The one overarching, guiding principle in making quick work of housekeeping is this: Neatness Counts! Neat and not-so-clean beats clean and not-so-neat every time. Even our housekeepers have been fooled by a neat house that looks clean even though layers of dirt may be hiding most everywhere! So pick up. Hang up. Straighten. De-clutter. You’ll be well on your way to a great looking house.
- Make your bed. Always. Every day. It’ll only take a minute (literally) and makes you feel so much better about your house and yourself.
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Don’t even think about throwing them on the floor! Ever.
- Spend 30 seconds hanging up anything you’ve worn that day that’s good for another wearing. Your bedroom will look better and your clothes won’t be so wrinkled.
- Empty the wastebasket. Fold a bunch of fresth trash liners and place them in the bottom of the receptacle to make quick work of this task next time. By the way, an open top wastebasket is said to be bad feng shui. If you can’t hide the wastebasket, check out one of those cute bullet shaped ones from Umbra on www.Amazon.com. They have a swing top and come in several fun colors.
- Clear the top of your dresser. Use a basket or designate the top dresser drawer to stash clutter.
Each of these tasks take a minute or less, but oh, what a difference they make. Try it.
Bathroom cleaning is an integral part of keeping a clean house. On that we can agree. But it doesn’t have to be a big chore if you do just a little bit every day or two.
- Keep wipes on the vanity in each bathroom. There are a ton of them on the market. Windex, Clorox disinfecting, environmentally safe–you choose. Even baby wipes can be used
- Every morning or two do a quick wipe down of the sink, faucet and vanity area. Wipe off any spots from the mirror. Every now and again swipe the fingerprints around the switch plate and the back of the door.
- Keep the vanity as clutter-free a possible. If you prefer having lots of items on display, consider putting them all on a tray so they can be easily moved to clean.
- Use liquid body wash instead of soap in the shower–no more soap scum on the glass shower doors! Wipe down the tile before you get out of the shower.
- Give your kids sponges and let them wash the bath tub as the water drains out. If you use bubble bath the tub practically cleans itself.
- Keep a toilet brush in a container next to the toilet. Swish the bowl a few times a week. If it needs more work, add cleaning agent or an Alka Seltzer tablet the night before and quickly clean it the next morning.
- In between regular floor washing, put a few damp paper towels or cleaning cloth under your foot to clean the floor. Concentrate on the perimeter of the room where hair accumulates. I know this isn’t the housekeeping your mother taught you, but it works!
- Never let any family member put wet towels on the floor. Ever!
All of these things can easily be done in just a couple of minutes a day. They’re easy to do and your bathroom always looks nice.
What ideas can you share to make bathroom maintainance easy and fast?
More and more people seem to be adopting a “no shoes policy” in their homes. Professional housekeepers will tell you the advantages are clear:
- Carpeting stays clean and lasts far longer.
- Less wear and tear on wood flooring means a substantially longer life-span and less frequent washing.
An advantage you may not have thought of:
- Possibly improved health if you live in an area with high levels of pollen, dust or other allergy triggers, because you won’t track all those allergens into your home.
A few cautions:
- Going barefoot in the house is not the answer. Always wear slippers or socks. The reason? Dust and dirt mixed with the oils on your feet can lead to carpet stains and premature wear.
- Don’t just heap a pile of shoes near the door. Looks bad and smells bad!
- Don’t “require” your guests to remove their shoes unless you provide them with some kind of slippers. Who knows but what they have a hole in their sock or worse.
So save money and cleaning time, keep carpeting and wood floors looking new longer, reduce allergens in your house all by simply taking off your shoes!
So you’ve done all the really hard and nasty work of removing all those growing, spreading things in your shower: the soap scum (ugh!) and the mildew (double ugh!!), and frankly, you’d be perfectly happy not to ever do it again. Right? Well, it’s not only possible to banish those enemies forever, but it’s actually easy to prevent mildew and soap scum from every coming back.
The easiest method is, of course, to hire a housekeeper–that would surely be our suggestion–but there are DIY methods that are almost as easy. Read on.
Mildew is a pink, brown or black mold that grows in any dark, warm, moist environment. So how do we prevent it? By making our bathroom a light, cool, dry environment!
- Leave your bathroom lights on before, during and after you take a shower or bath.
- Turn on the fan, open a window so the air circulates.
- Keep the bathroom as dry as possible.
- Do a wipe down of the tile with a squeegee, chamois or microfiber cloth.
- Open the shower door or spread the shower curtain out over the shower rod. (If you have a shower curtain that is already stained with mildew, replace it with a mildew resistant one. They really do work!)
- Spread towels out to dry; pick up any clothing from the floor.
Preventing Soap Scum
The easiest way to prevent soap scum is to stop using soap!
Preventing the Ring Around the Tub
- If your water is fairly soft, all you may need to do is run a scrubby pad around the ring area as the water is draining. Kids love to do this.
- For harder water, sprinkle a little Epsom salts (available at your pharmacy) or Calgon Water Softener. Many bubble baths also eliminate bath tub ring.
- And as above, you can change your brand of bar soap or use a liquid body wash.
There are plenty of other ways to prevent mildew and soap scum from coming back. What’s worked for you? What comments and or questions do you have. Please share.
Okay, admit it: bathroom cleaning is one of your least favorite activities–ever! But no one feels good when the bathroom isn’t sparkling clean. But with a few simple tips in mind, you can clean your bathroom faster and easier than you ever thought possible.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
If your bathroom hasn’t had a really good cleaning in, oh, I don’t know, maybe, months? Or longer? Then if at all possible call in the professional cleanersfor a one time cleaning. Once everything is up to code, it will be so much easier for you to simply maintain–especially if you follow our guidelines.
Now, let’s be honest, that wasn’t so bad was it? And if you didn’t have to do the tub and shower, it’d be a breeze. Read our next post to find out how!
Your comments? Suggestions? Tips? Please share!!
Hope you find something useful here.
- Some of the fastest, most efficient housekeepers we’ve known through the years, wouldn’t even think about cleaning without wearing an apron. Not only does an apron keep your clothes clean, it can save you lots of time. As you approach each room, take the supplies you’ll need out of your cleaning caddy and put them in your apron pocket. You will then have everything you need right at your fingertips.
- There are other uses for an apron too. Use one or more pockets for a soapy sponge (in a plastic bag) for touch-up work around the light switches, doorjambs, etc. Another pocket can be for any debris you find. Or use a pocket for small items you find that need to be put away in another room.
- If you use plastic liners in your wastebaskets, keep a supply of bags folded in the bottom of the wastebasket. That way when you remove a full bag of trash there’s a fresh plastic bag right where you need it.
- Whenever you are wiping a large surface–kitchen counters, for instance–try wiping with a cloth in each hand. You’ll be surprised how much faster it is.
- If using a broom to sweep, try using a half sheet of newspaper which is dampened on one side instead of a dustpan. Simply press the dampened edge to the floor and sweep the debris right into it. Fold it up and throw it away.
- Keep touch-up supplies in the bathrooms and kitchen in addition to the supplies in your cleaning caddy. Window cleaner, paper towels, and a microfiber cloth should do the trick.
- If you prefer using a dustpan, spray it with furniture polish and the dust will slip right off.
- Place plastic lids under the metal containers such as cans of shaving cream. As the inevitable rust accumulates the coasters can easily be washed or replaced.
As always, we’d love to hear any comments you may have. Do these suggestions bring to mind tips of your own?