No one likes to spend their spare time cleaning! We’d all much rather spend our time on what matters, like being with our families, friends, or our own hobbies. We’ve put together a bunch of tips to help minimise this time in the future. Yes, some of them are common sense for many, but maybe there will be a few tips and tricks here to help you on your way to a clean-free life.
1. Don’t pile up dishes
The first step to keeping your home tidy is to keep it tidy. What I mean by this is that once a little bit of mess starts, the incoming mess is exponential. This is because we subconsciously see mess already and think “that’s ok, a little bit more won’t be a problem”. But one small spill of orange juice trickles into a whole house of upturned things!
In the same way, letting dishes pile up on the sink changes the atmosphere of your kitchen, potentially prompting you to leave other mess lying around. You might think I’m crazy, but hear me out. I saw the same effect while cleaning commercially. If I missed one or two sheets of toilet paper on the floor, the next time on my route the mess would be much worse! This was because people saw that someone else had left a mess and so they did the exact same themselves. Maybe it has something to do with the spread of responsibility? I’ll leave that to the scientists to figure out. All I know is that a little bit of mess may seem small at the time, but it will shortly lead to an exponential increase in mess down the track. The first step to keeping your home tidy is to keep it tidy.
2. Leave your shoes at the door
Think about where your foot go. Everywhere you do! On footpaths, parks, beaches, toilets, restaurants. Those soles pickup grime and we don’t even think about it. Some cultures around the world have a significant irreverence towards feet and shoes. Leaving them at the front door and not bringing them into areas where they eat. This is a tip you might implement in your own home. Leaving your shoes at the door helps to keep your carpet and flooring in great shape. I recommend using a shoe rack. This is a neat way to organise your shoes and keep them all in one place. (photo of shoe rack here)
3. Use tupperware
While here we say ‘use tupperware’ – what we really are saying is ‘use organisation systems’. Tupperware is an amazing invention used to take your food to work, keep stuff fresh in the fridge, or organise your pantry. Keeping things tidy like this is a great way of minimising further mess. As I said before – the first step to keeping your home tidy is to keep it tidy. Put your condiments in tupperware. Need to store your cereal? Throw it into some tupperware. Not only will this protect it from critters, it will also keep things neat and tidy – preventing an over-run pantry and fridge of clutter!
4. Store cleaning materials around the house so they are in reach for emergency cleans.
This is one of the best tips on the list. It’s also probably the easiest on here to implement. By placing your cleaning products strategically around the house, you reduce the future burden on yourself to clean up new mess. Here are a few suggestions on places to keep some stashed cleaning stuff:
- Laundry sink
- Bathroom sink
- Kitchen sink
- In a camouflaged box in the tv room
- In the glob box of your car (cloth and spray)
- In the drawer of your bedroom side-table
Now, you might think that this list is excessive. But think about the last spills you’ve had. Where have they been? Of course there will be more in the kitchen. We all love to throw things around and pretend to be a Masterchef. But honestly, the amount of times I have spilt something in the lounge/tv room or Bedroom and didn’t have some cleaning products handy is countless.
You don’t have to display your cleaning products on your bedroom shelf for the world to see. They aren’t trophies. Keep them in an inconspicuous shoebox or bedside table. This way they will be within reach when you need them most. You can probably guess, but I’m a firm believer of ‘Be Prepared’ (from my scouting days). Set yourself up for success early on and you’ll be well on your way to a clean home (and the longevity of your carpets!).
5. Clean up spills as soon as they happen
Leading on from the past point. You have done the hard work of making sure cleaning products are within reach of all ‘danger areas’. Now put them to work when trouble hits. As soon as a spill happens, clean it up! Don’t let that juice seep into your carpet! It will just make it harder to clean later on. Or worse, you will be spending a heap of money to get a professional carpet cleaner in to do the job properly!
6. Set a cleaning roster and checklist for your home
Depending on your living situation, a roster is also a great way to organise your cleaning. Why? For a few reasons:
- It helps share the load and divvy out the different chores around the home.
- It also provides a handy checklist so you know nothing will get missed each week.
- It stops cleaning being something that happens when your home gets bad – and a regular thing to keep it in tip-top shape.
You might want to implement a chore-chart for your home. You can outline all the different chores and spread them over the week. Like here:
Alternatively, you can just draw up a roster and each person will finish their checklist over the week. Here’s the cleaning roster I used in one of my past share-houses. Yep, that’s right, I was the instigator of the list. I have a knack for organising clean houses and making sure we all do our part. This worked out pretty well. We each did our chores and crossed them off as they were completed.