterally about storage
If you’re struggling for storage, cleaning is probably more difficult than it has to be. But if you can find a permanent home for everything, your life will soon become a lot easier. Think about clever ways to store everyday items.
For example, hooks can be used for coats by your front door. Baskets can be attached to the inside of cabinet doors for added storage in the kitchen. Shelves, storage beds, window seats, shower rails and chests can all be used to store items you and your family use on a regular basis.
Use wipeable paint
Make your walls low-maintenance and easy to clean by using paints that are wipeable. Certain paints are also resistant to staining, which could be a great time-saver if you have mucky kids playing in your home.
Install low-maintenance flooring
If you have kids or animals in your home, carpet stains are probably a major issue. Removing stains takes time and a lot of effort, so why not remove the problem altogether by replacing carpets with laminate, hardwood flooring or tile? All you’ll need to clean is a steam mop — which requires no cleaning chemicals or back-breaking work. If you go down this route, do some research on the best vacuum cleaner for hard floors.
Choose leather furnishings
Cleaning leather is a relatively quick and straightforward process. In most instances, all you need is a slightly dampened microfibre cloth. This will be a huge help if you’re cleaning up spillages and crumbs on a regular basis. Upholstery stains very easily, and it can harbour unpleasant odours.
Get everyone to clean as they go
The truth is cleaning should never be the sole responsibility of any one person in a family home. Everyone should do their bit in keeping their home clean and tidy. Get together with all the members of your household, and set a few ground rules. For example, everyone should wash their own dishes immediately after using them. Everyone should wipe down the bathroom surfaces after washing. And everyone should be responsible for vacuuming and polishing in their own room.
Cleaning should become a task you and your family do throughout the day. For instance, you can dust certain surfaces in your home as you’re passing through a room — just keep the necessary cleaning tools close at hand. If everyone pitches in, and cleans the moment something is dirtied, you can probably say goodbye to long “cleaning days” forever.
Restrict your pet’s access to your home
Contain dander, pet hair and pet stains to fewer rooms by closing doors or using door gates. Pet owners spend a huge amount of time removing hair from carpets and furniture. If hair can be restricted to just one or two rooms, a lot of cleaning hours can be saved every week. Also, make sure you have the best vacuum for pet hair, as this will make cleaning up after your cat or dog a lot quicker.
By making these adjustments to your home and your cleaning rituals, you can free up more time for doing the most important things in life — like spending quality time with family.