Here are eleven, handy tricks-of-the-trade you can employ at home so you have more time to enjoy your personal amenities.
Two of my favorite things in life are learning and being efficient. When it comes to cleaning a home, why not take a lesson or two (or eleven!) from the professionals who do it best?
You can employ these time saving tricks-of-the-trade at home so you have more time to enjoy your personal amenities.
1. Tempt Me Not
At home we are so often tempted to clean around the clutter that’s lying around our rooms. Shoes, boxes, books, keys, stacks of mail and many other miscellaneous household items can clutter up our living spaces fast. Professional housekeepers will de-clutter a room as best they can before they start cleaning. This allows them to have an accurate assessment of what needs to be done, and… do their best work.
Purchasing a designated storage tote (or totes) is a great idea. When you get set to clean a room, put all your clutter-items in that tote. Cleaning around items is inefficient and largely a waste of time. And even if you just pick them up, do a quick swipe and set them back down, you risk leaving rings or marks on whatever surface they’re on. De-clutter, clean, let dry, and then return your items for the best results.
2. Micro-Fiber-Manage Your Tasks
I know it’s happened to you. You wipe down a surface but there is still dust piled up in the corners, or streaks of dust across the surface. Microfiber cloths are the solution for this problem. They are the most efficient cloths for gathering and removing dust. An acceptable substitute is any clean rag or fabric made of 100% cotton. So that t-shirt with the holes in it you’ve been hanging onto?
Yep – it can finally be made of service again. On the opposite end of the spectrum are cloths or fabric made of polyester and/or terrycloth, both of which can gather and make more dust than they wipe away.
3. Tag, You’re It
I always thought the myth of being arrested for removing mattress tags was funny. I also thought the tags in my shirts were annoying. But- what about the tags in our bed sheets?
It turns out they’re super helpful. Tags go at the bottom of the bed. On queen size beds the tag is at the bottom-right (facing the headboard). On king size beds the tag is at the bottom-left (also facing the headboard). In the event you’ve removed the tags or they’ve fallen off in the wash, simply locate the seam where they were once attached and use a fabric marker to keep things lined up.
4. Close the Curtain on Excess Dust
Do you remember playing whack-a-mole? Ahhhh, it was so therapeutic. Grab a hand towel and whack your curtains to shake off excess dust. Your vacuum cleaner may be great, but it still wont’ get all the dust hidden in all the creases. Once the dust has fallen to the ground you can sweep it up efficiently or use your vacuum cleaner.
Check out what goes into the best vacuum cleaner and learn.
5. You Have To Walk Before You Can Run
This may seem obvious but be sure to vacuum or sweep all floors prior to using a mop. Wet hair, food or other unmentionable items on a floor just gets pushed around or stuck to your mop head. Logistics-wise, mop from a corner out, heading to a door and/or generally away from corners/edges.
6. Secure the Perimeter!
It's not easy to hear, but nasty bacteria and disease-carrying mold spores can be found in places you wouldn’t expect – like your kitchen. We transfer a lot of germs from our bathrooms to other parts of our homes. Think about it – one of the 1st things we touch after using the toilet are the sink faucets. We wash our hands, but then touch the faucets again to turn them off.
Clean your bathroom last to help prevent bacteria from moving freely about your home.
7. “Maid” for Delegation
We all need a little help sometimes. It turns out our cleaning products are designed for just that purpose. Instead of wiping things down right away, allow your solution to sit for up to 10 minutes (longer for dirtier situations) so that they can do what they’re meant to: break up grime and dust.
While waiting you can still clean other things like the sink, the mirrors, etc. Why go to battle doing all that extra scrubbing when your cleaning solutions are on the front line for you?
8. Sweeping Double
Carpets develop grooves or patterns the more you walk on or vacuum them. Not only is it best to vacuum in a variety of directions to shake up those grooves, but you also want to clean carpets opposite of how you mop.
Clean your way into the center of the room starting with higher traffic areas, then work your way back out. This way you get double cleaning power and the spots most tread on get more attention.
9. You Can Catch More Dirt With Vinegar
White vinegar is the liquid gold of the cleaning world. It makes sense. Vinegar is an alkaline substance that works wonders in your body to eliminate bacteria and/or that bug you feel coming on. I know holistic and naturopathic people who drink shots of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar it every morning as part of a health tonic.
For your external cleansing needs, mix white vinegar with water in a 1-to-3 part ratio and use it in a spray bottle in place of your old cleaners.
10. A Toothbrush A Day
There are always tough spots to reach when cleaning. Keep a cheap toothbrush pack on hand for those situations. You can use a toothbrush to clean grout in your bathroom and the creases in your backsplash tiles.
You can even use it on your floors if you want. Just make sure to use clean ones for every new spot you clean to prevent bacteria and germs from transferring from room to room.
11. Bucket List
Organization is essential for professional housekeepers and it is for you and me as well. Housekeepers have carts on wheels where they store all their cleaning tools.
While it’s not practical for us to walk around with carts, we still can keep all tools in one, easily accessible and easy-to-remember place.