Making Your Home Lovely: Part II

Once you start getting a handle on clutter, it’s time to dive into your housecleaning patterns. Do you have a regular schedule for your efforts or just move in when you notice things are going downhill? Most people don’t enjoy cleaning enough to spend the time to organize their efforts, but it’s really worth the investment up front. The following tips will help make your house cleaning easier, faster and more pleasant.

Buy the right tools. Purchase buckets or plastic containers with a handle to hold your cleaning products. You may want to assign one container to bathrooms, a second to the kitchen and a third to the rest of the house. Include the necessary brushes or cloths for each bucket. That way you’re not wasting time finding all of the supplies you need with each cleaning project. It also encourages you to notice when you’re running low on something so you can add it to your shopping list.

Buy a package of shop towels. These are inexpensive and available at warehouse and hardware stores. These are sized at just a bit larger than a washcloth and are made of white terry fabric. You can use these for anything you need to clean. Shop towels are also terrific for picking up spills and wiping up grime on anything from shoes to the car’s dashboard. They’re nicer to use than paper towels and last for years. Expect to use a lot of them, but when you run low just dump them in the washer with some soap and bleach and they’re ready for next time. 

 Your life will quickly become easier and tidier if you include several daily requirements such as cleaning up the kitchen every night before bed. This includes a quick sweep or mop of the floor. Some who batch it might be tempted to put all this off till the weekend, but no one really wants to start Saturday with a cleaning marathon. 

Instead of taking an “all or nothing” approach, how about just throwing in one load of laundry before you leave for work or after you get home? Folding clothes is so much more appealing while watching television. Run through the house with an empty trash bag the day before garbage pick-up and add the kitchen trash bag and you’re finished for another week.

Take one of those shop towels into the bathroom when you get ready for bed at night, and do a quick wipe down of the surfaces. This will make the weekly cleaning less unappealing and faster. A squeegee in the shower can be used to clear the water spots at the end of a wash up, making water spots less of an issue.

Take a close look at what gets in the way of regular cleaning. Do you need to get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning to put some projects into play before the rest of the family gets up? Do you resent being the one who does all the household chores? Do you just hate the process? Sometimes figuring out your resistance allows you to work past it.

One final tip – build in some rewards and incentives. Pay yourself for every day you meet your cleaning goals. From a luxurious soak in the tub to that new purse you’ve been eyeing. Figure out a reasonable reward for your efforts. With the right combination of carrot and stick, you may soon develop the habits you want to keep your home as lovely as you wish it could be.

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