Tips to Keep Your Home Clean

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Did you ever wonder how people keep such clean homes? You know the ones: those friends who never hesitate to invite you in when you show up unexpectedly at their door. Those folks whose kitchen counters are never buried in groceries that haven’t been put away, whose kitchen sinks are never overflowing with dirty dishes, whose floors are never desperately in need of an appointment with the dust mop. These tips to keep your home clean will solve the puzzle.

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Clean Often

The secrets to keeping an unvaryingly clean home are simple: frequency and habituation. Tidying up and wiping down on a regular basis ensures that your home never reaches a disaster state. Plus, integrating a regular cleaning routine into your lifestyle means that in time, cleaning will become so automatic that you won’t give it a second thought.

Frequency is your friend where house cleaning is concerned. Spending twenty minutes every day or two on upkeep is an investment in your free time this weekend. And it actually saves time in the long run because clutter and spills are tough to clean up after they’ve been ignored.

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Clutter Spreads

Unchecked clutter breeds when you’re not looking. It’s a scientific fact. One little pile of mishmash becomes an overspread mountain virtually overnight. For this reason, it’s quicker and easier to deal with it as you go along. Toss out junk mail immediately, file paperwork, and put things away.

Spot Clean to Save Time

The same principle applies to cleaning up dirty messes. Spot cleaning the kitchen every day or two takes ten minutes. Leaving it all until Saturday night at 9:30 guarantees it’ll take at least an hour and a half. Juice spills and crumbs congeal into something roughly resembling textured cement.

Stovetop messes that would have taken 30 seconds to wipe clean when they first made an appearance dry up and cook on, meaning it will be a fifteen minute job scrubbing them clean.

This holds true in every room of the house. A strange inverse reaction takes place with dirt and grime. The longer it sits, the tougher it becomes to remove. It’s like it grows roots.

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The Learning Curve

Frequency also works in your favor due to the cleaning learning curve. Simply put, the repetition of any action increases your speed and ability to perform the action. So the more frequently you clean, the better you get at it, which means your speed increases.

The universal truth of cleaning is that the more frequently you clean your home, the less time it takes each time you do it. Getting into the habit of cleaning regularly not only ensures that you’re never caught off guard with a messy house, it saves you time in the long run. Your home will never get to the point of being such a disaster that you have to blow your entire Saturday cleaning.

Work Out a Routine

It’ll take a little thought to work out a routine that fits into your schedule. For example, spot clean every other day and then dust, vacuum, and mop on the weekend. Or do one room every day. Or whatever what will work with your schedule. Then stick to the plan. Within a very short time, cleaning will be another routine part of your life.

Frequency and habituation. That’s all it takes. House cleaning is maintenance, like getting your hair cut or your oil changed. Take the time to establish routines, follow through, and before you know it cleaning will be just another item that gets crossed off your to-do list every day. No thought required. Then you’ll be one of those people who are never embarrassed to invite unexpected company inside your home.

Want more organizing and house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my author page. My books include De-Clutter and Organize Your Home in 7 Simple Steps, Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, and How to Become a Cleaning Pro: the Ultimate Guide to Starting and Operating Your Own House Cleaning Service.

House Cleaning Express: The Quickest Route to a Clean House

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Who has time to clean?

Everyone wants a clean house, but who has time to do the job? Getting your home clean without spending a lot of time isn’t difficult; it just takes a little dedication. This guide will explain how to keep a clean house when your time is limited.

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Keep It Picked Up

When your home is free of unnecessary clutter, cleaning is ten times easier. Clutter makes a space look messy, breeds dust, and impedes the cleaning process.

Some simple steps to accomplish neatness:

  • Assign every object in your home a space to call its own.
  • Make it a habit  to put things away. When you’re done using the scissors, put them away. When you bring groceries home, put them away. When you get undressed, put your clothes in the dirty clothes hamper. In no time at all, you’ll be putting things away without giving it a second thought.
  • Make each household member take responsibility for their own stuff. Assign each person a basket and place stray items into the basket. If baskets are overflowing, hold the contents for ransom until the errant party agrees to deal with their mess.
  • Purge unnecessary items on a regular basis. Keep a donation box in a prominent spot and make use of it.
  • Use baskets, bins, totes, shelves, or whatever tickles your fancy to keep your stuff organized and put away.

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Clean as You Go

Housecleaning is most effective when it’s done on a regular basis. The quickest method by far is cleaning up every day. This doesn’t mean cleaning the entire house every day. This means doing various tasks as necessary so that areas never really get dirty. Daily tasks include the following:

  • Kitchen cleanup: as soon as food preparation is done, areas that were used should be wiped clean. Constantly be alert to the state of your kitchen appliances. If the stove top is dirty, wipe it clean. If the inside of the microwave has food splatters, wipe it clean. When you begin to notice fingerprints on keypads or handles, it’s time to clean them. None of these tasks, taken individually, requires much time. Spending ten or fifteen minutes each day sprucing up the kitchen means you’ll never have to spend an hour or more at one time cleaning everything.
  • Bathroom patrol: clean bathroom sinks, vanities, and the toilet when you notice that it needs to be done. If there’s toothpaste on the mirror, take a minute to wipe it clean. Squeegee shower walls clean every day so that soap scum doesn’t get the opportunity to build up. Keep rags, sponges, paper towels, and bathroom cleaner under the sink and make use of them as necessary so the bathroom never really gets dirty.
  • Do laundry as often a necessary to avoid a huge accumulation.
  • Sweep or vacuum entryways as soon as dirt is tracked inside. This prevents dirt from getting tracked further into the house.
  • Clean pet areas often. Mats under water dishes, pet beds, and other pet-related paraphernalia should be cleaned whenever you notice they’re dirty.
  • Spot clean floors as needed. If something gets spilled, clean it up before it gets tracked anywhere else.

Commit to a Regimen

On a regular basis, preferably weekly or every other week, make a point of completing whatever housekeeping chores need doing. When the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, and pet areas are kept clean on a daily basis, there’s not much left to do. Change bedding, dust, vacuum or sweep, and mop (if necessary). Don’t clean anything that isn’t dirty. An hour or two at most, and your home will be spic-and-span.

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Tried-and-true cleaning methods and tips are everywhere. The internet and magazines are loaded with cleaning advice. Put it to good use. House cleaning has been around for a long time. Cash in on the experience of others to save yourself time and trouble. A clean house doesn’t have to be a huge hassle, don’t turn it into one.

Want more organizing and house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my author page. My books include De-Clutter and Organize Your Home in 7 Simple Steps, Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, and How to Become a Cleaning Pro: the Ultimate Guide to Starting and Operating Your Own House Cleaning Service.

How to Clean Your Oven, Refrigerator, and Pantry

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When it comes to cleaning, your kitchen is one of the more high-maintenance rooms in your home. It usually gets more use than other rooms and it’s where food is stored. Food containers spill, perishables expire, packaging leaks. Since your food prep takes place in the kitchen, keeping this room clean should be a priority.

Good kitchen hygiene calls for action beyond the routine chores that make up your regular cleaning regimen. Periodically, time should be made for cleaning inside the refrigerator, food pantry cleanup, cupboard reorganization, and oven cleaning. The frequency with which you tackle these chores will vary depending on your kitchen usage.

Cleaning the Refrigerator

Keeping the refrigerator clean is a two-step process. The interior should be regularly inspected for old food that needs to be discarded as well as any spills that ought to be cleaned up. Old food shouldn’t be allowed to sit until it’s rotten, so establish a system to periodically take a look for anything that needs to be tossed out. If you notice an odor, look for the source immediately.

Wiping out the fridge should also be done as often as is necessary. Crumbs and food spills ought to be dealt with before they become part of the landscape.

It might help to establish a routine whereby you clean the refrigerator just before you go food shopping: dispose of old food, quickly wipe out the fridge, then restock.

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Oven Cleaning

Oven cleaning is another job that you shouldn’t procrastinate doing for too long. Oven messes only get worse each time you use the oven.

When you need to clean the oven, it’s a good idea to use the self-cleaning cycle with caution. This feature heats the oven to a high temperature, burning off any messes. The process usually produces smoke and fumes.

If you’re using the self-clean cycle, remove the oven racks before you start and clean them in your kitchen sink using a degreaser like dish detergent and warm water or all-purpose cleaner. Also wipe up whatever you can from inside the oven with a cleaning cloth or sponge. Because the cycle gets so hot, any puddles or solids left inside the oven will incinerate, producing a lot of smoke.

It’s best to stay out of the kitchen when you’re using the self-clean cycle. Open a window or use your stove’s vent fan to allow for ventilation of fumes.

After the oven cools, wipe away the ash residue from the oven walls and floor and replace the racks.

Alternate Methods

If you’d rather not use the self-clean feature, here are other methods for oven cleaning:

~Use commercial oven cleaner, following the instructions on the package. These types of cleaners contain strong chemicals that do the work of loosening baked-on gunk and are only slightly less noxious than the self-clean cycle.

~Heat your oven to 150 degrees and then turn it off. Place an ovenproof bowl containing about a cup of ammonia inside and leave it overnight with the door closed, then wipe your oven surfaces clean the next day using a cloth or sponge dipped in warm water and dish soap (don’t use this method on gas-powered ovens).

~Place an ovenproof bowl containing two cups of water and two cups of vinegar into the oven, and heat the oven to 400 degrees for a half-hour or so until you’ve got a good steam bath going. Turn off the oven and allow the steam to work until the oven cools. Wipe the oven clean with dish detergent and warm water.

To prevent oven spills in the first place, put a cookie sheet under anything that might bubble over and cover anything that might splatter. If anything does spill on the bottom of the oven, sprinkle some baking soda on the spill and let it sit overnight, then wipe it up the next day. Or sprinkle table salt onto before it sets up (hardens) and wipe it clean when the oven is cool. Cleaning messes as they occur will help extend the period between oven cleanings.

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Clean Out Cupboards

Another kitchen job that should be done regularly is cleaning up any food spills in cupboards. It’s never a good idea to let spilled food hang around; even stuff like dry pasta or flour can attract bugs or other unwanted visitors. Any open boxes or containers can spill, so keep an eye out for messes and take care of them ASAP. If you have a bread drawer or box, keep crumbs cleaned up. An alternative to wiping up flour or similar loose, dry spills is to vacuum them up

Also, periodically, remove food packages and cans from cupboards, dust out the cupboards, and replace the food, reorganizing as you go. This gives you a chance to get into the backs of cupboards to scan for expiring or expired food as well as to eliminate dust and reorganize so you’ll know what you have.

While you’re at it, dust and reorganize cupboards and drawers used for storage of food containers, cookware and tableware. This allows you to match up the tops and bottoms of containers and pans that always seem to end up in distant corners from one another.

Keeping a clean and well-organized kitchen promotes safe food storage and decreases the likelihood of attracting unwanted visitors to your pantry. It also simplifies your life to have a handle on your kitchen inventory. The best payoff to taking good care of your kitchen is peace of mind that your kitchen is clean and stocked with food that’s safe to eat.

Want more house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, available on Amazon.